Murderer Says God Made Me Kill

July 27, 2007 at 7:18 am 21 comments

Cross posted at Bilerico Project

Terry Magnum, a 26 year old from Houston, said in a jail house confession that he was called by God to carry retribution against a gay man because sexual perversion is the “worst sin”. Magnum stabbed 46 year old Kenneth Cummings Jr to die last month after luring him from a gay bar. Magnum then buried Cummings’ body on a farm owned by Magnum’s grandfather.

Here is another attack against a gay person while the religious right continues to spew viciously anti-gay rhetoric, the Republican Party uses homophobia to win elections and Congress is still unwilling to pass a federal hate crimes bill.

Its not shocking or surprising that evangelical so-called Christians like James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps use the bible to dehumanize LGBT people and our families in much the same ways that their right-wing religious forefathers used the bible to justify slavery and the subjectgation of women. They have repeatedly claimed that we are destroying Western civilization and defiling the “sanctity of marriage” with our demands to be able to marry. They have said that our very existence so angers God that he will continue to rain down fire and brimestone and Hurricane Katrina like natural disasters in outrage at our supposedly wicked ways. And, they have claimed that we are a serious threat to the well being of children even as studies show that the vast majority of child molesters are white, heterosexual men.

The murder of Kenneth Cummings Jr is another example of the religious right’s hate speech made flesh. They have created an environment in which LGBT people are seen as sub-human, an affront to God and a virus that needs to be exterminated.

This is the kind of opponent that we are facing in our fight for dignity, equality and the right to be who we are without shame and without fear. This means that not one of us can continue to sit on the sidelines while a small number fight to create social space in which we are treated equally under the law, in which LGBT youth no longer see their sexual orientation or gender identity as something to be hidden or ashamed of and in which we are not simply tolerated, but accepted and affirmed for who we are and what we contribute to society.

There is no easy answer or silver bullet that will unroot the heterosexist beliefs that are so deeply engrained in our culture. But, the first step must be that each and every one of us has to come out, be visible and stand our ground.

No more hiding.

No more excuses about homosexuality only being a part of who you are.

No more claims of not being political.

And, most importantly, no more making excuses for those who deny us our humanity and civil rights.


Entry filed under: Advocacy, Hate Crimes, LGBT, Politics, Religion.

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21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cyn  |  July 30, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Soooo… how did such a religious man forget the 6th commandment? It’s been a long time since I set foot in a church, but I don’t recall “thou shalt not be gay” being one of the commandments. I do, however, remember “Thou Shalt Not Kill” being a big one.

    Like I always say… a LOT of Christians are the most unChristian-like people you’ll ever meet. Me? Too many morals to align myself with The Relgious Right.

  • 2. Mayra  |  July 30, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Homophobia and racism are the two great problems in American society today. It’s ironic, really, how we pretend we’re so mighty and sophisticated in front of other countries, and inside we’re really one big, fucked-up mess.

  • 3. Bloggernista  |  July 30, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    I know. In so many ways we are convinced that we are superior to other countries, but we seriously are falling behind with regards to civil rights and civil liberties.

  • 4. theboinq  |  July 31, 2007 at 3:06 am

    Homophobia and racism isn’t just limited to America. It’s worse in Asian countries where homosexuals are regarded as the scum of the earth. It is horrible how the religious can justify violence by using God as an excuse. Why on earth would God want to hurt his own creations is beyond any point of rational thinking.

  • 5. Donny Pauling  |  July 31, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Not all “religious” people are intolerant bigots, just like not all muslims are terrorists. I speak out against such attitudes on my blog. Here’s one example:

    My thoughts aren’t unique. Many Christians are beginning to let it be known that all are accepted and loved by God, and it is not our right to judge.

  • 6. rickhill  |  August 1, 2007 at 6:20 am

    as a Christian this ain’t good reading. let me say sorry on behalf of all those who take the name Christian and use it for their own means and purposes. ” Father, forgive us for abusing Your name…”

    The story of John 8 comes to mind where Jesus says “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Even Jesus didn’t throw the stone…!

