Death of snake handling preacher shines light on lethal Appalachian tradition
Mack Wolford and his father were both serpent handlers who died of snake bites.
June 1st, 2012
09:19 PM ET

Death of snake handling preacher shines light on lethal Appalachian tradition

By Julia Duin, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Mack Wolford, one of the most famous Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia, was laid to rest Saturday at a low-key service at his West Virginia church a week after succumbing to a snake bite that made headlines across the nation.

Several dozen family, friends and members of Wolford's House of the Lord Jesus church in tiny Matoaka filled the simple hall for the service, which lasted slightly more than an hour. At the request of pastor's widow, Fran Wolford, media were forbidden inside the building.
Wolford's own dad was a serpent handler who died from a snake bite in 1983.

Mack Wolford, who was 44,  was bitten by his yellow timber rattlesnake at an evangelistic event in a state park about 80 miles west of Bluefield, in West Virginia’s isolated southern tip.

He enjoyed handling snakes during worship services, but it’s a tradition that has killed about 100 practitioners since it started in the east Tennessee hills in 1909.

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In recent years, Wolford feared the tradition was in danger of dying for lack of interest among people in their 20s and 30s. It’s why he drove to small, out-of-the-way churches around Appalachia to encourage those who handle snakes to keep the tradition alive.

“I promised the Lord I’d do everything in my power to keep the faith going,” Wolford said last fall in an interview I conducted with him for the Washington Post Sunday magazine. “I spend a lot of time going a lot of places that handle serpents to keep them motivated. I’m trying to get anybody I can get.”

He hadn’t much hope for churches in West Virginia, where serpent handling is legal. Some surrounding states, including Tennessee and North Carolina, have outlawed it. He had his eyes on a Baptist church near Marion, North Carolina, where, he said, “there’s been crowds coming” and its leaders wanted to introduce serpent handling, the law be damned.

“I’m getting the faith started in other states, where I am seeing a positive turnout,” he said. “Remember, back in the Bible, it was the miracles that drew people to Christ.”

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Wolford wanted to travel to the radical edges of Christianity, where life and death gazed at him every time he walked into a church and picked up a snake. That’s what drew the crowds and the media; that’s what gives a preacher from the middle of nowhere the platform to offer the gospel to people who would never otherwise listen.

“Mack was one of the hopes for a revival of the tradition,” said Ralph Hood, a University of Tennessee professor who’s written two books on snake handlers and is probably the foremost academic expert on their culture. “However, I am sure others will emerge, as well.”

Indeed, others are emerging, including a growing group of 20-somethings clustered around churches in La Follette, Tennessee, and Middlesboro, Kentucky. Their individual Facebook pages show photos of poisonous snakes and “serpent handling” appears on their “activities and interests” lists.

Pentecostal serpent handlers - they use "serpent" over "snake" out of deference to the Bible - are known for collecting dozens of snakes expressly for church services.

At church, they’re also known to ingest a mixture of strychnine - a highly toxic powder often used as a pesticide - and water, often from a Mason jar. These same believers will bring Coke bottles with oil-soaked wicks to the church so they can hold flames to their skin.

Key to understanding this culture are a pair of verses from the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament: “And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mainstream Christians - Pentecostals included - do not believe Mark 16:17-18 means that Christians should seek out poisonous snakes or ingest poisonous substances.

But experts say that several thousand people – exact numbers are hard to come by – in six Appalachian states read the verse differently. Known as “signs following” Pentecostals, they see a world at war with evil powers and believe it’s a Christian’s duty to take on the devil by engaging in the “signs.”

Thus, a typical service in one of their churches will also include prayers for healing and speaking in tongues.

But it’s the seeming ability to handle poisonous snakes without dying from their bites that makes these Pentecostals believe that God gives supernatural abilities to those willing to lay their lives on the line. If they are bitten, they refuse to seek antivenin medication, believing it’s up to God to heal them.

At the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, West Virginia - one of the country’s most famous “signs following” churches - a group of worship leaders passed around a rattlesnake at a service last year on Labor Day weekend. The snake twisted as it was passed from man to man.

The women clapped, and one tried handling the serpent but quickly gave it back to a man. The pastor, Harvey Payne - who has never been bitten by a serpent - posed for the cameras, the reptile twisting and curling.

“My life is on the line,” he exulted. “All Holy Ghost power!”

If a believer is bitten by a snake and dies, these Pentecostals reason, it is simply their time to go.

