A man neighbors described as quiet and devout opened fire Saturday on a group of men, women and children attending a weekly church service at a Brookfield hotel, killing eight people - including himself - and seriously wounding four others.... " 44, of New Berlin, was suffering from depression and was upset about a taped sermon he had heard a couple of weeks before by one the church's chief evangelists, Roderick C. Meredith. "
Meredith, the church's presiding evangelist, warned in a February sermon of the urgent need to prepare physically and spiritually for the "end time," according to a text of the sermon on the church's Web site.
The serman was emailed to me. Are You PREPARED? By Roderick C. Meredith... "I also want to strongly encourage our subscribersespecially the Americansto prepare for a financial emergency that may strike our nation within a very few years. Although I am certainly not a financial expert, I do have access to many very reliable news sources. Right now, more and more news reports are warning of an impending financial collapse that may devastate the United States within the next several years! Note carefully a few highlights from a September 12, 2004 article by Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The long-term budget projections are just horrifying, added Leonard Burman, co-director of tax policy for the Urban Institute. Ive got four children and it really disturbs me. I just think its irresponsible what were doing to them. . So each of us should carefully consider what lies ahead, and get our own financial house in order....read on
What roll has this speech played in Ratzmann's actions? The "end times" prophecies are prevalent in many religious doctrines and booksales are through the roof in tackling this subject right now. It seems common practice for religious leaders to talk about government policies, candidates and judicial nominees to their congregations in a way that I have never seen before. As the days go on, hopefully Ratzmann's rampage will be just part of the lunatic fringe. Let's hope.