snake-handling fool

A Kentucky snake-handling preacher who appeared in a television show about the religious practice has died of a snakebite after refusing medical treatment…

Jamie Coots was found dead about 10pm local time on Saturday at his house in Middlesboro, Kentucky, according to Middlesboro police chief Jeff Sharpe.

Emergency personnel had gone to his home about 90 minutes earlier after getting a call, police said. They found Coots suffering from a snakebite wound to his right hand, Sharpe said in a statement.

“After examination and discussion of possible dangers if the wound was not treated, treatment and transport to the hospital was refused,” the statement said.

The emergency responders left after failing to persuade Coots to get help but returned less than an hour later, the statement said.

They “discovered Mr Coots had passed away, apparently due to a venomous snakebite”, it said.

Coots appeared in a National Geographic television show titled Snake Salvation about Pentecostal preachers who defy the law to use serpents as part of their religious services.

Snake-handling, which is illegal in most places, is practised as a test of faith and guided by the theory that true believers will not be harmed.

It is particularly popular in parts of Appalachia. Middlesboro lies near the junction of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and is about 60 miles (100 km) north of Knoxville, Tennessee…

Easy resolution to the question: ignorance or stupidity?

  1. dusanmal says:

    Darwin award is for people who without understanding a danger do dangerous things. Sorry Materialistic Left – having understanding of danger and taking it conscious of the deadly consequences because of your beliefs is defined as bravery (soldier in war does not qualify for Darwin award, mountain climber who knows that he may not come back,…). Particularly if your beliefs are from the spiritual side – NO reward expected in this life. But that is very hard to be accepted by Materialists who do things only for a tangible benefit outweighing their investment into it. There are no Materialists in foxholes, lacking the capability to be brave.
    Back to the person in question – handling deadly snakes for him was giving his life directly in the hands of his God and trusting whatever outcome as a Godly one, ultimate expression of his faith.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and part time laid psychiatrist says:

      Duce–thats a new term you only recently started using. What happened? Candles fall over and burn down the hut?

      I was gonna ask Alfie, but considered it and looked it up myself.

      ma·te·ri·al·ism (mə-tîr′ē-ə-lĭz′əm)
      1. Philosophy The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. /// Wha??? What about E as in Energy? I mostly agree in that what can’t be explained in terms of matter and energy is not “yet” understood. Still, this definition is for idiots only.

      2. The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life. /// Gee, its only getting worse? Duty, Honor, Country? Love and Sacrifice. Its a “good” but not the greatest good.

      3. A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns. /// Emphasis on “wordly.” Even if the word was more materialistically oriented, the mysteries in life still have a lot of power. I suspect they always will. Mysteries, or awe, or wonder. Like Einstein… you know? In freaking AWE of the Universe.

      Seems to me if you handle snakes with the “faith” that God will protect you that you are actually sinning against god in that you are “testing” him. In the bibble, God protected those who got snake bit by accident, not those idiots following Duce’s notions that they were honoring god in any sort of way.

      Darwin Award: too stupid to deserve having their genes in the pool, although quite a few die after spreading their goo around. Still==how much more stupid can you get than REFUSING medical help AFTER getting snake bit????

      Ha, ha. Just saw a good YouTube on “Why didn’t Jebus teach to boil water, wash your hands, stop shitting in your drinking water, and use mosquito nets?

      I mean…… you know….. how come?

      • Hmeyers says:

        Bobbo, that fella you are replying to is correct.

        The Darwin Award can’t be for people who understand the risks involved.

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

          What do you think that fella “understood” HMyers?

          Two awards here:

          1. Handling the Snake
          2 Refusing the Medical Help.

          One really is more stupid than the other.

          But…yes. I see the distinction you want to make…but why? One a shade more ignorant than the other…the outcome the same.

          It does go to “pragmatism” I think. Pragmatism: regardless of what you think, hope, and dream…its what happens. It often drives the Darwin nominees.

          • Hmeyers says:

            ” regardless of what you think, hope, and dream…its what happens”

            Sounds like how Obama got elected.

          • McCullough says:


          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Hmeyers says:
            2/17/2014 at 8:21 pm

            ” regardless of what you think, hope, and dream…its what happens”

            Sounds like how Obama got elected. /// No. Just the Opposite.

            Silly Hooman.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Oh Well, since McCollough gives you a second, I will dither:

            Appealing to Hope and Change is the sirens call to the faithfull, the religious, the ignorant, the easily lead. Obama did make that call. He did not deliver for all the reasons that exist, not all his fault.

            But still, it was the real world, the gravity, the practicality, the History, the vested interesting …………… the Pragmatism …………… that Obama’s rhetoric had to deal with.

            Don’t be so stupidly knee jerk that you relate any statement with the words hope and/or change in to Obaman.

            It really is dull witted.

    • Tim says:

      “”mountain climber who knows that he may not come back,…). Particularly if your beliefs are from the spiritual side – NO reward expected in this life.

