July 23, 2007

Doing God's Work By Killing Gays

According to the Houston Chronicle, 26 year-old Terry Mark Mangum believed he was doing the work of the Christian god when he killed a gay man in a bar last month. " ... I believe with all my heart that I was doing the right thing."

Why should we expect Mangum to feel remorse when he is convinced that he was doing the work of his god?
Mangum, who described himself as "definitely not a homosexual," said God called on him to "carry out a code of retribution" by killing a gay man because "sexual perversion" is the "worst sin."
According to the Chronicle, Mangum spent 6 months planning to murder a gay man, went out specifically looking for a gay man to kill, stabbed Cummings to death solely because he was gay, and buried him on his grandfather's ranch. I know many of you do not agree with me about the need for hate crimes legislation, and I'm okay with that. You might say I've grown accustomed to holding unpopular views. Still, I have a hard time seeing how this sort of crime doesn't warrant a hate crimes enhancement at sentencing.
"I planned on sending him to hell," he said.
Where on earth would Mangum get such a vile idea? How could he possibly be convinced that this was what his god wanted him to do?
Mangum — who claimed he has studied the Bible for "thousands and thousands and thousands of hours" — said God first commanded him to kill during a "visitation," or dream, while he was in prison in 2001. He said his victim must be a man because men "carry the harvest of the sinner."
Although he did not express remorse for his act, it is important to Mangum that we not misunderstand his motive, think he might be crazy, or consider him evil.
"It's not that I'm a bad dude," he said, expressing concern that people might view him as "strange." Pausing briefly, he said, "I love God."

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