MTSU folklorist looks at snake-handling churches
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- If you’ve ever wondered what might possess anyone to attend a church service where snake handling is practiced, here’s your chance to find out.
Middle Tennessee State folklorist Patricia Gaitely has been spending a lot of time in snake handling church services lately and will be share her insights Thursday night during an on-campus presentation.
Gaitely is British and says there’s nothing similar in her native UK, so she was fascinated by the snake handling churches. She says people who engage in snake handling are not at all what most people might expect.
“They’re not kind of freaks of nature and they don’t have a death wish. They’re just people who want to express their faith in a way that they think is correct and honoring to God.”
Gaitely will deliver her presentation: Folklore, Serpent-Handling and Appalachian Life this evening at 6:30 p.m. in the James Union Building on the MTSU Campus.
The presentation is free and open to the public.