A further Darwin Awards nominee?

February 20th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

USA Today reports:

A Kentucky pastor who co-starred in the TV showSnake Salvation has died of a snakebite.

Emergency personnel received a call Saturday night that someone at a church, Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, had suffered a snakebite, Middlesboro Police Chief Jeff Sharpe said in a statement. He said an ambulance crew went to the church, but the Rev. Jamie Coots had left. The crew went to Coots’ home and found him suffering from a bite to the hand.

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

An hour later, police, emergency officials and a deputy coroner returned to the home to find that Coots had died, Sharpe said.

Coots, who was profiled on The National Geographic show featuring pentecostal, serpent-handling preachers, pleaded guilty last year to violating Tennessee’s exotic animals law and agreed to surrender his snakes.

Coots and the show’s co-star, the Rev. Andrew Hamblin, believe in a passage from the Gospel of Mark that suggests a poisonous snakebite won’t harm them if they are anointed by God’s power:

Snakes 1 God’s power 0

He had children so technically doesn’t qualify for a Darwin Award.

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21 Responses to “A further Darwin Awards nominee?”

  1. Zebulon (115 comments) says:

    I guess he wasn’t anointed. How would some of our mega Pastors fare?

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Pastor Coots and Steve Irwin can compare notes on their animal handling skills.

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  3. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Praise the Louarduh!

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  4. Ashley Schaeffer (488 comments) says:

    Crazy old Coots.

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  5. mandk (998 comments) says:

    The bit in Mark’s gospel about picking up snakes only applies to true believers.
    Perhaps he wasn’t a true believer.
    Evidently he hadn’t read Romans 13:1-7. If he had, he would not have defied the authorities by keeping snakes.

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  6. stephieboy (3,163 comments) says:

    “ Deuteronomy 6:16

    You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.

    The mega Pastor disobeyed.!
    There is only one law in nature – consequences.

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  7. Ashley Schaeffer (488 comments) says:

    Maybe someone handed him the wrong snake. Would make a good episode of Castle.

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  8. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Perhaps when Bishop Tamaki is next in the US to play the tables in Vegas he can try a bit of “handling serpents”…

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  9. Peter (1,713 comments) says:

    “The snake gunna kick yo lilly white ass” – Deuteronomy 12: 33

    He must have missed that bit….

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  10. berend (1,711 comments) says:

    As I’ve read somewhere, if this pastor really believed that snakes wouldn’t hurt him, why didn’t he handle black mambas instead of comparatively toy snakes?

    The Bible has a lot to say about snake enchanters, and never as an example to be imitated.

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  11. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    Obviously the snake had more faith than the pastor.

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  12. Tauhei Notts (1,724 comments) says:

    I think the score line should be reported as;
    God’s Power 0 Snakes 1.
    As the bite took place in a church the snake was playing away from home, whereas the church is God’s home.
    Nasska’s opinion on this matter is eagerly awaited.

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  13. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    Well finally it seems that there is proof as to the existence of God.

    It’s been a long time coming and it is only proper that we acknowledge the supreme act of sacrifice on the part of Rev Coots in providing it.

    I would have said a prayer for Rev Coots but in light of this news, it appears there is no point.

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  14. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    If he’s really lucky Coots will be able to apologise the parishioner who got bit and died.

    Coots, 36, is pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, where a Tennessee woman died after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a service in 1995. Her husband died three years later when he was bitten by a snake in northeastern Alabama.

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  15. Steve (North Shore) (4,564 comments) says:

    Quite safe from snakes in NZ, the only danger is from the ones getting little boys to play with one eyed trouser snakes

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  16. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    Tauhei

    I was shocked when I heard that one of God’s Little Helpers had been bitten by a snake…..

    …..I’m just hoping that snake is putting it all behind him & is recovering from the trauma. :)

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  17. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    The practice is based on Mark 16:17-18 which reads “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    The note on this passage from my Orthodox Study Bible states: “To take up serpents refers primarily to spiritual battle against demons (Luke 10:19). Thus, Christ is promising to deliver believers from the powers of sin. Furthermore, this would include certain physical protection as well. St Paul was bitten by a serpent and suffered no harm (Acts 28:3-6), and according to tradition, Barsabas Justus (Acts 1:23) was forced by unbelievers to drink poison and survived. Nevertheless, while God’s grace can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin (Deuteronomy 6:16, Matthew 4:7).”

    So it’s a metaphor. To test God by actually handling snakes shows you don’t have much respect for God’s commands in the first place, and thus He is probably going to let your dumb arrogant arse get bit.

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  18. chiz (1,145 comments) says:

    Snake-handling means different things to different christians – from handling snakes, to walking on them, to metaphorical interpretations. From memory there have been other interpretations as well. All “based” on different passages in the Bible. Christians who think it means this will cite passage X, those who think it means that will cite passage Y and so on.

    Snake-handling is also illegal in some states, including Tennessee.

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  19. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    BlairM

    I take my hat off to you sir. That was the best bit of spin yet contrived to get Yahweh out of the crap that I have ever read.

    Gold medal territory. :)

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  20. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    Nasska – I don’t know why you ever thought God was subject to the whims of some Appalachian hick’s extreme leisure activity. I’m not sure that’s ever been a part of mainstream orthodox Christianity. Generally we believe man obeys God, not the other way around.

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  21. simonway (387 comments) says:

    “I was born a snake-handler and I’ll die a snake-handler.” -Moe Szyslak

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