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Religious Liberty and Snake Handling Churches

by Gregory L. Bock

Handling poisonous snakes in religious services is illegal in some states, but should it be?

In this paper, I will examine the meaning of religious liberty by exploring Martha Nussbaum’s work on religious tolerance and applying the theories of John Locke and Roger Williams to the issue of snake-handling churches.

Using the recent National Geographic television series, "Snake Salvation" (2013), as a point of departure, I will argue on the basis of the ideas espoused by Locke and Williams that snake-handling churches should be allowed to use venomous snakes under certain conditions.

The full-text of this paper is available for FREE by clicking here.

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