Jump directly to the content

Snakes Today, Bibles Tomorrow?

Reality TV show lands serpent-handling millennial pastor in court.

The choice to become a reality TV star took an unfortunate turn for Andrew Hamblin after Tennessee wildlife officials confiscated more than 50 venomous snakes from the young pastor's Pentecostal church.

On Friday, the 22-year-old star of Snake Salvation and pastor of Tabernacle Church of God in Lafollete pled not guilty to a wildife possession charge—and then continued to handle snakes at his church.

The New York Times captures how Hamblin and his supporters hope to become a "new front in the battle for religious liberty." One protest sign reads, "Snakes today, Bibles tomorrow?"

Experts told WBIR that his legal argument is thin, but other experts told Religion News Service that recent legal decisions may favor his stance. Snake Salvation costar Jamie Coots explained to The Wall Street Street why the Constitution should protect his religious rights.

"I'm not a crazy man," Hamblin told WDBJ. "I don't preach to people and say this rattlesnake is going to take you to heaven because we're not begotten by them snakes. We're begotten by the word of God."

CT previously reported on the history of snake handling.

Posted:November 18, 2013 at 5:19PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Here's Where America's 338,000 Christian Refugees Come From
Evangelical, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, and other resettled believers hail from quite different countries.
What Is an Evangelical? Four Questions Offer New Definition
NAE and LifeWay Research say belief should trump politics on surveys.
Evangelicals Lag Behind Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses on Church Involvement
Pew ranks 22 denominations by attendance and membership.
How Indonesia’s 'Religious Harmony' Law Has Closed 1,000 Churches
Even churches with proper documentation are being denied building permits. Why?
Christianity Today
Snakes Today, Bibles Tomorrow?