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Monday, February 17, 2014

Slytherin Salvation Redux: Jamie Coots, R.I.P.

Back in September I wrote about, Snake Salvation, the National Geographic Channel reality show that features two Pentecostal preachers, Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, who practice the 100-year old tradition of handling deadly snakes in church ("Slytherin Salvation"). Snake handlers believe that a poisonous snakebite will not harm them as long as they're anointed by God’s power. They also believe that if they don’t practice snake handling, they're destined for hell.

Unfortunately, Jamie Coots died this past Saturday from a poisonous snake bite ("Jamie Coots, well-known Middlesboro preacher, dies from snakebite"). Apparently, he refused medical attention after being bitten in his church in Middlesboro, Kentucky, and he died later in his home. Here's what National Geographic posted regarding Coots's death:
National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
I just hope that those whom Coots left behind don't think that he died because he was lacking in faith. His faith may have been misguided, but it certainly appears to have been genuine.

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