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:
Veteran Republican operative shames the GOP — and warns they won’t get rid of Trumpism ‘for at least a generation’
Stuart Stevens is a veteran Republican campaign operative from five presidential races. When he spoke to PBS's Judy Woodruff Wednesday, he lamented the GOP failed the moral test it was presented with Donald Trump.
"Well, I think there's been two strains in the party. Call it an Eisenhower strain going back to the '50s and a McCarthy strain," Stevens said, recalling when the GOP would talk about expanding their party and bringing in more African-American voters. "Now we don't even hear any talk anymore of a big tent. And we seem to have settled into a very comfortable white grievance identity."
Seth Meyers mocks Trump’s Axios interview where he ‘couldn’t even remember his own BS — that’s how fried his brain is’
In his response to President Donald Trump's bizarre interview with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, "Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers explained the Trump interview in a single photo:
"You know something has gone horribly wrong when a journalist interviewing the president looks like that," said Meyers. "That's the face you make when your dad gets drunk and decides to tell you about the night you were conceived."
Former Trump ambassador tells Rachel Maddow ‘it’s a big red flag’ that Trump is trying to hide investigation of Turnberry scam
Former acting ambassador to the U.K., Lewis Lukens, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that the inspector general raised questions to him and embassy staff in the U.K. about President Donald Trump's demand for the ambassador to lobby for the British Open to be hosted at Trump's golf course in Scotland.
According to Lukens, he told those questioning how to go about getting the British Open at Trump Turnberry, and Lukens said he was clear that it was "unethical" and "possibly illegal." Still, Trump's cronies persisted.
He explained that when the inspector general did the investigation they went back to Washington to write up the report and that it should have been released by now, but it obviously has not. Today, the acting IG, who took over just three months ago, abruptly resigned.