“It devastated me,” one Tennessee serpent handler confided to me about Wolford’s death last week. “It just shook my very foundation. But (handling snakes) is still the Word of God.”

Vicie Haywood, Wolford’s mother - whose husband died 29 years ago from a rattlesnake bite during a worship service - is heartbroken. But she has no doubts about the righteousness of serpent handling. “It’s still the Word, and I want to go on doing what the Word says,” she told the Washington Post on Wednesday.

Last fall I asked Wolford if handling serpents wasn’t tempting God, a common question from mainstream Christians.

“Tempting God is disbelief in God, not belief in Him,” he said, citing an incident in the Old Testament in which Moses slapped his staff against a rock to provide water in the desert rather than speak to the rock as God had commanded.

By using his own resources – a stick – rather than counting on God to act when Moses simply spoke to the rock, the patriarch was condemned for lack of belief and forbidden to enter the Promised Land.

He added that he regularly drinks strychnine during worship services, to show God has power over poison.

“In my life I’ve probably drunk two gallons of it,” Wolford said. “Once you drink it, there is no turning back. All your muscles contract at once. Your body starts stiffening out. Your lungs; it’s like you can’t breathe.”

He’d gotten sick from strychnine a handful of times. “I was up all night struggling to breathe and move my muscles and repeating Bible verses that say you can ‘drink any deadly thing and it won’t hurt you,’ ” Wolford told me, recounting one episode. He said a voice in his head taunted him as he struggled to recover.

“The devil said, ‘You’re going to die, you’re going to die,’ ” he said. “You can’t go to the hospital. There is not a lot they can do. But (seeking medical help) means you’re already starting to lose faith.”

After he was bitten last Sunday, Wolford may have thought his faith would bring him through that trauma, as it had so many times before. He had four spots on his right hand from where copperheads had bitten him.

When he finally gave his family permission to call paramedics, about eight hours after being bitten, he must have known his battle was near over. By the time he arrived at the local hospital in Bluefield, he was dead.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Death

soundoff (7,439 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Perhaps they should pay attention to another scripture "You shall not tempt the Lord your God"

    June 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Maybe they should exercise common sense and not play with poisonous snakes?

      June 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It occurs to me that the doubters of Darwin and the theory of evolution should read this story very carefully.

    June 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Tom Tom, they can't read.

      June 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  3. snakes


    June 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • snakes

      wonder.ful us

      June 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • herp snerp

      Slytherin Rools! Poison drools!

      June 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • testing snake leader

      I am surprised that "won.derful us" is actually blocked by the filter here.

      June 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  4. srao

    I laughed a lot when I first heard about this. What a retard.

    June 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  5. Snakes on Crack

    Chrisssssssstians are our friendssssssssssss

    June 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  6. Alien Orifice

    Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfuking snakes on this motherfuking blog!

    June 2, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Rick James

      LOL that was good. Samuel L Jackson is the man.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Aw, fuk! Fuking biitch! Get off my dik! Aw, fuk! Fuk.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      What? Oh, there will be no sucking. Man, Troy, get this guy away from my a s s!

      June 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      My ass... my ass man.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Kill the snakes!

      You make me so glad I did not watch that stupid movie. Thanks for saving me five bucks suckaz!

      June 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Ow! Get this fuking snake off my ass!

      June 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  7. BoldGeorge

    Many people may say or do things in the name of God. But if we study the Jesus Christ of the Bible, you will learn, without a doubt, that Christ taught repentance, forgiveness, self-denial (as opposed to self-gratification) and obedience in righteousness, holiness and love...not to mention humility and love thy neighbor and treat him/her as you would like to be treated. He instructed all of His disciples (and us) to do the same and to preach the Good News of salvation to the lost. Anything less than that is strictly disobedience and not following Him.

    Having written all this, this preacher lived by the sword and died by the sword. Snake-handling in the name of God is a misguided, misinformed and mis-contextualization what the Bible says about this subject in Scripture and this preacher died doing the wrong thing...not obeying God.

    June 2, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Treat others as you would like to be treated"? Do you treat gays as you'd like to be treated, George? Would you like to be forbidden to marry the person you loved?

      June 2, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • SciGuy

      Toms misguided understanding of the Golden Rule would insist that we must release all prisoners, since, if we were prisoners, we would want to be released. Oh, and no disciplining of children, since, if we were the child we would not want disciplined. Oh, and employers, no making your employees actually work hard for their wages, because you wouldn't want to work hard. The list could go on, but even Tom gets the point by now.

