Liturgy with Bite?
A new generation of snake-handling preachers is emerging. Following the deaths of older leaders, their numbers are growing, according to a report from Nashville.
"While older serpent handlers were wary of outsiders, these younger believers welcome visitors and use Facebook to promote their often misunderstood—and illegal (except in West Virginia)—version of Christianity. They want to show the beauty and power of their extreme form of spirituality. And they hope eventually to reverse a (Tennessee) state ban on handling snakes in church."
"Part of the Pentecostal Holiness movement," the article says, "serpent handlers have a strict moral code. No drinking, drugs, cursing, or going to bars. No shorts or short-sleeve shirts, no sex outside of marriage. Women wear skirts or dresses, can't wear earrings or cut their hair."
Or get snake bit.
Why bother with years in seminary and that pesky, nosy ordination council. Now you can get ordained on your iPhone. For 99 cents, choose to be clergy from a variety of religions, including Methodist, Hindu, Hasidic Jew, even Klingon. You'll receive a headshot of yourself in the appropriate clerical garb.
JoPa Productions says the ordination app is "for entertainment purposes only."
Tough job, Pastor?
It is, according to a ranking of 200 jobs. Careercast.com measured factors such as income, stress level, physical demands, and hiring outlook. Clergy landed at 92, tied with elementary school teacher.
Two notches above at 90, funeral directors have it better than pastors. So do software engineers (1), dental hygienists (4), podiatrists (24), brick masons (72), and vending machine repairmen (88).
At least you're not a corrections officer (129), bartender (162), or lumberjack (200). And if you're thinking of chucking it all for a writing career, don't. Editor (118).