      Thx, dusanmal, for wording it correctly. Still, it is a testament to communal futility (what they teach by cohersive force here every time you have to drive to the grocery store) and mis-interpreted dogma (covenents of faith and the evils of fucking someone up the butt) — Oh, Lord; Bless this, thy hand-grenade, that with it thou may blow thy enemies to tiny bits, In Thy Mercy…

      • Tim says:

        “Trust” hand grenade scene — but not the ending (yet);

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        I think Duce’s stupid misapplication of faith as it related to the Darwin Award is actually quite instructive.

        Religion starts off ignorant of SCIENCE (aka, the Material Universe, including but not limited to Darwin) and once informed carries on to stupidity in the maintenance of Dogma that has been proven false.

        Faith (aka BS Dogmatically Drive “Bravery”) at handling snakes is one thing, refusing the medical aid is quite the other. I’m thinking of Jim Jones. I’ll give my flock koolaide and let God save the worth? Ha, ha…..NOT what happened, but has the same Darwin Award mentality.

        Oh, that so many more of the religious would test their God in this way. Duce? Not that Brave? Reversing the order, I think not. You are that stupid, just not that ignorant.

        ……or something like that.

        Timmy–nothing to do with the Holy Handgrenade. That tangent is about the stupidity of Holy Relics…a bit less about the hypocrisy of loving your enemy?

        ……….but I dither.

        • Tim says:

          “”I’m thinking of Jim Jones.

          Now that you mention it, in light of the Waco massacre, I believe that the Jonestown group was murdered as retaliation for leaving a congressman who went down there to *inform* them of their error of mass exodus from the U.S. and to implore them to return {and be persecuted} dead on the tarmac.

          “”The first reports out of Guyana on November 18, 1978 were that Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four other members of his party were shot and killed as they attempted to board a plane at Port Kaituma airstrip.

          “”According to one of these theories, “Jonestown” was a continuation of a CIA mind-control program that infiltrated cults, such as The People’s Temple, to carry out their experiments. CIA theorists claim that Jim Jones had many questionable associations with the CIA throughout the years he was establishing The People’s Temple. The most significant association is Jones’s supposed friendship with Dan Mitrione that dated back to their childhood years. Dan Mitrione was the local police chief in the early days of Jones’s “ministry” in Indianapolis. Mitrione later entered the International Police Academy, supposedly a CIA front for training in counterinsurgency and torture techniques.

          {as with Waco, take with large grains of salt peter}

          • Tim says:

            I wish to revise and extend my remark — I believe elements of the shadow u.s. gobment also killed the congressman and staff.

          • Tim says:

            I should read through the material before posting — But, this is getting better and better;

            “”Leo Ryan had been a strong critic of the CIA and was the author of the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, which, if passed, would have required that the CIA report to Congress on all of its covert operations before they commenced. Soon after Ryan’s death, the Hughes-Ryan Amendment was quashed in Congress. The question conspiracy theorists ask is whether Ryan was killed in order to reach this objective and the massacre at “Jonestown” merely a smoke screen to distract attention away from Ryan’s murder?


    • Hyph3n says:

      Except that he had his own reality show… so yeah, he may have had faith, but he was also making a bit of coin on the side with his faith.

  2. mountain man says:

    Yup, this religious practice is making the world a better place….yup…

  3. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    That poor snake.

    • So What? says:

      They transported the snake to a vet. After some serious life saving measures the snake should survive. On the other hand there is this quote from Mr. Coots.

      “I don’t actually want to die of a serpent bite, but I’d rather die and leave these walks of life with a serpent bite knowing there are people standing around me praying than to be in a car wreck and people standing around me cussing”

      “You can’t always get what you want
      But if you try sometimes well you might find
      You get what you need” MJ&KR.

  4. Farley Wawa says:

    Didn’t realize Euro East considered snake handling as glorious as fascism.

    • Yaya Tourette says:

      I even hear tell they’re gonna play the “Ride of the Valkyries” before the start of the Fireball 500.

  5. Mark Raintree says:

    Yup, live by the snake, die by the snake.

  6. Dummy Up says:

    I disagree! There is a huge difference between ignorance and stupidity.

    Ignorance is simply the absence of any knowledge whatsoever. However, ignorance can be confused for stupidity when ignorance is combined with tradition.

    Of course, stupidity is the steadfast refusal to accept or realize any knowledge — period! All too often, stupidity is what happens when ignorant habits/traditions contradict with new or obvious facts and what has ignorantly been assumed to be some kind of truth — which is almost always due to some sort of leap of faith.

    It is additionally moronically stupid to refuse facts or knowledge once they are proven too.

    That said, I say that backwoods Pentecostal pinhead is not just stupid, but MORONICALLY stupid! …AND ignorant!

