Michael Philip Plaisted, Jr and Jared Michael Ragon tried to detonate an explosive device at Victory Family Church in 2007. Plaisted and another man were caught and detained by a deacon, while Ragon got away in a vehicle and was later apprehended after accidentally setting himself on fire, trying to destroy the evidence. In news reports, Plaisted and Ragon purportedly identified themselves as “radical Christian activists who oppose government and organized religion.”
News reports further explain…
Group members share common beliefs about the demise of society, which they believe has become too focused on self-improvement and self-gratification and lost it’s focus on the glorification of God, police said. The group is attempting to wake up society by committing destructive acts, according to reports. Group members further believe there are too many denominations and churches, and there ought to be only one.
Simply put, “the police consider the group domestic terrorists.” The Department of Justice reports that they were all convicted of the crime.
Plaisted and Ragon joined today’s ill-advised protest of Heritage Grace Community Church in Texas, the Westboro-style demonstration sought to disrupt the harmony and peace among the parishioners, if not wound their reputation and witness in the community. Complaints against the church from the Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) protesters range from nebulous to ill-defined, and it is unclear why exactly they chose the conservative congregation to protest.
AHA leader, Toby Harmon, claimed on his Facebook page that “Every church warrants exhortation because the Church warrants an exhortation.” Harmon seems to be implying that because the Universal Church needs protested (AHA repeatedly uses the word “exhortation” as a synonym for protest) for apathy toward abortion, every local church needs protested. Harmon and several other prominent members of AHA do not themselves belong to what can be considered in orthodox terms, a church, and adhere to the sub-christian philosophy of sectarian minimalism.
AHA has seemed to attract other sectarian minimalists and church terrorists, like Michael Plaisted and Jared Ragon, who seem to have kept their disdain toward organized religion.
Heritage Grace Community Church and its leaders consistently speak of abortion in terms of sin, wickedness, and evil. The church membership is also known nationally for their open air preaching and Law-Gospel evangelism.
There is still not available a clear, concise and articulate reason why AHA is protesting Heritage Grace Community Church, but it appears that AHA has chosen Heritage Grace because in protesting a congregation so thoroughly involved in open air proclamation, they are sending the message that no church is off limits to their intimidation.
Several pastors have told Polemics Report they fear speaking out, lest they find AHA protesters outside their church this coming Sunday, bearing a false witness to the community that they affirm or support abortion.