Religious Radicals Try to Bomb Church

Three men are in custody in Texas for trying to blow up a church. And guess what: their names aren’t Mohammed, Mustafah, or Osama.

Three Burleson men who belong to a “radical Christian activist group” were in the Johnson County Jail on Friday night after a church deacon caught two of them attempting to ignite an explosive device on Independence Day at a church under construction in north Burleson, authorities said Friday.

Dayton Lee Calaway, 19, and Michael Philip Plaisted Jr., 18, were arrested Wednesday night near the Victory Family Church after they got bogged down in mud as a fleet-footed deacon chased them from the church in the 400 block of Northwest John Jones Drive, police said.

Two other people drove away, the deacon told officers.

An explosive device in a glass container was found propped against the church door. The suspects apparently tried to detonate the device twice before being interrupted by the deacon, police and Burleson Fire Marshal Stacy Singleton said.

[…]

Cmdr. Chris Havens, the Police Department spokesman, said the suspects boasted about belonging to a leaderless group of 10 or 15 who share a belief that society has become too focused on self-improvement and self-gratification and has lost focus on the glorification of God.

“They admit to being Christian and being brought up Christian, but they believe there should be one denomination and one church, not multiple denominations,” Havens said.

“They did not say they had a name for their group, other than they were a radical Christian activist group. That was the way they explained their group,” he said.

The suspects said the group has three levels of involvement: Bible study, consensual fighting and destructive acts. Because one of their beliefs is free thought, however, participation in all three levels is not mandatory, they told police.

So where’s CNN and MSNBC and the special music for breaking news coverage for these guys? I know they don’t sound like the brightest bulbs on the porch, but they’re not a whole lot smarter than the paintball brigade in Miami that was plotting to blow up the Sears Tower or the homeless street vendor who wanted to light up the fuel lines at JFK. Yet those guys got all the attention; they got the talking heads nattering about terrorists in our midst, and these losers in Texas can’t even get Bill O’Reilly to return their phone calls.

Maybe it’s because they’re “radical Christians” who are into “Bible study, consensual fighting and destructive acts.” (That sounds more like a personal ad in the Village Voice, not a creed for a religious movement: “also into Bach cantatas and Bruce Lee movies.”) But up until September 11, 2001, the worst act of terrorism on American soil was committed not by Islamic radicals but by a couple of white Christian boys who belonged to fringe groups who run around the woods of northern Michigan and Idaho in their cammie-jammies and claim to be the front line in the militia movement fighting against the New World Order, Zionism, and fluoridated water. Yet we don’t see the cells in Gitmo full of “enemy combatants” like these bubbas from Texas. Why is that?

Simple: they’re us. These guys arrested in Texas don’t fit into the prejudices and stereotypes of religious radicals that makes it onto the nightly news or the stump speeches of people like George W. Bush or Rudy Giuliani. These are just a bunch of bored teenagers with visions of Fight Club and Jesus Camp rattling around in their head. (Or maybe someone promised them 72 virgins if they blow up a church.) But it doesn’t fit into the fundraising plans of the GOP if religious nuts are anything but Islamic; they have to be foreign-born with funny sounding names and towels around their head. Otherwise, they look too much like the religious nuts that run the Republican National Committee.

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Religious Radicals Try to Bomb Church

  1. two of the men said they were involved in an earlier fire in a recycling bin at CentrePoint Church

    as you said, not the “brightest bulbs on the porch.” they actually sound like dumb kids (really dumb kids, mind you), not an “activist group.”

    “hey, let’s burn some cardboard, that’ll show em!”

  2. And guess what: their names aren’t Mohammed, Mustafah, or Osama.

  3. treyroyale

    I was thinking the same thing. Several months ago there was a bomb that went off at New York, New York a casino in Las Vegas. It was picked up by several news sources and several bloggers on the right. They thought it might be “terrorists”, but it turned out it was an attempt on the life of a worker at New York, New York that was seeing the bombers wife. End of story right? No, they were all illegal aliens (mexicans) so two weeks worth of news. Guy opens fire on the casino in New York, New York on Friday, four people are wounded. Great story, except, the gunman was a 50 something white male. One day coverage, haven’t heard anything else. What’s more not even a picture of the dude. In the former case they posted pictures of the alleged suspect, the wife and the victim.

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  5. Betsy

    The suspects said the group has three levels of involvement: Bible study, consensual fighting and destructive acts.
    This made me laugh so hard I nearly cried. “Consensual fighting?” Seriously?

  6. This made me laugh so hard I nearly cried. “Consensual fighting?” Seriously?

    The first rule about Consensual Fighting Club is don’t talk about Consensual Fighting Club.

  7. “The first rule about Consensual Fighting Club is don’t talk about Consensual Fighting Club.”

