Keeping churches open on Easter is a new form of snake handling as eight red states remain “open”

Arizona still has golf courses open because they are “essential businesses” as Trump yesterday stated that he’d like Easter services to take place, albeit outside. Trump does seem under the sway of folk theories as he insists on promoting COVID-19 treatments using hydroxychloroquine without scientific evidence. Such appeals to faith may allow the contagion to persist.

Just eight US governors have decided against issuing statewide directives urging their residents to stay at home as the outbreak of the coronavirus escalates and spreads across the country, the last holdouts in the nation.

The governors, all of whom are Republican, have offered a variety of explanations for why they have not followed the lead of their colleagues from coast-to-coast — along with countries across the world — by ordering people to restrict their movement in hopes of slowing the pandemic.

In doing so, they’ve collectively ignored the stay-at-home pleas of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who said in a CNN interview: “If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that.”

Absent a nationwide order, which President Donald Trump once again on Saturday declined to give, a patchwork of rules has emerged in all corners of the country that offer conflicting guidance for how citizens should protect themselves and their families from coronavirus.

And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)

Most religious snake handlers are still found in the Appalachian Mountains and other parts of the southeastern United States, especially in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and South Carolina. In 2001, about 40 small churches practiced snake handling, most of them considered to be Holiness, Pentecostals, or Charismatics. In 2004, there were four snake-handling congregations in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.[14]

Ralph Hood, professor of social psychology and the psychology of religion at the University of Tennessee, who has studied the snake handling movement, indicated in 2003 that the practice is “currently at a fairly low ebb of popularity”.[15] A 2013 article by National Public Radio gave a figure of “about 125” churches where snakes are handled, but also indicated that “snake handlers are notoriously private”.[16]

en.wikipedia.org/…