February 20, 2014 |
Arriving less than a week after the high-profile death of Pentecostal pastor and reality-show star Jamie Coots by snakebite, the religious thriller "Holy Ghost People" is well poised to exploit fears of an already misunderstood spiritual minority. "Holy Ghost People" takes its name from a 1967 documentary by Peter Adair that captures the soul of a politically progressive West Virginia congregation that handles snakes and speaks in tongues. Director Mitchell Altieri's disappointing feature makes nasty beasts of the very people Adair strived to humanize, portraying them as violent, intolerant hicks straight out of central casting.
February 17, 2014 |
There's a fair amount of snark online Monday about Jamie Coots , the Pentecostal pastor and reality-TV star who was fatally bitten by a snake he was handling in over-literal adherence to Luke 10:19. ("Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”) An atheist website offered this tasteless observation: “Pentecostal preachers are among the most poisonous creatures on Earth, but every once in while they bump into things even more venomous.” But even fellow Christians are finding fault with Coot for misinterpreting Scripture or presuming to test God. A friend of mine suggested that the biblical injunction that inspired Coot to handle a serpent should be properly read to mean that if a believer happens to come across a snake, God will step in, but that doesn't mean you should seek out the critters.
February 17, 2014 |
Jamie Coots, the Appalachian minister and "Snake Salvation" reality star who died Saturday after a rattlesnake he was handling in church bit him on the hand, will be remembered with a tribute special to air on National Geographic Channel. Coots, who was 42, was the star of NatGeo's "Snake Salvation," which aired for a single season on the cable channel last year. He handled snakes while ministering at his church in Middleboro, Ky. He was a practitioner of a 100-year-old tradition that involved the handling of live and deadly snakes in church.
February 16, 2014 |
Snake-handling preacher Jamie Coots has died of snakebite. In some readings of the Bible, faith is stronger than venom. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you," Jesus tells his disciples in the gospel of Luke. The Kentucky preacher lived by this belief and, in the view of emergency responders, he died by it too, when a snake bit him at church. [Updated, 9:06 a.m. PST Feb. 17: "If he had lived and woke up in a hospital bed, he would have blamed every one of us," his son Cody Coots told Knoxville's WVLT-TV.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 |
Reptile specialists are continuing their uphill efforts to nurse more than 170 malnourished and ill snakes back to health after they were pulled from a house in Santa Ana where a grade school teacher lived amid a clutter of mice, rats and pythons - many of them dead. Since being rescued from the home, 11 of the snakes have died, bringing the total to 235. Jason Haywood, president of the Southern California Herpetology Assn. and Rescue, said most of the snakes died of liver failure on the first night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 |
Neighbors of elementary school teacher William Buchman in Santa Ana said they thought someone had died in his home because the stench was so strong. Instead it was 404 snakes -- more than half of them dead -- that were packed inside the five-bedroom house. There were also scores of rats that scampered over furniture when officers first entered the home. "We thought someone was dead," said Forest Long Sr., 62, who lives next door to Buchman on Fernwood Drive.