    Bwahahahahah! 😀

  8. I’d say these kids, even though they seem as dumb as a bag of hammers, were substantially more of a threat than the hapless Miami 7. At least these kids managed to come up with a weapon of sorts, even if it didn’t work.

  9. This will only become a bigger problem as time goes on. White Christian terrorists are going to become this country’s biggest threat, and the way in which they will be alternately ignored and enabled by the media – and sympathetic elements in our government – will only make the problem worse.

    If the Democrats take the White House next year, I predict bombings the next day and when the new President is inaugurated. I’d love to be wrong, of course.

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  11. Leaderless group, my ass.

    This has The Brain written all over it.

  12. Otherwise, they look too much like the religious nuts that run the Republican National Committee.

    😉

  13. Arkades

    The first rule about Consensual Fighting Club is don’t talk about Consensual Fighting Club.

    Yeah, because nonconsensual fighting would be just plain wrong.

  14. NameChanged

    Why do “Christians” resort to violence, bigotry, hatred, and greed? I can not wrap my head around it. I have read the Bible, and I don’t see where this “radical” mentality comes from.

  15. Troll1952

    A few nuts who label themselves as “Christian” do not represent Christians in general.

  16. every day in every way the religious right is getting better and better
    at being total asses!

  17. A few nuts who label themselves as “Christian” do not represent Christians in general.

    Who said they did?

  18. A few nuts who label themselves as “Muslim” do not represent Muslims in general.

    There, fixed that for you.

  19. Jeff

    My God…it sounds like a sucky Hollywood movie pitch…”My pitch idea is FIGHT CLUB meets JESUS CAMP, only funnier…I see Justin Timberlake and Aston Kutcher playing the leads, and I’ve got a committment from Eddie Murphy’s publicist for him to play the Deacon.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  20. Jeff

    Where’s Bill Donahue on this?

  21. This made me laugh so hard I nearly cried. “Consensual fighting?” Seriously?

    The first rule about Consensual Fighting Club is don’t talk about Consensual Fighting Club.

    All joking aside, I’m pretty sure that structure is lifted directly from the book Fight Club. Am I crazy/just imagining this/remember something else?

  22. Troll1952

    Melissa- I was referring to NameChanged’s comment.

    Sarah- what did you “fix”?

  23. SAP

    A few nuts who label themselves as “Christian” do not represent Christians in general.

    That’s kinda the point here, T. Every time some wingnut gets their dander up about “Muslim terrorists”, it’s nice to be reminded that we already have our own home-grown radical zealots hanging around.

  24. All joking aside, I’m pretty sure that structure is lifted directly from the book Fight Club. Am I crazy/just imagining this/remember something else?

    it is arguably the most famous part of the book and movie.

  25. deeky, I was referring to the 3 levels, not the “do not talk about fight club” thing. I’m not that stupid.

  26. mamajane

    I’m still laughing so hard about “consensual fighting” that I’m tearing up and my nose is running!

    So, what exactly is “consensual fighting”? Is it like Fight club with an extra helping of homoeoticicsm? (assuming that all of these mental giants are male, of course)

    Also, they believe in free thought, but think that there should only be one denomination and one church? Oh, the stupidity, it hurts!

  27. This occured about 10-15 minutes north of where I’m presently sitting, in the same town that not too long ago pulled two undercover officers off drug duty in order to set up a sting operation against a woman who was selling vibrators out of her home. In that same town, not long after the opening of the new high school, someone noticed the new statue of the mascot (an Elk) was in fact a buck and complained until they took a belt-sander to it and turned it into a gelding.
    You think I’m joking…

  28. It’s simple. When white Christian dudes commit a crime, the only ones that are guilty are the specific white Christian dudes, and we are never, never, never to tar other white Christian dudes with their crimes.

    When brown Muslim dudes commit a crime, all brown Muslim dudes must share in the guilt. It’s just the way it is.

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  31. drew

    well, actually unlike the islamic terrorist you speak of, these kids had no intentions of hurting anyone nor did they have intentions of blowing up the church. The act was to draw attention to their cause and “wake up” society. The device was actully to be set off away from the church, but still on the property, but because of the inclimate weather, they were forced to put it closer. The church was under construction, and they didnt expect anyone to be there. You can’t compare these kids to the terrorist of 9/11, who’s intentions were to kill and cause pain. Im not saying what they did wasnt extremely stupid, but this is being blown out of porportions. this isnt an act of terrorism but an act of vandelism, lets not lose sight of that.

  32. Idiots

    They all got out in less than 2 years, with 3 years probation, which is almost up. I guarantee you will see something else from 1 or all of them in the future. I guarantee one or all of them have NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and should be locked up forever because they will become truly evil if they do not receive help. (which they won’t, because religious driven NPD people NEVER seek help) The sick and scary part is that they think they know God and that the rest of the church’s are all sinners who don’t know God. Something terrible will happen soon after their probationary period is up, I hope none of you live in Texas.

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