      June 2, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      No, you clearly missed Tom Tom's point. It was very succinct. Gays deserve equal rights. What don't you understand?

      June 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What do you not comprehend about the law, you dip wad? What 'crime' are gays committing?

      You're so dumb it sits on you like a second skin.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Forrest

      Snake handling is misguided, but mock cannibalism and blood-drinking rituals are just fine. Go sell crazy somewhere else pal... we're all stocked up here.

      June 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Tom

      Believing in any of this nonsense is primitive behavior.

      June 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • LiberaLIowan

      I'll bet they don't call you forrest for nothing.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  8. Colin

    Give them all snakes.

    June 2, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Alien Orifice

      Let them eat snakes.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • jungleboo

      @ Alien:
      It's late in the day, and this story is overripe now, but you made me bust out laughing. Thank you for your poetry.

      June 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Wunk


    June 2, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Jim

      Funny how religion always overpowers common sense.

      June 2, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  10. myklds

    We, TRUE believers have lesser tendencies to commit murders and other unpardonable sins than atheists because, we believe that aside from it is logically, morally and lawfully wrong to harm our fellow beings, we also believe that they are abominable in the sight of God. In other words, we believe that in everything we do, we are answerable NOT ONLY by ourselves but ALSO to God. If our rationale fails, we still have faith in God that will enlighten, streghten and lead us back to our senses. Hence, we will never do things that would harm others even if we are in the brink to do so and being motivated by any circu.stances and even if we are in the position and capacity to do it likewise the cability to get away with it.

    On the other hand, atheists rely ONLY on their own understanding and think that they are answerable ONLY by themselves. Then, what if it (understanding) would fail? What if they are getting push by an unfortunate circu.mstance and are in the position to do so and have the capability to get away with it?

    And to be honest, we TRUELY religious people are cherry-pickers of bible because we only follow whatever good things and examples written on it that would strenghten us and improve our lives both in spiritual and temporal aspects. We ultimately disregard the opposites.

    Apparently, atheists also cherry-pick bible verses, the difference is, they follow the other way around. And that made them (atheists) what they are now.

    To conclude. Nobody commits atrocities in the name of religion but there's a lot of people that HIDE behind religion and USE the name of religion to justify their atrocities...and they are...the TRUE-BLUE & COOL BLOODDED...ATHEISTS.

    June 2, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • sean

      Nearly everybody in prison considers themselves a christian. Look at all the religious pedophiles. Look at all the wars fought over religion. And look at these fools handling snakes in the name of their god lol. The worst that society has to offer consider themselves religious. Food for thought.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Reality of Atheism

      Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical note publicly declared his atheism.

      There have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm. These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao…

      The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

      The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot.

      For every Pol Pot whose infamous name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan, godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.
      There is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things?

      If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case.

      Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two incidents in ninety years reeks of causation!

      June 2, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      mykids, your posts are more proof that fundies are morons.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Sean

      So, according to your observation on religion, we can assume that you believe religion is the root of all evil. I can tell you this much, Jesus Christ believed the same thing. He even said that not everyone that calls Him "Lord, lord..." will He recognize. In other words, anyone can claim to do, say or act on anything (bad or good) in the name of their belief system. Many have killed in the name of God, many have committed atrocities in the name of religion, but that does not prove or disprove anything about God. That only proves that many are carrying on and doing and saying things out of their own volition. And that also proves that people follow things either correctly or in a distorted fashion.

      Let's take a looksie at Christ Himself. Many have killed in His name, many have ruled with an iron fist in His name, and many have taken advantage of the weak, poor and misguided in the name of God. But if we study the Christ of the Bible, you will come to learn, irrefutably, that Christ taught humility, love thy neighbor, repentance, forgiveness, self-denial (as opposed to self-gratification) and to obey Him in righteousness, holiness and love. He commanded all of His disciples to do the same, to go out and preach the Gospel, which means the Good News of salvation to the lost. That is what I and every true Christian should believe and do.

      So, again, who should we question when it comes to an individual's response to his will and behavior???

      June 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • sam stone

      You TRUE believes are pompous enough to believe that only YOU and those who believe is YOU do speak for god.

      June 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Fawkes Hole

      So basically you're saying Christian morality entails doing what you're told is right when reason tells you otherwise.


      June 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • leonid7

      Dictatorial communism is a secular religion in that it is entirely faith-based. Mao and Stalin were basically worshiped and followed as saviours in a very religious sense. It would be more accurate to look at dictatorships throughout all of history(communist or otherwise) as a predictor, and not just which religion they espoused. But they usually do subscribe to one.

