Snake Handling

This is a short video piece shot during services at a Snake handling church in West Virginia. The music is a rocking hybrid of blues infused gospel.

Wikipedia’s article on snake handling:

As in the early days, worshippers are still encouraged to lay hands on the sick (cf. Faith healing), speak in tongues (cf. Glossolalia), and provide testimony of miracles. Gathering mainly in homes and converted buildings, they generally adhere to strict dress codes such as uncut hair, no cosmetics and ankle-length dresses for women, and short hair and long-sleeved shirts for men. Most snakehandlers preach against any use of all types of tobacco and alcohol. They also abstain from holidays such as birthdays, Halloween and Christmas, dismissing them and other holidays as worldly, pagan and nonscriptural.

Most religious snake handlers are still found in the Appalachian Mountains and other parts of the southeastern United States, especially in such states as Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Ohio. However, they are gaining steady recognition from news broadcasts, movies and books about the non-denominational movement.

In 2001, there were about 40 small churches that practiced snake handling, most considered to be holiness-Pentecostals or charismatics. In 2004, the practice moved across the border and there were four snake handling congregations in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Most, if not all, use the King James Version of the Bible and consider other versions to be demonic or false. Like their predecessors, they believe in a strict and literal interpretation of the Bible. Most Church of God with Signs Following churches are non-denominational, believing that denominations are ‘man made’ and carry the Mark of the Beast. Worshippers often attend services several nights a week. Services, if the Holy Spirit “intervenes”, can last up to five hours, and the minimum time is usually ninety minutes.

Related:
Serpent Handlers

Baby “Playing” with a Cobra

Marlea forwarded this to me but there’s no description as to what on earth is going on. Anybody know?

Update:
Thanks to, me, for googling “right of passage & cobra“:

A one-year-old is forced to fight a neutered cobra during a shocking snake-charming rite of passage in India.

The baby tries to protect itslef while being repeatedly hit by the animal, which has also had its mouth stitched up and its fangs removed.

This bizarre spectator sport – reportedly from Kasimkota in Andhra Pradesh – has been condemned by animal rights protesters after footage appeared on the internet.

They’ve warned that a cobra’s fangs grow back quickly, putting the youngsters in mortal danger.

Teachers Stage Fake Gun Attack on Kids

From USA Today:

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Staff members of an elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.

The mock attack Thursday night was intended as a learning experience and lasted five minutes during the week-long trip to a state park, said Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip.

“We got together and discussed what we would have done in a real situation,” he said.

But parents of the sixth-grade students were outraged.

“The children were in that room in the dark, begging for their lives, because they thought there was someone with a gun after them,” said Brandy Cole, whose son went on the trip.

Some parents said they were upset by the staff’s poor judgment in light of the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech that left 33 students and professors dead, including the gunman.

During the last night of the trip, staff members convinced the 69 students that there was a gunman on the loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, even pulled on locked door.