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Snake handling is an offshoot of the Pentecostal Church, so it kind of goes against my whole polytheistic theme here, and yet it is such a completely bizarre sect, that I'd be remiss if I didn't offer it as an example of an alternative religion. Because this religion is definitely alternative, some might even say its followers choose it as an alternative to sanity.
-Animals: This is a pro, right? Animals are great. Even when—especially when?—they are slithery and smooth and could crawl right into one of your sleeves and out the other. Who doesn't love a snake?
-Community spirit: Since snake-handling is such an exclusive club, with relatively few followers, you'll feel a firm sense of belonging. It's like a fun little club that doesn't let just anyone join.
-Injury and Death: Some of the snakes that get handled are venomous. So bites and subsequent illness and death are not exactly unheard of. Some risks are worth taking, I guess, but not this one. Not to me.
Why be a snake handler? No, really, why? Go pick up a snake if you want to, but you don't need to, like, make a religion out of it. Plus, it might not be so bad hanging out with the snakes, but those other snake handlers? Seem a little bit creepy.