This is pretty silly.

Watching a show on snake handlers. Who also drink strychnine. Because snake handling isn’t edgy enough.

These are the types who fall down and twitch a lot and bounce in place for God. I don’t know what God gets out of the bouncing, but evidentally they do. (Having witnessed this first hand in my youth, I still don’t know. There’s something vaguely alarming about having the person next to you simply fall over and twitch. I think she may have been vaguely upset that instead of being impressed, I immediately tried to haul her upright saying “Holy crap, do you need a doctor?!” but I stand by the action–falling over and twitching is rarely a good sign and if you just leave ’em on the floor to spasm, you’re facing criminal neglect charges if they swallow their tongue.) I’m not sure why God wants people chugging strychnine or handling irate rattlesnakes, either, but again, we’ll take their word for it that God’s into that sorta thing. (If I didn’t think it would mortally offend a number of perfectly nice Christians out there who don’t deserve mortal offense because of some weirdos from the deep south, I would get bracelets made up that say WWJC–“Why Would Jesus Care?” because I just can’t imagine that a guy who mostly seemed concerned with treating each other nicely would really care about having people drink strychnine to prove that they’re living right.)

The thing that strikes me watching these people is that this congregation needs dental work and some serious medical care. Well, and to stop marrying first cousins, but the damage appears to be done there. Some of the people trying to explain are so slurred that they have to subtitle the guys, despite the fact that they’re speaking English. This does not sell me on snake handling. If you’re telling me that you’ve been bitten a hundred and eighteen times, I am not impressed at how much God loves you, I am watching the fact that your eyes are roving independantly of each other, that you now have fewer teeth than the snakes you’re pawing, and that I can make out maybe one word in ten of what you’re saying. The Hopi do a fairly famous Snake Dance, but so far as I know, they try to avoid getting bitten in the process. I don’t think getting bitten is the main draw. If there’s a Strychnine Chugging Dance, they haven’t mentioned it to the tourists yet.

I realize that the quiet, heartfelt, decorous worship thing just doesn’t work for some people, and that it’s evidentally a lot more fun to twitch and fall down and get bitten by snakes and drink strychinine and…all…that…

Okay, that last sentence even sounded idiotic to me, so I’m gonna just go with “That’s pretty dang weird.”

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