      June 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • annie

      I don't see it this way at all. Atheists have morals and are answerable to others. In terms of murders, I'd say the religious are more inclined to start wars in the name of their religions than atheists. More people have died due to religions than atheists.

      June 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Vince

      Ummm there is soooooooo much worng with your post I don't even know where to begin. I'll leave you with a few questions though. Was it athiests who started the crusades??? Was it athiests who ran the inquisition???? Was it athiests who burned "witches" at the stake. Is it athiests calling for gay people to be put to death?????? Nope what group of people did those things?????????????? Hmmm the name for that group is right on the tip of my tongue........................................ Give me athiests any day, they don't want to kill or imprison me if I don't share their beliefs.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • youandyourkidsareretarded

      "nobody commits atrocities in the name of religion" hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

      You are a moron with no grasp on world history. Or even current events. Have you ever heard of the Middle East? Put down the Bible and get an real education.

      June 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • snake girl

      OH PLEASE hand me a rag while I throw up ~~ are you for real ?? most Christians are such hpyocrites ~ was this idiot hiding behind his religion?

      June 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • snake girl

      WOw were you allowed to reproduce? or are you allowed to vote? should be a law against such ignorance,,,

      June 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • myklds

      @sam stone

      "You TRUE believes are pompous enough to believe that only YOU and those who believe is YOU do speak for god."

      You are welcome to speak for God if you desired to. But first, you must believe.

      @Fawkes Hole

      "So basically you're saying Christian morality entails doing what you're told is right when reason tells you otherwise."

      Read my post again and focus a lil on the second line of the first paragraph. Hints, start on the the word "aside" and go further until you're driven back to your senses.


      "Dictatorial communism is a secular religion in that it is entirely faith-based. Mao and Stalin were basically worshiped and followed as saviours in a very religious sense."

      Please join Fakwes Hole in reviewing my post but skip to the last paragraph. You may read the entire one.


      I don't see it this way at all. Atheists have morals and are answerable to others. In terms of murders, I'd say the religious are more inclined to start wars in the name of their religions than atheists. More people have died due to religions than atheists.

      Kindly join leonid7, the last paragraph of my original post would also answer your concern.


      Ummm there is soooooooo much worng with your post I don't even know where to begin. I'll leave you with a few questions though. Was it athiests who started the crusades??? Was it athiests who ran the inquisition???? Was it athiests who burned "witches" at the stake. Is it athiests calling for gay people to be put to death?????? Nope what group of people did those things???????

      There always be wolves in sheep clothing. Join Leonid and Annie in reviewing the last paragraph of my original post.


      "nobody commits atrocities in the name of religion" hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

      "You are a moron with no grasp on world history. Or even current events. Have you ever heard of the Middle East? Put down the Bible and get an real education."

      I thought that atheists are cherry-pickers. Thank You for proving my point.

      You're laughing to no one but yourself. It's not a good sign. Go take your meds, HURRY UP!

      @snake girl

      "OH PLEASE hand me a rag while I throw up ~~ are you for real ?? most Christians are such hpyocrites ~ was this idiot hiding behind his religion?"

      Too bad, it's the best thing you can do. Are you related with Tom, Tom? People like you never ceases to amuse me with your last resort when ran out of valid argument. Using name callings for rebuttal. Chuckles

      "WOw were you allowed to reproduce?"

      Yes I am but I would surely decline if you were my mate.

      "or are you allowed to vote?"

      Yes I am but I would waive it, if there'll be no one but you and Tom Tom running for office.

      "should be a law against such ignorance,,"

      Should there's any, you surely make a mark in history as the first one ever convicted.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      mykids, you an illiterate nincompoop.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      mykids, you are an illiterate nincompoop.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • the voice of reason

      Wow, did THAT one have me rolling on the floor.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  11. madmaninthemiddle

    Why not sacrifice some sheep? Stone a few sinners? Give up pork? Too Jewish?

    June 2, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  12. Kebos

    I would suspect the Wolford's are top qualifiers for the Darwin Awards.

    June 2, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  13. TruthPrevails :-)

    OMFSM!! Not much different than Koresh having his people drink the poison koolaid...I guess if a 2000 year old book says it is okay, then it must be...absolute nutjobs!! Where are the people from child protection services when needed most?

    June 2, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • smeeker

      It was Jim Jones who did that.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  14. Fred

    What do you know, there is a cure for stupid!

