Do you regularly attend a church that practices snake handling? If so, you may be wondering if it’s legal. The answer is, unfortunately, no. While snake handling churches may seem like a harmless pastime, they are in fact illegal in most states. Snake handling churches argue that their practices are based on religious beliefs and not cruelty to snakes.
However, this is not the case in most places. In fact, the laws against snake handling churches are based on cruelty to animals statutes. These statutes prohibit using animals for entertainment or purposes that are cruel or abusive. If you are unsure whether your church falls within the legal boundaries of snake handling, it is always best to consult with an attorney.
What Is A Snake Handling Church?
There is some debate surrounding the legality of snake handling churches. In most cases, these churches are considered to be religious organizations and as such are exempt from many regulations that apply to other businesses. This includes things like paying taxes and abiding by labor laws.
Some people feel that the handling of snakes is an inherently dangerous activity, and as such should not be allowed in a church setting. Others argue that the venomous snakes used in these churches are not actually capable of inflicting serious injury or death.
Are Snake Handling Churches Legal?
Snake handling churches are legal in some states, although there may be restrictions on where and how the snakes can be handled. State laws on snake handling vary, so it is important to check with local authorities before engaging in this practice. Some states prohibit any contact with snakes, while other states only prohibit wild snakes from being handled. In general, snake handling churches must follow all applicable state and local regulations.
Pros And Cons Of Snake Handling Churches
There are pros and cons to snake handling churches. While many people believe that the religion provides a spiritual path for those who choose it, others have raised concern about the health risks associated with handling serpents.
On the pro side, some believers say that snake handling is a form of prayer that can help them connect with God. Additionally, they claim that serpent handling ceremonies can cleanse individuals and communities of negative energy.
However, there are also health concerns associated with snake handling. Many experts warn that playing with or holding snakes can be dangerous because they can inject their fangs into humans through the skin. In 2014, a California man died after he was bit by a venomous king cobra while attempting to handle it at an event in San Bernardino County.
Furthermore, some churches have been accused of abuse and exploitation of their members, particularly if they are not properly trained in how to handle snakes. Some congregants have said that they were forced to handle serpents without protection and were not given any information about the risks involved.
- Does Elevation Church Believe in Speaking in Tongues?
- What is Take Me to Church About?
- Why Are Methodist Churches Disaffiliating