Weekly Asheville Disclaimer Page: 07/16/08

Former snake-handlers add kittens, controversy, accuracy to mountain faith-detection

RISING PAW ROAD, MONDAY — An acrimonious split within the Pentecostal Church of God has caused “great upheaval” in the local snake-handling community, according to some Pentecostal Church of God snake-handling members of the community.

Congregants of the new splinter group, known as the Pentecostal Church of the Almighty God [italics in original], have denounced the handling of snakes as a form of worship, and have instead begun featuring ritualistic kitten-handling during meetings.

Though happy in their new church, members of the new group say they still feel persecuted by their former congregation, and blame it on jealousy, fear and misunderstanding of their religion.

According to all parties involved, the split occurred shortly after deacon Sam Feldman was bitten in the face by a rattler several months ago during the “Sweatin’ Sam’s Red Hot Piano Lix” portion of the Tuesday morning service. Deacon Feldman’s last words, in response to the snake’s stunning and unfounded allegation, were, “The snake lied.”

And so, after a heated argument, half the Pentecostal Church of God congregation voted to split off and find a more finely calibrated satanic creature that would be better than snakes at detecting yem of little faith. Before making it official, however, they helped get Deacon Feldman’s body off the top of the piano and out the back door to the church cemetery.

“We tried chickens for a while after that,” says Albert Jones, minister of Pentecostal Church of the Almighty God. “But when I was pecked in the eye by one, I knew right then — they too are demon fowl liars for Satan, hatchers of deviled eggs.”

“The kitten is the true representation of Satan,” preaches Jones, holding aloft a kitten, seemingly with no regard for his own safety. “A kitten knows better than some little snake if you’re a true believer.”

When questioned to identify the Bible verse that promotes the practice of kitten handling, Jones quickly pointed out a half-dozen references on the copyright page alone.

“How is a kitten a serpent? I say unto you, have you seeneth their sharp teeth, their talon claws, look into the eyes of the beast, for kittens are the spawn of Satan,” continued Jones, taunting the devil by stroking the tops of the cat’s paws before slipping into a deep trance and nuzzling — with the tip of his nose — the kitten’s little paw-pads. “See how docile he is. He knows he’s in the presence of a believer. Back, ye devil kitten! Your pierce-ed claws shall not find their way unto me!”



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