Thursday, May 31, 2012


It's saying a lot, but one of the more bizarre forms of relgious expression comes in the form of snake-handling in religious services.  It is scripturally justified by this passage: And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16: 17-18.)

Occasionally snake-handlers are bitten by the poisonous snakes they handle, but justify the practice as an expression of faith.

Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky have laws forbidding this practice.  It's done only by a few rural churches of the Holiness Pentacostal variety, or Church of God with Signs Following.

Women in thehe groups wear no makeup but wear ankle-length dresses and don't cut their hair.  They meet several times a week for very long services.


  1. Snake handlers get bit so often (and deservedly so) they build up an immunity.

  2. This is one of the more bizarre cults around nowadays.

  3. Such a dangerous form of heresy.

  4. They could get the same snake-handling experience by signing on as managers for the average political campaign ... you get all the snake, but the poison is only mental.