Friday Firesmith – Venom and Verses

Friday firesmithI get a lot of negative attention because I make fun of those who take their religion far too seriously, and I’m good with that. But here is what happens to people who reach deep down and feel as if they have to prove to the world the creator of the universe speaks to them, personally, on a regular basis.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/16/us/snake-salvation-pastor-bite/

You guessed it, the snake handling preacher who had his own reality show picking snakes up has died of snakebite.

But wait! There’s more!

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/30/11956841-snake-handling-preacher-dies-from-rattlesnake-bite-in-west-virginia?lite

So the link above takes you to a story where, you guessed it, a preacher putting his hands on a venomous snake gets killed.

But wait! There’s more!

His father died doing the same thing.

Remember when Pat Roberson came out and told people God had told him to run for president? That was back in 1988, I think. He got the snake handlers vote but that was about it.

You see, perhaps, a pattern here? Maybe? Just a little?

I have a deep respect for spiritual people. Show me a man or a woman whose faith carries them through good times and bad, and I will show you someone whose life deserves more than a little examination. That doesn’t make what they believe real, mind you, but as long as they love their neighbor and they aren’t hurting anyone else, more power to them.

My issues lie with those people who want to make a public spectacle of their piety and they want the rest of the world to fall in line with whatever bible verse they happened to find in a fortune cookie. Making laws based on religion really haven’t done so well in places like Afghanistan or even Somalia, but hey, maybe they’re just making laws on the wrong religion, right?

So let’s examine a little more closely those people who jump up and down and want everyone to follow their lead. Maybe, and this is a wild shot in the dark, maybe the way someone lives their life ought to be the way we judge their spiritual beliefs. Maybe the number of sick they have healed ought to be more important than the number of abortion clinics they’ve protested. Maybe the number of hungry they have fed is supposed to be more important than the number of gays they’ve condemned. And maybe, just maybe, the number of things they’ve done in their lives ought to be looked at more closely than the number of snakes they’ve picked up.

 Cotton mouth
This is me and a cottonmouth.

This makes me crazier than thou.

Not holier.

Take Care,
Mike

 Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

 


17 comments to Friday Firesmith – Venom and Verses

  • Karl

    Holier? No.
    Crazier? Yep! By a LOT!!
    Scarier? Don’t even want to go there.

    Well said, my friend.

  • Kevin

    Seems the Popes lately have been more enlightened than some of the people I’ve run into. Every time someone online spouts religious dogma I like to whip this out…

    500px-Science_And_Faith.jpg
    Click on image to embiggerate.

  • that1chick

    I’ve said before, I have no problem with snakes. Am I going to find a nest of them, pick them up and wave them around? No. I’m smarter than that. Don’t poke the bear, as it were.
    As an Atheist, I really don’t have a use for any religion. I see that some are more peaceful than others, and way less harmful. I find that the most harmful ones are the ones who profess to be the least. The Jewish priests in NYC who have infected the infant boys with herpes spring to mind, yet they have the mothers so brainwashed that they won’t give their names up to the authorities for prosecution.
    Other favorites allow men to marry children, don’t allow birth control, say condoms are bad, I could go on and on.
    My favorite book on the subject of religion isn’t the Bible, there’s too many plot holes. It’s actually called god is not Great How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens. The first word is lower case on purpose according to the author.

  • joel

    Love it–grew up getting religion shoved down my throat (no snakes though). Now that I’m grown, I attend the ‘Church of the Blue Dome’, by myself, fishing, hunting, or just drinking beer…
    That is unless my wife or kids want to join me…
    Keep writing them Friday Firesmiths, and I’ll keep reading!

  • Carter

    Snake handlers give crazy people a bad name…At least there’s medication for crazy people.

  • grumpy

    All religions are better fiction than the best that any sci-fi author could come up with.

    KISS. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    After that, live your life your way.

    Stay away from religion and you will never (or at least, reduce) have the indignity of facing yourself in the mirror as a hypocrite.

  • Ron Larson

    One of the foster homes I grew up in as a child was run by a “god fearing Christian couple”. Of all the orphanages and homes I lived in, they were tops in screwed up ideas, hypocrisy, and just full of shame and guilt. Even at a young age I recognized that. They had two kids of their own, and on the day the State took me out of there, I remember feeling bad for their natural kids knowing that they could never leave.

    Now whenever I meet someone, and first thing out of their mouth if their love of Jebus/God/Whatever, I ask myself “I wonder what deep dark secret THEY are covering?”. The more the profess their religion, the more I’m convinced they are nothing but a con man.

    True spirituality and grace doesn’t need to be advertised or tested. It comes through your conduct, every day.

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