Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the venom of belief

I can imagine others assuming a somewhat contemptuous view of religious Christians who handle venomous snakes. On the face of it, handling venomous snakes is stupid. Snakes are snakes, people are people. The harmony between the two is best expressed by respect, not by religious credulity.

Randy "Mack" Wolford and rattlesnake
But Christian snake handlers believe "that the Bible mandates that Christians handle serpents to test their faith in God -- and that, if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them." Mack Wolford, a snake-handling Pentecostal pastor of 44, was bitten by a rattlesnake Sunday and subsequently died.

The contemptuous may snicker, "See -- I toldja so!"

But I wonder how many will look in the bathroom mirror and consider what snakes of credulous goodness they themselves are willing to toy with ... and perhaps suffer egregious results.

Snakes are snakes. People are people. And the venom of belief is no joke, no matter how virtuous the belief.

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