Snake handling poisin drinkers: God-ordained?


#1

what do you make of the snake handling poison drinker christians? have you seen these people? they literally dance around with poisonous snakes and drink poison, yet they are not harmed! i don’t know what to make of it. i saw a documentary on them, and the smithsonian institute confirmed that they drink enough poison to kill 20 people-- yet nothing happens to these people when they drink it!! are they truly protected by the holy spirit because of their faith? i just dont know what to think. please post your thoughts.


#2

Hmm. The Smithsonian Institute now includes toxicology in its portfolio of expertise. Interesting.

A person may develop an immunity to many toxins by taking gradually larger doses. It’s amazing what the human body can adapt to.

I am originally from the Southern United States, where this type of thing is somewhat common (usually in more rural areas). I have attended one snake-handling service.

It’s common knowledge (in the case of snakes) that the snakes are milked beforehand and drugged (usually with ether) and may be chilled as well (reptiles become sluggish when they’re cold). And these snakes are accustomed to human handling. Nevertheless, it’s not terribly uncommon for someone to be bitten (though the risk is small because the snake has been milked, and vipers don’t replenish their venom as quickly as some other snake species).

At the service I attended, there were two rattlesnakes (vipers). They seemed to be drugged (they hardly moved) and they were only handled by certain people (who seemed adept at it). Nobody was bitten. The episode did not last long (presumably because the effect of ether or cold wears off rather quickly).

The whole thing is based on the last few verses of the Gospel of Mark. Most scholars now believe these verses were not actually part of the original Gospel. In most modern Bibles, these verses will separated, bracketed, or at least noted as being highly suspicious. These verses are widely believed to be the work of another writer many years later.


#3

I was watching TV one night, and this magician made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Or maybe it was the Empire State building. Anyway, my point is, I personally think it’s a scam. My great aunt on my dad’s side died from a snake bite at a holy roller church service. Guess she answered the question wrong or something.


#4

[quote=UKcatholicGuy]i saw a documentary on them, and the smithsonian institute confirmed that they drink enough poison to kill 20 people-- yet nothing happens to these people when they drink it!!
[/quote]

I may be wrong but doesn’t the poison have to enter the blood stream and not the stomach to kill a person :confused:


#5

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[quote=Pious]I may be wrong but doesn’t the poison have to enter the blood stream and not the stomach to kill a person :confused:
[/quote]

Actually, “poison” is a toxin that kills by ingestion (swallowing). A toxin which is designed to kill by direct introduction to the bloodstream (such as snake toxin), it is properly called a “venom.” You can usually drink venoms without dying (though you might get very sick), although some toxins are lethal in either method of delivery.

Most of the “poison drinking” at church services involves very diluted toxins. It is, technically, drinking poison, but at a dosage far, far below that which would be harmful.

Unfortunately, some parishes get over-confident and begin to discard these safety precautions. People do die as a result. This is a particularly unfortunate way to die, since the faith of the deceased is called into question, which causes the surviving family untold grief worrying about the salvation/damnation of their loved one.[/font]


#6

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