Monday, February 17, 2014

"Snake Salvation" Preacher Jamie Coots Died From Snake Bite

Rev. Jamie Coots was the pastor at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus' Name church in Middlesboro, KY. He was also featured on a reality TV show called "Snake Salvation" on the National Geographic channel. Coots was a snake-handling pastor. He, his contemporaries, and his followers believe that handling venomous snakes is a sign of divinity stemming from Mark 16:
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)
I really don't get it, but it appears that they believe that God will protect them from the poisonous snakes.

Anyway, Rev. Coots died at the age of 42 Saturday night after getting bit by one of his snakes at a church service. Somebody called for an ambulance, but Coots and his family refused emergency medical treatment and he died about an hour after that.

This is the part of the blog where I'm supposed to support Coots' religious belief system and practices. Except that it's illegal. It places practitioners and followers at risk for death. Kentucky specifically bans snake-handling in church services. It is a misdemeanor in that state and is punishable by a fine of $50 to $100. One wonders if anyone will face a fine in this case?

If so, it doesn't look like anyone will be able to afford the fine. A Facebook page has been created by the family with this repeated message:
Brother Jamie did not have any insurance. Donations for his burial and his family can be mailed to: (*Clipped out by Jon's Blog*). If you can not make a donation, Please, keep Bro. Jamie's family, friends and church in your prayers. Please, do not send cash... Please, share this with your family and friends.
In other words, he handles deadly snakes and trusts God to keep him safe and healthy. So he doesn't get health insurance. And then he leaves his family without life insurance so that they cannot pay for his burial or for their future financial needs after his passing.

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