A 60-year-old worshipper at a Kentucky Christian church died on Sunday after being bitten by a rattlesnake that he was handling as part of a religious rite.
According to WKYT, the Bell County Sheriff’s Office reported that John David Brock was bitten during Sunday morning services at the Mossy Simpson Pentecostal Church. Brock refused medical treatment and died four hours later at his brother’s home in the town of Jenson.
County Coroner Jay Steele said that the death is under investigation and that Brock had other health issues that may have complicated his body’s reaction to the bite.
Brock worked as a miner for 36 years and was an adherent to the Holiness faith. Some Holiness congregations handle snakes as part of their worship, citing a passage from the Christian Bible’s Book of Mark.
True followers of Christ, says Mark 16:18, “will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Holiness followers believe that God will stop the snakes from biting them, and if they do bite, then God will save them from the poisonous effects of the venom.
Holiness Pastor Jamie Coots died in 2014 after being bitten during a service and refusing medical attention. His son Cody Coots continues the deadly practice at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro.
Snake handling has been illegal in Kentucky since 1942, but officials mostly look the other way when congregants engage in the practice today.
Holiness churches are mainly confined to the rural south in states like Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. An estimated 300 churches in the U.S. practice snake-handling as a rite of worship.
Watch video about this story, embedded below:
‘This a nightmare for Republicans — but Trump’s too dumb to figure it out’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe
A fight over President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the last thing endangered Republican candidates need in the waning day of the election campaign, according to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
The nomination fight will energize the base for each party, but the "Morning Joe" host said conservative principles just aren't as politically popular as Republicans think.
"I've got news for the Trump campaign," Scarborough said. "Those people stayed with you through Charlottesville, those people stayed through your racist comments about S-hole countries run by Black people, those people stayed with you even when you were caging children on the border. Those people stayed with you through your worst offenses, your most inhumane comments. You telling people that they had great genes, you getting crowds to laugh because a man got shot and knocked to the ground. Those people are with you."
‘Get the hell out!’: Donald Trump supporters freak out when protesters show up to Lindsey Graham event
A small group of protesters came to one of Lindsey Graham's latest campaign events, and they were quickly attacked by supporters of President Donald Trump chanting "four more years."
Graham's event seemed to have more support for Trump than for Graham at his own weekend event. It's unknown why the Trump supporters were not chanting for Graham.
"Get the hell out!" one Trump supporter can be heard shouting. He and another older man were seen wagging their fingers.
At least one Graham protester could be seen holding up a sign with a photo of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The South Carolina senator is fighting for his political career and many other Republicans are struggling to hold onto their seats. Graham is now being confronted with past comments he made saying that no president, regardless of the party, should make a Supreme Court pick right before his or her election.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe warns Lindsey Graham and other GOP candidates are ‘walking into a trap’
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough ripped Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for lying about blocking President Barack Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Graham opposed Merrick Garland's nomination in 2016 because the election was just months away, but the "Morning Joe" host called out that reasoning as a lie after the South Carolina Republican signaled support for President Donald Trump nominating a justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg weeks away from the election.
"Lindsey is not deconstructing language there," Scarborough said. "Lindsey's not engaging in moral equivocation. Lindsey is just lying, and he's lying openly."