    God won’t ask someone to break His own commands or go against the Bible’s teachings…which are His word! Nor are sins graded in His eyes.

  • 7. Richard  |  August 1, 2007 at 7:48 am

    God made man. Man makes problems. We are responsible & accountable for our actions.

  • 8. Bloggernista  |  August 1, 2007 at 10:06 am

    I agree that most Christians are not bigots. Its really an extremely loud minority that is promoting anti-gay rhetoric. Its important for Christians who are not anti-gay to speak up. Its much appreciated when you do.

  • 9. Saeed Tiwana  |  August 1, 2007 at 11:33 am

    The cry in the Church: “The world is going away from religion. The whoremongers and the perverted have no fear of God”
    “Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Those among you who are without sin cast the first stone.” Who are we to think of making some people good and others bad? What gives us such power? Who are we? God’s appointed censors?
    If ordinary people have illegitimate desires. So has the Bishops who have paid millions to hide their illegitimate acts. God doesn’t mind your preaching Him, but he minds if your preaching furthers your own sinful wishes.One person cannot be the sole adjudicator of truth and error on life-and-death matters without a sure court of appeal.

  • 10. StruttinWolf  |  August 1, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I read the article you linked to on ABC news, and I didn’t see ANYWHERE stating who “god” referred to. Is there evidence that he is a Christian? If Charles Manson said that “god” made him do all the things he did, would you blame the “religious right”? I think it’s obvious that this guy has some mental issues, and there is no telling what “god” he is talking about. You are just using this as an excuse to get on your soap box because you are just as intolerant of the “religious right” as you claim they are of you.

  • 11. Gavin  |  August 1, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Look, to be honest, the bible says right in it that “them that defile themselves with mankind” (Timothy 1:9-10) are sinners. So the fact is that Christianity preaches hate. Plain and simple.

    I appreciate all these apologist Christians on here trying to defend the modern interpretation of a 2000 year old text, but come on people! Be it against women, homosexuals, minorities, or other creeds, Christianity has proven itself time and time again to be a religion of hate with disciples intolerant of culture not their own.

    It’s time to do away with idols of the mystic past and work on real human relationships. Start by rejecting religious nightmares.

  • 12. Linda  |  August 2, 2007 at 8:34 am

    Your arguments would have more weight if you used quotes instead of just giving us your version of what people say. Also, don’t you realize that this killer is a looney-toon? It isn’t possible to legislate against looney-toons.

    Also, if I may say a word to Gavin: your leap from the fact that the Bible identifies sin to the conclusion that Christianity preaches hate defies logic. Check out Romans 3:23 (you’ll find your name there) and then look at Romans 5:8, man.

  • 13. Zack  |  August 2, 2007 at 10:21 am

    I grew up in a hardcore Christian household until I was 18 and was literally raised to believe that gay men and women are not people, they are sinners that are just biding their time until they burn in hell. It was only until I moved to the city that I realized how wrong my parents are. Most people react over homosexuality purely out of fear. Why are they scared? I dunno, there isn’t anything to be scared of. But Christian’s being religious is no excuse to hate someone for the way they live their life. Look in the bible, Jesus was the only person who would talk to the prostitutes, tax collectors, and lepers when most people hated them for things that they were doing. These days, besides lepers, these types of people are more widely accepted (prostitute can be arguable based on where you live) but who isn’t to say that if Jesus came to Earth now, he wouldn’t pull in Gays and lesbians in with open arms because they’re different.
    The entire point of Christianity is to love one another and above all, love God and serve him. Not to hate others because of sexual orientation, it’s no damn different than racism was 200, 100 or even 50 years ago. It’s wrong and people hide behind the bible because they’re scared of something they don’t understand.
    My best friend and I were eating with his father (who is a hardcore Christian) and he began to talk about how rock & roll was the (I’m not even kidding) “The devil’s music.” I reacted immediately with uncontrollable laughter and he looked at me, starked and angry and proceeded to ask what I was laughing at.
    “What makes rock & roll the devil’s music?” I asked, expecting a ridiculous answer. He told me because everyone kills themselves eventually. I told him this was stupid and not true.
    “What about Freddie Mercury? He died of AIDS.” I asked.
    “He killed himself by being gay.” he said without a smile. He wasn’t joking. He wasn’t sarcastic, he was serious. That one exchange summed up how people who hate change and are terrified think. This is wrong.

