Blaming the Bible for an atrocity, case# 90210

The following story is the kind of tragedy that shows that human beings will use anything at their disposal (in this case, God’s Word) to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

Here in Houston, a gay man (I’m presuming since the story doesn’t make it clear) was murdered by one Terry Mark Mangum, an individual who obviously was quite delusional. Mangum’s own words I think bear that out.

His identity:

“I believe I’m Elijah, called by God to be a prophet,” said 26-year-old Terry Mark Mangum, charged with murder June 11. ” … I believe with all my heart that I was doing the right thing”

Since when does sincerity validate the perceived rightness of our actions? Old Adolf thought he was doing the world a favor with this “final solution” and was probably sincere in his belief but that did not make his actions right.

His training:

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.”

This quote one is a beaut. Mr. Mangum might have done as he boasts, but did he miss the Greatest Commandment(s)?

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus saying that whole Old Testament boils down to these 2 things, so how does murdering a man (gay or not) fulfill either one of these?

His mission:

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…I planned on sending him to hell,” he said.

This one is almost as ignorant and misguided as the last one. I’m with CS Lewis when he says that the “Great Sin” is Pride and I suppose at the top of that list would be spiritual pride, the sin of the Pharisee. The sin of wanting to be God as in Mangum’s case, who made himself judge, something which rightfully only belongs to God.

Magnum claims that God called him to kill a gay man because of his “sexual perversion”. Let’s not mince words, homosexuality is a sin, the Bible makes that explicitly clear (see Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:8-10), but you know what the Bible also makes clear? That heterosexual fornication is also a sin, on the same level as homosexuality, yet the latter is treated as a worst offense than the former.

Let’s for the sake of argument take Magnum at his word, well then how does the following tie in?

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord (Romans 12:17-19)

Clearly we are not to take God’s justice in to our own hands, in his delusion and personal prejudices Magnum ignored God’s warnings. He chose to carry out his own justice and commit an unspeakable atrocity.

His self-evaluation:

“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.”

He’s not strange, I would say he’s sadly deluded and deceived by whatever demon(s) hound him. He’s not a “bad dude”?

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Did he catch this during his ‘studies’?

As for his ‘love’ towards God, I wonder if Mangum caught the following words of Jesus in his thousands of hours of Bible study,

If you love Me, you will keep my commandments… He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him (John 14:15, 21)

His commandments? I believe they are posted above…

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9 Responses to Blaming the Bible for an atrocity, case# 90210

  1. healtheland says:

    First of all, if your goal in juxtaposing the arguments of an anti – Trinitarian next to mine was to cause me to quickly concede, well it worked :-). Second, this fellow was obviously demonized. I wish that I could find out more about his background so that I could see how those demons entered him.

  2. Pro 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to advice is wise.

    Of course, this guy is a fool.

  3. Lary Crews says:

    In the book of Leviticus, God clearly does order the death of homosexual men. (Not homosexual women, it should be noted.) If one believes the Bible to be the word of God then God commanded his followers, for hundreds of years, that gay men were to be killed. So those who believe the Bible is the infallible word of God believe Mangum was merely doing God’s will.

    Why did Mangum single out gayness for a special, virulent and persistent hatred? Because, to Christians, homosexuality is such a seductive, insidious sin that mere knowledge of its existence, or exposure to those who engage in it, is enough to turn God-fearing Christians into murderers.
    Mangum, however, is not insane. He’s using Christian homophobia as an alibi for a murder committed because of his own seething, latent homosexuality, which his religion taught him to believe is the greatest sin. He felt he was losing an internal struggle against “Satan,” which manifested itself in his attraction to men. (Remember how he defiantly volunteered the information that, “I’m definitely not a homosexual.”
    By killing a gay man, Mangum definitively proved to God that he was not gay. Mangum was warped by systemic anti-gay bigotry in the Christian religion. Sad enough when it leads to suicide; far more tragic that he took the life of someone else to prove his “manhood.”
    Fundamentalists believe their own assumptions to be true. If they believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God then they must believe Magnum is a not a lunatic. In the book of Leviticus, God clearly does order the death of homosexual men. God commanded his followers, for hundreds of years, to do exactly that.
    Mangum will learn, as he works his way through the judicial system, that killing someone because of their sexual orientation is unpardonable, and inexcusable, especially when his defense is a religious text written by homophobic shepherds thousands of years ago.

  4. Laz says:

    Thank you Lary for the comment, I believe the verse you refer to is Leviticus 20:13,

    If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

    You’re absolutely right, God commanded the nation of Israel to put homosexuals (at least that give in to the temptation) to death. He chose them out of the nations of the Earth to be holy (set apart) and worship Him, as opposed to the nations around them.

