However you honor your faith or religion is fine by us. We’re not here to judge. We’re here to make sure you plan. So, if you believe handling deadly, poisonous snakes puts you on the path to righteousness, please get all your important papers and documents together first.
Recently, Kentucky Pentecostal pastor and star of National Geographic’s Snake Salvation Jamie Coots was doing his customary serpent handling when he was bitten by a rattlesnake, refused treatment and died.
The thinking behind snake handling is quite simple: God will protect you from deadly snakes. If you get bitten he will protect you from the venom. If you die, it was God’s will. According to TMZ, it’s illegal to handle snakes in Kentucky:
"Any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100."
This makes sense from a public safety perspective, because these snakes could escape and go on a neighborhood rampage. Or worse, buy plane tickets…
Samuel L. Jackson has had it with these Snakes on a Plane jokes.
Coots’, who had been bitten numerous times in the past, refused medical treatment and died on February 15th at the age of 42.
While we’re not reptile handling enthusiasts--apart from garden snakes and non-poisonous ones being handled by a professional in a secure environment--we implore anyone who is to do an Everplan first. What are the benefits for snake handlers...and non-snake handlers?
- Advance Directive: Make your medical decisions absolutely clear to your family and loved ones. In the case of snake handlers, who put no faith in modern medicine, you want a DNR and you don't want any treatment at all. Ever.
- Will: Who gets all your snakes when you're gone? Name snake guardians.
- Life Insurance: If you handle snakes regularly, this probably isn't a factor. But if you found a company to insure you, and you can afford the astronomical premiums, where's the policy?
For those curious about the world of snake handling, check out ABC Nightline's report below: