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Love Thy Neighbor — Or Else!

Justin Michael Bennett, 36, of Sparks, Nev., admits that he set fire to a post office, sprayed anti-government graffiti on the building to “throw off police,” and shot a gun into the unoccupied building, as well as the local police station and a strip club. But, he said in an interview with a local newspaper, there was a reason for all of that. His “street preaching” wasn’t working, so he dressed in dark clothing and went out with his pistol to take Jesus’s message to the streets in another way. But he waited until dark, since “In daylight, you get caught, it’s just common sense,” before going on his crime spree. “People should be home with their families on Christmas and at church,” he says, “not at the strip clubs” — admitting he used to be a customer of such clubs himself, until his wife left him, taking their children. He added that “Jesus spoke to him through his heart and directed” him to commit the violence. “I did victimize innocent people. But I had to do it,” he said. “It had to be done. God has forgiven me already.” The state hasn’t: he’s being held for discharging a firearm into a building, arson, and burglary. He asked the reporter to refer to him as a “gangster,” or an “assassin,” the “shadow,” or, perhaps, “vigilante” or “religious martyr.” (RC/Reno Gazette Journal) ...Or perhaps “nutball,” or “looney tune,” or “obliviot.”
Original Publication Date: 15 January 2012
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 18.

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