    Where you and quite frankly, Mr. Mangum. are in error is your misunderstanding of the what Jesus came to do. Mainly that He came into the world to save sinners of which I am the worst. Frankly we are sinners and no amount of rules or regulation can change that (I believe it was CS Lewis that said “you cannot make men good by law”, read the front page and tell me otherwise). Not even God’s perfect Law was able to turn the Israelites into the people He wanted them to be, in a rapturous relationship with Him.

    So God sent His Son into the world to die and offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice (as opposed to the animal sacrifices in the OT) so that all who believed on His Name might be spared the penalty for our sin, that is spiritual death.

    Admittedly I am neither qualified nor eloquent enough to expound on exactly why Christians are not under what is commonly called the “Old Testament Law” which is usually limited to dietary restrictions and other ‘lesser’ rules.

    The reason that Christians can eat pork and shellfish is the very same reason that we do not put homosexuals to death: We are not under Law but under Grace.

    I invite you read the book of Romans, the Apostle explains it rather eloquently. Of course, if you would like to ignore this fact and remain blindly convinced that Christ teaches ‘homophobia’ then don’t and keep thinking that your “assumptions are to be true.” (That is a really unique statement you brought forth, I’m quite certain you do not the same thing you accuse ‘fundamentalists’ of doing).

    At this point I’m not sure whether Magnum is a lunatic, demon-possessed or just plain evil or all of the above. I have not spoken or spent any time with the man but I am certain that he is deluded one way or the other.

    A question Lary, what is your worldview?

  5. rose says:

    I do know Mangum personally. No not as an adult but as a child. He was a small boy that played with my children. He was in every way like every other child. There was nothing to warn us of this terrible crime he would commit as an adult. His parents were attentive and loving. Now I am in shock that he was able to commit such a terrible act. He spent six years in prison and I feel that rape was probably a part of his incarcination. I also feel that he was always on alert to predators and probably developed more of an aggressive personality than he normally would have. He had been out of prison for only a short while. I think he went to that bar seeking homosexual activity and then unble to accept his feelings he killed Kenneth. It seems obvious that kenneth must have thought Mangum was gay as well. Now he appears to still struggle with his homosexuality and feels justified by saying he was doing Gods work. Mangum has been involved in heterosexual relationships and has a child so if he had not had or witnessed some homosexual behavior in prison he may have never considered himself homosexual. This is no excuse for him. As I see it he will be on death row before long. God will pass judgement. I pray that both the Mangum and Cummings family are able to find peace in their lives.

  6. ashley says:

    I dont know if Mark will ever read this but I have a message for him. SHame on you!! I know your family and the hell you have put them through is unforgivable. You have the nerve to sit in your cell and say you did this for God? I know your parents. Didnt God say Honor your mother and father? Your father has worked his whole life protecting the innocent and serving our community and now you have dishonored him with your actions. Your mother was always there for you and now she cries knowing that her first son will be put to death. Your grandmother is unable to sleep and your entire family is in shock. Why Mark? Dont try to conjure up some bogus religious mumbo jumbo. You say you feel no remorse is a slap in everyone who has loved yous face. Your son will now grow up without his dad. What will he feel when he learns of your actions. Have you loved your neighbor as God commanded you to? Your son needs a role model. Your son needed a dad to be there for him. You can never be those things for him now. What would God say to you about that? I know there is goodness in you. I have seen it. But now there is this horrible dark side as well. You need to stop thinking of yourself and beg for the Cummings family forgiveness. You need to bow down and truly realize the wreakage that you have brought on to so many people. You still have some time left. kenneth can’t say that now can he?

  7. Evan says:

    Last week my mom asked me if I knew a guy named Mark Mangum and before I could even answer his face flashed in my head. I went to high school with Mark, he was a year behind me and he was trouble then. I am a gay man and I’m sorry but i hope he rots. I could never forgive anyone who does something like that. I’m so tired people like him and the effects it has on the gay community. But you know what it just makes us stronger! Why the hell was he at EJs anyways? If your not gay stay the hell out of the gay bar! Mark you are insane and a coward. You are the furthest thing from a prophet … give me a break. You killed out of fear … fear of something different and unfamiliar.

  8. Laz says:

    Evan,
    Thank you for leaving a comment. You said,

    I could never forgive anyone who does something like that

    Is it your place to forgive? I would think this would correspond first and foremost to God then to the victim’s family.

  9. Mark says:

    I went to school with this douche. He wasnt into the bible and has been in and out of jail since we graduated. He’s an effin loser!

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