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.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Posted:November 18, 2013 at 5:19PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
How the Modern Proverbs 31 Woman Uses Facebook
Study finds Christian women use social media differently than other women—and feel differently afterwards.
Christian Radio Is Booming (If You Live 3.5 Miles Away)
Four out of five listeners are tuning in for the same reason.
The First Country to Officially Defend Christians Persecuted by ISIS
Hungary has drawn criticism for favoring Christian over Muslim refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Nicaragua Heeds Evangelicals (Not Catholics) on Missionary Restrictions
Church leaders disagreed on whether new regulations were problematic.
Christianity Today
Snakes Today, Bibles Tomorrow?