Oh, Well I feel Better Now

A published correction about the snake handler that handled snakes one time too many caught my eye. The AP reported that 5% of snake handlers die every year, when the actual number is just 5 per year. Well…that’s a relief. I mean, damn, let’s let a statistical error cloud over the fact that these people who handle snakes are friggin morons. And I quote:

“The third-generation snake handler was bitten during a service on Feb. 15 and died later at his home after refusing medical help. Now his adult son, Cody Coots, is taking over the family church where snakes are frequently part of services.”  I didn’t see that coming…oh wait, yes I did. The son follows in the footsteps of the daddy. Isn’t that just so cute? And to boot, the guy that got bit refused medical attention, instead preferring prayer to heal his snake bite. Bloody freakin brilliant reasoning. Religion indeed poisons the mind, nevermind the snakes.

Next up: “”People think they will stop handling snakes because someone got bit, but it’s just the opposite,” said Ralph Hood, a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, who has been studying snake handlers for decades. “It reaffirms their faith.”  Well of course it does. How, I am not sure, but hey whatever cranks your tractor.

I really like this little quote: “In the 1940s and 1950s, many states made snake-handling illegal (it’s currently illegal in Kentucky), but the practice has continued, and often law enforcement simply looks the other way.”  I’m not even sure how to respond to that one. I suppose it is ok for religious folk to blatantly violate the laws, but a guy like me can get arrested for public ugliness and attempting to crawl.

This is an absolute gem: “Snake handling gained momentum when George Hensley, a Pentecostal minister working in various Southern states in the early 1900s, recounted an experience where, while on a mountain, a serpent slithered beside him. Hensley purported to be able to handle the snake with impunity, and when he came down the mountain he proclaimed the truth of following all five of the signs in Mark. Hensley himself later died from a snake bite.”  Nothing like setting the precedent.

How in the heck do you follow so much stupid? With more stupid of course! “He believes (Andrew Hamblin, who co-starred on “Snake Salvation”) that Coots, 42, would have died Feb. 15 no matter what; If not by a snake, then a stroke or some sort of accident. God’s appointed time of death trumps everything,” Hamblin said.”  

Yep, I am so glad they fixed that stat in the story, that was the one thing that really stood out… but there was no commentary on the insidious stupidity inherent in the mind of the religious that twists and distorts everything approaching rational thought? I guess we are just supposed to read between the lines…