Shooter Read Sexist Christian Author's Book Before Pittsburgh Female Aerobics Class Massacre

Sodini's final reading: a book by sexist Fundamentalist who claimed husbands own their wives, as property.
As George Sodini wrote on December 29, 2008, "Just got back from tanning, been doing this for a while. No gym today, my elbow is sore again. I actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe, touch of cologne - yet 30 million women rejected me - over an 18 or 25-year period."

On Tuesday August 4th, 2009, computer systems analyst Sodini walked into a Pittsburgh gym, pulled guns out of a duffle bag, turned off the lights, and sprayed bullets into a LA Fitness Center woman's aerobics class of roughly thirty, killing three. The leader of the class, who had just announced that she was pregnant, was wounded along with at least eight others, some of whom were shot multiple times.

Media analysis has so far ignored or glossed over Sodini's religious affiliations but the shooter's Internet diary suggest his last readings were the Bible and a book by a Texas evangelist, R.B. Thieme, Jr. who has written that husbands own their wives, as literal property and promoted an odd teaching that for each man on Earth there exists only one correct "right woman" in all creation.

According to Thieme, men can recognize their divinely-appointed opposites without physical contact, through something Thieme called "soul climax" [ see R.B. Thieme, Jr.'s "Doctrines of The Bible: Doctrine of Right Man and Right Woman" (Microsoft Word Document format) ]

After perpetrating the massacre, Sodini committed suicide. He left behind chilling weblog entries outlining his intended plan. According to forensic psychologists such as former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett, Sodini fit a classic "shooter" profile. Garrett told ABC that Sodini, "spends a lot of time in his blog talking about how he was mistreated as a child. He felt he went through life feeling no one cared for him, loved him or nurtured him. As he got older, he likely isolated himself more and more and was able to justify his disturbing behavior. His perceived rejection justifies his actions."

George Sodini's weblog lays considerable blame for his self-admitted psychological problems on the Pittsburgh-based Tetelestai Church which by his account Sodini attended for 13 years, up through 2006. The pastor of Tetelestai, James R. Knapp, is one of a few luminaries in the small fundamentalist universe under the sway of Texas evangelist and prolific author R.B. Thieme, Jr. -- a retired US Air Force Colonel known to wear his old military uniform while giving sermons who has been accused of cultic and authoritarian practices and wrote doctrine asserting that "[a] married woman is the property of the man she marries."

Bruce Wilson writes for Talk To Action, a blog specializing in faith and politics.
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