  • 14. Genevieve  |  August 2, 2007 at 11:03 am

    This is why I dislike religion. People are far too extreme over it. For every person who loves their God(s) and each other, and generally has all the good things that religion teaches in their hearts, there is someone like this, and lots of other people who hate anything that doesn’t gel with them =(

  • 15. daveross  |  August 2, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    It is a well known fact that the Catholic Church could not run without it’s gay preists. Never mind the paedophiles. It is this ability all religions have to not look at themselves before insisting everyone believes in what THEY have to say that makes religion so irrelevant to so many people. Any Christian that critcises the gay community (I’m a straight father of 4 in England by the way) really needs to make sure their own house of God is in order first.

  • 16. sdskinner2011yahoocom  |  August 2, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    You know what crazy atheists do? They take prozac. They don’t seduce and kill gay men. It isn’t that religion is inherently evil, just that is inherently illogical. Which means it can mean anything. Murder is wrong (4th commendment), except when it isn’t (read the Old Testment for the litany of murders, atrocities and wholesale extermination). Saying religion isn’t responsible for these crimes is like claiming air isn’t responsible for fire. It doesn’t start it, but it sure as hell makes it possible when it wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

  • 17. Miss LI  |  August 2, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    It is very sad when people believe they have a mandate from God to persecute others. Christianity is not the problem here, it is the people who are using its teachings incorrectly. Yes, the Bible does teach that homosexuality is wrong, but it also teaches that it is not our place to judge–it is ultimately God’s. The sin of homosexuality is as bad as the sin of shoplifting or lying or any other sin. Christians are supposed to love the sinners, but not the sin. Their are at least two victims of this crime: Kenneth Cummings Jr (who died a terrible, tragic death), and the good Christians of this world (their religion is being, unforutnately, misconstrued as one of hate, yet again).

  • 18. Kellysday  |  August 3, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Some people are crazy, aren’t they. God spacifically said, “Thou shall not kill,” for his sixth commandment. Is that soooooo hard to understand? My theory is: ‘The guy was drunk, retarted, or REALLY stupid.’ Or, maybe the Devil discuised himself as God. Who knows?

  • 19. owen59  |  August 3, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    It seems to me that the tendency in ALL humans toward ideological attitude is the real killer. People who understand their religion is asking them to temper this tendency, find peace with all people except the truly harmful. We have to understand this in this argument because we need to be able to see that sometimes it is a pulpit sermon, but other times it has been an atheistic dictator dragging the innocent off to a nasty death.

  • 20. sdskinner2011yahoocom  |  August 5, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    It isn’t ideological attitude, it is obedience that you’re complaining about. Imagine if a dictator gave an execution order and the soldiers told him they thought the guy was innocent or if people heckled Pope Urban about Christian love during his crusade sermon. When people stop thinking and obey unquestionenly sources such as the voices in their head, the state, the church or some other authority, bad things happen. It is like the motto of a class I am in “think for yourself or others will think for you”. Irrational beliefs based on authority always lead to somebody doing violence in their name (nationalism,extreme paranoia, religion); crazy people are unique in that they provide both the authority and action (although the get the justification for the authority elsewhere).

  • 21. Family Pride’s Blog » murderer says God made me kill  |  August 9, 2007 at 7:54 am

    […] post comes from Michael Crawford, an African-American activist and blogger based in Washington, D.C. He has more than fifteen years of experience working on HIV/AIDS, choice […]


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