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The pastor of a Kentucky church that handles snakes in religious rites was among 10 people arrested by wildlife officers in a crackdown on the venomous snake trade.
More than 100 snakes, many of them deadly, were confiscated in the undercover sting after Thursday's arrests, said Col. Bob Milligan, director of law enforcement for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
Most were taken from the Middlesboro home of Gregory James Coots, including 42 copperheads, 11 timber rattlesnakes, three cottonmouth
Snake handling is a religious ritual in a small number of pentecostal churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and Holiness. Practitioners believe it dates to antiquity and quote the Book of Mark and the Book of Luke to support the practice:
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.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Originally posted by RedGolem
Thanks to both who posted the information
I also want to say that I think the point of the snake handler churches is that they will be protected from the venumes snakes.
The ancient sources, particularly the Roman ones, are in general agreement that Cleopatra poisoned herself by inducing an asp to bite her. The oldest source is Strabo, who was alive at the time of the event, and might even have been in Alexandria. He says that there are two stories: that she applied a toxic ointment, or that she was bitten by an asp. Several Roman poets, writing within ten years of the event, all mention bites by two asps, as does Florus, a historian, some 150 years later. Velleius, sixty years after the event, also refers to an asp.[12
Originally posted by RedGolem As to Cleopatra to my memery she died from the bite of an Asp.
Originally posted by space cadet
There is a church in another city in my county that practices both snake handling and the drinking of arsnic. IMO they are out of their freakin minds to do this, ]