Letters of the Law

Reaction to Snake Cover Mixed

Considering the title, “Snakebit: Poisonous Serpents and Religious Expression in Tennessee” (April 2014 Tenn. Bar Journal by Joe Jarrett), it may have been wiser to have chosen one of our native pit vipers as the cover illustration of Mr. Jarrett’s article intead of a nonpoisonous boa constrictor.

— C. Tracey Parks, Lebanon

Editor’s note: The cover with the snake on it has by far been the most commented-on one in recent memory. Some pointed out that it was the wrong snake to use (for which we are embarrassed and sorry) and some didn’t care what kind of snake it was, they just didn’t want it on their desks or coffee tables. The Internet heated up with the topic briefly, too, with these reactions via Twitter:

  • A bar journal article with some bite to it. @tennbarjournal looks at the legalities of religious snake handling
  • Fascinating, creepy/compelling
  • This month’s @tennbarjournal has a giant, disgusting snake on the cover and I had to throw it away to get it off my desk.
  • Definitely takes the prize for originality
  • Cover is compelling yet “Aaahhh! Get it away from me.”