  7. Dummy Up says:

    … And didn’t any of those holly books (that no one ever reads) say something about all snakes being evil?! Because if you believe in stories like Adam and Eve, snakes actually encourage people to go against god by pursuing knowledge (and biting the apple). Things that a “good” religious person might think is a bad thing to do.

    Of course, things that never change or learn never grow either. Which, if you ask me, is another way to describe DEATH! Because even dumb ass animals learn to stay away from things that can kill them!

    Not people though. And certainly not religious (or one-sided political) people.

  8. Cap'n Kangaroo says:

    Also from the article:

    “About a year ago, Coots was charged in Tennessee with illegally possessing poisonous snakes.

    As part of a plea deal, he surrendered the snakes and his sentence of just under a year in jail was suspended, according to local media. “

  9. sargasso_c says:

    I hear that a snake might be poisonous if it’s not cooked thoroughly. Best food safety practices should be observed. When they’re alive they are, venomous.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Sargasseous–you don’t expressly SAY it, only imply, that the use of poisonous snakes is incorrect? Maybe not, but you make the same ambiguous construction with the word “cooked.” I think more properly you mean PREPARED.

      As cooking is to prepared, venomous is to poisonous. One is the subset of the other.

      Fun huh?

  10. Another illustrious member of Tea Party Nation bites the dust.

    Man, those red state peeps are STUPID.

    • Hmeyers says:

      Isn’t that the judgmentalism that people of your political flavor say those people in that other political flavor are guilty of.

      So what is different about you?

      Your political flavor slings mud at them. The other political flavor slings mud at you.

      But each side claims they are “better” than the other mudslingers.

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        Turning a religious stupidity issue into a political discussion huh?

        Tsch, tsch!

        Transmogrification tryingly tedious. …. and perhaps only slightly?

        • Hmeyers says:

          Bobbo, my kind of apes are vastly superior to your kind of apes — which are the really stupid kind.

          Now I just need to identify what are my kind of apes are. Maybe I can figure this out using Google.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Without the Google, are Homo’s a branch of the “Great Apes” (those without tails) or …… no, I think that is right.

            Hmmmm, what about Mandrills?

            Those without tails, or colored butts?

            Ha, ha.

  11. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    You Know….. the older I get, the dumber Bible Thumpers reveal themselves to be.

    Just came across how bad God is at math (the language of Science…so it kinda figures)

    My goodness. I wouldn’t want to handle a venomous snake after reading THAT!!

    • Beaner says:

      Use tinyurl or leave out the www, how many years does it take to train STUPID?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Yep, you go to 3 other websites that don’t require that extra move and one does forget.

        Typos are for cretins.

      • WmDE says:

        STUPID is a blog that does not accept a valid URL as a link.

  12. jpfitz says:

    All these brainwashed folk needs treatment for mental illnesses.

  13. Red state denizen? Stupid.
    Tea Partier? Stupid.
    Bible thumper? Stupid.
    Conservative? Stupid.

    The Rainbow of Stupid stretches from Baggerville to Idiot City.

  14. tg says:

    Reminds me of the old joke of the guy who drowns in a flood after refusing help 3 times because he knows God will save him. After drowning his soul goes to heaven and he asks God why he let him drown. God replies “You idiot I tried but you wouldn’t listen. I sent a policeman first, then a guy in a boat, and finally a freaking helicopter”

  15. BigBoyBC says:

    Some say that the Lord works in mysterious ways, in this case the Lord took a more direct approach and it looks like with a sense of humor/irony as well…

  16. Peyton Python says:

    Spoken with Forked tongue..

  17. deowll says:

    Though shalt not put the Lord they God to the test. He did mor’en once. R.I.P.

  18. Greg Allen says:

    I click on this article expecting the standard religious bashing by the anti-religion bigots but found a rather interesting discussion.

    Even though I’m a devout Christian, myeslf, I think this guy was nutty.

    But, I’ve done dangerous stuff to give my life “meaning” — like mountaineering or big wave body surfing. Is it really that different?

    Take Steve Irwin, for instance. Was he really any diferent this this “Kentucky Khrisitan”?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        His wife and daughter are in new shoes trading off his name…..(as they should)….. but in point of fact: its never too soon.

        I’ve wondered just how skilled he was “in the ocean” as opposed to handling his crocks. Still freaks me out a bit the new thing of swimming in the water with them. Those beasts are too stupid to trust……so I don’t. (Pedro reference…..)

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      He refused medical treatment. Yes==very different from an activity with a known risk with no “cure” other than not engage.

  19. Greg Allen says:

    Not that it really matters — but this practice is based on a bible verse that mainstream scholars dismiss as a mistake of the King James Bible.

  20. yawn says:

    “Kentucky Khrist–” oh, it’s an Eitard post. TL;DR

  21. Benjamin says:

    I believe God can protect me from snake bites. He did so by giving me the common sense to NOT pick up a venomous snake.

  22. There are dangerous snakes in nearly every church, but in sects like this one, a slightly higher percentage of the snakes are readily identified by a casual observer.


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