Hi! Long time reader, first time poster....
I need to join another forum like I need another hole in the head, but I couldn't pass this one up.... Although it's nice to see I recognize a few familiar "faces."
First off, I agree with most of the other posters...burning or desecrating houses of worship is about as low as you can get without being a child molester. There are many, many better ways to get your point across.
I do find it amusing that some Christians feel that they are under attack in America. As a non-Christian, may I offer some observations as someone from the outside?
First off, except for a bit of lion-feeding in the beginning, Christians (represented by "The Church") have had it pretty good in the world for the last 2000 years. In its heyday, The Church pretty much dictated to everyone how you could live, it quashed scientific discovery, and was richer and held more property than entire nations. The Church controlled most of the kings and held sway over European (and, later, American) politics. A couple of papal edicts created several waves of Crusades which killed untold numbers of "heathens" and Christians alike.
When a powerful entity physically or verbally represses a weak, disenfrachised entity, it's called being a bully, or totalitarianism. When a weak, disenfranchised entity physically or verbally harrasses a powerful entity, it's called "the underdog getting a couple of shots in". The Church (and hereby, nearly all Christianity) has set itself up historically as the most powerful entity on Earth, and the only entity that can guarantee you passage into Heaven (because all non-believers shall surely burn in Hell).
What Christians feel as a constant attack against them is merely us weak, disenfranchised "heathens" who are just trying to break the shackles of Christian domination we have had to wear for centuries. The fact that we are trying to be seen as equals is apparently very threatening to the established powers.
For instance...in my home state, there are still Blue Laws that prevent the sale of alcohol on Sundays...the Christian Sabbath. Every time someone proposes getting rid of this antiquated law, or equalizing it by banning alcohol on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath) or Fridays (the Muslim Sabbath), Christians come swarming out of the woodwork claiming anti-Christian elements are attacking them again.
Another example: over the last year or two, Christians have seen the phrase "Happy Holidays" to be a direct assault on Christianity, whereas it's simply some of us "heathens" trying to also acknowledge other winter holidays, such as Chanukah and Kwanzaa and New Years.
Incidentally: the recent strip lamenting persecution of Christians highlighted a frame of the crucifix in urine. This "artwork," often used as the poster-child proving anti-Christian feelings, was created by Andres Serrano in 1987
. I would hazard a guess that many of the readers of Nip/Tuck weren't even born when this nonsense hit the fan. I'm sure Mr. Serrano thanks Christians every day for the ruckus that gave his lousy art skills any publicity at all; I mean, a person who's talent shouldn't even have given him a footnote in history is STILL being talked about 20 years later.
And I do believe that more non-Christians (or 'not the RIGHT type of Christians') have been burnt at the stake more recently, and more abundantly, than true Christians ever have.
If someone wants to show the good side of Christianity, they would do better to act by example, rather than whining about losing the power and control they've enjoyed for over 1700 years. For example, the story arc in Tales of the Questor, where the young priest sets aside his fears and doubts and goes forth into the swamp to preach, was extremely inspiring, even to a heathen like me. Much more likely to win converts and influence heathens than this.