"Praise the Lord and pass the rattlesnakes, brother," wrote Pentecostal minister Mark Wolford, publicizing an upcoming snake-handling, speaking-in-tongues outdoor revival. The West Virginia preacher had long honored the Gospel of Mark's line that true believers "will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them." But at the service, Wolford was bitten by a yellow timber rattlesnake he'd owned for years — and died later that day at 44. At age 15, he'd watched his 39-year-old father die the same way.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- In defense of Obama's golfing
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
- How Hillary Clinton's 'smart power' turned Libya into a dumpster fire
Subscribe to the Week