A snake-handling Pentecostal pastor named Jamie Coots, probably the most famous one in the country because he was on a reality TV show about that subject, was killed by a snake that bit him over the weekend. He probably could have been saved, but he also refused treatment for it.
The Middlesboro, Kentucky preacher who starred in a reality show about snake-handling died Saturday night after being bitten by a snake.
The Middlesboro Police Department said that at around 8 p.m., they responded to a possible snake bite at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus [sic] Name church, but that its pastor, the star of the National Geographic Channel’s Snake Salvation, Jamie Coots, had already left the scene by the time they arrived.
EMS responders then went to Coots’s home, where he was found suffering from what they believed was a snake bite. They attempted to administer treatment, but Coots refused on account of his belief that God would not allow him to die from a snake bite.
I really wonder how his congregation will rationalize this away. The usual excuse is “well he just didn’t have enough faith.” But if you have enough faith to handle snakes in the first place and enough to refuse medical treatment because you’re so completely certain that God will save you, how much more is needed? And how is faith measured? Milligrams?