Snake Salvation is a reality show on the National Geographic Channel (who is obviously coming hard for TLC’s fuckery crown) that follows two Pentecostal pastors, Jamie Coots of Kentucky and Andrew Hamblin of Tennessee, who believe that deadly, poisonous snakes cannot kill them and that a bite from a snake is God’s will. They believe that God has commanded them “take up serpents” and a snakebite will not kill them as long as they are anointed by God’s power. I’ve seen half of an episode of Snake Salvation and it’s the second most disturbing reality show about crazies and vipers (the first being Keeping Up with the Kardashians, of course). Well, one of the on-the-job hazards of being a snake-handling pastor is that one of the snakes will bite you dead and that’s exactly what happened to Jamie Coots on Saturday.
The New York Daily News says while preaching to his congregation at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church of Middlesboro, KY on Saturday, the rattlesnake he was handling rose up against him and bit his hand. Jamie Coots once said that he would quit the church if he ever went to the hospital for a snake bite, so when someone at the church called 911, he busted out of there and went home. When the EMTs followed him home, he rebuked their help and sent them away. The EMTs left after Jamie Coots repeatedly told them he didn’t want to be treated. When they came back an hour later to check on him, he was dead. That X-Files episode was real.
Like TMZ said, handling snakes during a religious service is illegal in Kentucky, but Jamie Coots obviously didn’t give three shits about that. He was arrested in 2008 for keeping 74 snakes in his house and he was given a year probation in 2013 when got caught crossing the street in Tennessee with poisonous snakes. The National Geographic Channel released this statement about Jamie Coots’ death:
“Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Well, now Jamie Coots is in up in the Kingdom of God playing with all the serpents he wants while Darwin winks at him from the corner. And well, I guess Jamie Coots died doing what he loves most.
And if that story wasn’t disturbing enough for you, here’s Jamie Coots showing off the finger that rotted and broke off after a snake bit it.
Go and spend more time with Roo and Penny if you need a palate cleanser after seeing that rotted off finger in a jar….