    June 2, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Keith

      LMFAO – That is a great one

      June 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  15. JohnQuest

    The irony in this is so obvious I don't need to point it out.

    June 2, 2012 at 6:47 am |
  16. lastofall

    It is written: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Christ never meant for what He says to be used for entertainment, or some show on display, but was speaking in spiritual terms. Beside this, Christ said exactly "the shall take up serpents", but He did not says at all to allow themselves to be bitten, nor did He says that the taking up a serpent somehow means at all that it must mean being bitten. This is the problem with many, because many insist on thinking above [beyond] that which is written, where only lies exaggeration and over-estimation. We see in (Acts 28:3) how this occurs by chance, and not by design, and even in this it s an example spiritually, namely: it is to say that sin does always attempt to harm good will!

    June 2, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Bootyfunk


      June 2, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Idiot comment above

      Bootyfunk confirming its status = resident idiot

      June 2, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • JohnQuest


      June 2, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • At death atheists believe

      Its clear atheists lose education in the bible..

      June 2, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Wrath of Lucifer

      Its clear those who believe the bible is truth are uneducated...or plain retarded.

      June 2, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • sam stone

      "Christ never meant for what He says to be used for entertainment, or some show on display"rel

      So, the religious shows, with music and fat people dancing and holding their hands up in the air (throw me the ball, Jesus, I'm open) violate Jesus's words? Someone tell Jimmy Swaggart, if you can track him down (check the brothels)

      June 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  17. johnfrichardson

    The verse is clear. If you don't take up serpents and swill poison, you aren't a real Christian.

    June 2, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  18. Bootyfunk

    hello. i'm a christian. i dance with snakes because of one single passage in a dusty old book. did i mention they're poisonous? also, did i mention i'm an idiot?

    June 2, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • bootyfunk is an idiot?

      That is not news, it has been common knowledge for months now.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i give you a 1/2 point for effort.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • I give110% for accuracy

      Yep Bootyfunk is a self confessed idiot

      June 2, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      woops. just lost your 1/2 point.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • And gained everything

      What kind of idiot goes around assigning a point system to fellow human beings?

      June 2, 2012 at 4:25 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      better question, what kind of an idiot thinks it's witty to change his name every 10 seconds in a lame attempt to troll?

      June 2, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • diverting attention

      The first danger sign = look over there = the REAL idiot. Who do you think you are fooling bootyfunk? You called yourself an idiot the rest of the world simply agrees

      June 2, 2012 at 4:32 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      get better jokes. pls.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • those aren't jokes

      Truth be told you are what you have claimed to be an idiot

      June 2, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • Be careful what you wish for

      Bootyfunk is now CNN's official idiot.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 2, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      prayer is a complete waste of time. unclasp your hands, get up off your knees, go outside and put those hands to use. yay, you're a better person!

      June 2, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • action without a plan

      Is the hallmark of an idiot

      June 2, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      we agree there. see, i have 2 parts. make a plan. execute the plan. you add needless prayer as a 3rd step. look up Occam's razor.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • When you find your razor

      Take time to shave. Bootyfunk = resident idiot.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      you keep throwing out lame insults, but fail to dispute my posts. having a bad day, bro?

      June 2, 2012 at 4:28 am |
    • you have already discredited yourself

      Stupid is as stupid posts. Bootyfunk self confessed and confirmed idiot. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Looks like Bootyfunk really hurt somebody's widdle feelings.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Rukbat

      Science flies you to the moon, prayer flies you into buildings. I guess you're right.

      June 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • stever51@verizon.net

      No, it doesn't.

      June 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Forrest

      Gee... do ya think the folks that drove him home instead of to the hospital thought their "prayers" would heal him? Prayers change nothing, and the only reason you post your statement over and over again is because you're obviously too stupid to try to prove your BS, and you think if you kiss your gods butt enough you'll make it to the nonexistent Disneyland in Eternity.
      I sincerely hope you didn't breed... and if you did, they become pentecostal snakehandlers.

      June 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Keith

      I have been praying that you would go away and it hasn't worked

      June 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Peter

      Clearly, prayer does not change the results of a snake bite.

      June 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • rtbrno65

      Yes, you have said that many times already on multiple threads.

      June 4, 2012 at 6:17 am |
  20. Answer

    Let more of them handle snakes.

    June 2, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • Iceman6161

      LMAO!!! So the Bible say you should do these things and no harm will come to you BUT, when someone die it's there time to go. Glad i have opened my eyes and started thinking for myself to pull me out of that Bull.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.