Most [snakes] were taken from the Middlesboro home of Gregory James Coots, including 42 copperheads, 11 timber rattlesnakes, three cottonmouth water moccasins, a western diamondback rattlesnake, two cobras and a puff adder.Marrying your cousin is illegal in Kentucky too, but that does not stop them from getting hitched. If these nutballs what to kiss snakes to prove their devotion to god, then let them. They will die off eventually.
Handling snakes is practiced in a handful of fundamentalist churches across Appalachia, based on the interpretation of Bible verses saying true believers can take up serpents without being harmed. The practice is illegal in most states, including Kentucky.
On the other hand, selling cobras for $450 on the internet is just dumb. It's also another example of religious hypocrisy. Pastor Coots sees these dangerous reptiles as a way to make a buck without regard for the social impact of his actions. He cares only for his own pocketbook. When a cobra escapes and bites little Johnny, Pastor Coots is culpable, not to mention dangerously irresponsible. Coots can claim his work with snakes is a religious obligation. If he does, we should call a spade a spade. His church is a cult and deserves no protection under the law.
Pet snake escapes are a problem. They happen all the time. I own non-venomnous snakes. Even though I am careful, my California Kingsnake manages an escape once each year. He also manages to bite me whenever he can. it is simply irresponsible to house poisonous reptiles in an urban setting. What a dumbass.