There is an odd and tragic story coming out of Houston these days. A guy about my age walked into a bar, looking for a gay man to kill. He met a 46-year-old, had a few drinks with him and then went back to his home, where, the suspect told the Houston Chronicle, he stabbed his new friend with a “six-inch blade.”
No worries, the suspect told the paper last weekend.
“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.”
Interviewed in the Brazoria County Jail Saturday morning, Mangum said he feels no remorse for killing 46-year-old Kenneth Cummings Jr., whom relatives described as a “loving” son who never forgot a holiday and a devoted uncle who had set up college funds for his niece and nephew. He worked at Southwest for 24 years.
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.”
Mangum believed Cummings to be gay.
“I planned on sending him to hell,” he said. ...
“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.”
Andrew Sullivan asks on his blog, “And this is different from Islamist barbarism how, exactly?”—a question I think is impossible to answer without knowing Mangum’s sincerity or sanity. Does he really believe God sent him to slay sinners, or is he really crazy?
Islamic extremists may be impressionable people who have given into an ideology of hate—and not peace, as American Muslim leaders and President Bush say—but they have their wits. The medical professionals arrested last month in the Britain terror plot prove that.