MIDDLESBORO, KY-Residents of Kentucky and members of the Christian Right were left stunned yesterday when news leaked out that Pentecostal preacher and unhinged human being Jamie Coots died of snakebite late Saturday night. Coots was bitten during a worship service with his congregation (and numerous deadly reptiles) earlier that day.
Coots was the pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church in Middlesboro. Coots and his family have been featured on several television shows, including National Geographic’s “Snake Salvation.” His son Cody Coots told reporters that after the bite Pastor Coots went to the restroom for a while and then went home to lie on the sofa and pray. “Coots the Younger” told reporters that Daddy-O had been bitten eight times before but had always come out “just peachy-keen” and raring for more. “That’s what happened every other time, except this time it was just so quick and it was crazy, it was really crazy,” Coots said.
Yes Cody, really, really, crazy. In fact, bordering on fucking insane.
Snake handling, an almost exclusively red state phenomenon, stems from Bible verses which seem to encourage the ridiculous and unwise activity as a show of one’s faith in God. In fact Mark 16:18 gives blanket immunity to the faithful: “They shall take up serpents (any one of the several venomous snakes inhabiting the former Confederacy); and if they drink any deadly thing (Budweiser), it shall not hurt them (financially); they shall lay hands on the sick (crazy as hell), and they shall recover (move out-of-state).
We contacted Pat Robertson, expert on all things religious, to clarify just what was going on here. “Well we know several things for sure. The Bible is the unassailable and literal word of God, and it clearly states that the “anointed” will not be harmed by snakes. So my hypothesis is that God and Coots must have had some kind of falling out. He obviously was “anointed” at some time because he survived all those earlier bites, but it seems he must have lost his accreditation somewhere along the line, but this is above my pay grade. You better contact the Pope or someone higher up in the administration.”
Taking Pat’s advice to dig deeper, we contacted the Archangel Gabriel (Christopher Walken) for further clarification (the Pope was busy feeding the destitute). Gabriel said that Coots had indeed lost his immunity because he had not paid his premium in over 90 days and at the time of the bite was not covered for herpetological mishaps. He stated, “I don’t know where these morons get all these crazy ideas anyway. I mean, who in the hell thinks The Boss would want you dance around a dilapidated trailer home with a bunch of rattlesnakes. It’s absolutely nutty. As for the “literal truth” of every word in the Bible, well all I can say is, there’s a sucker born every minute.”