Shantimama, yes, your thread was one of several that bothered me recently - it left me with a feeling of sadness, for what you felt, and for a realisation that has come to me since I moved to the US.
You see, we really don't have many of the fundamental Christian issues in the UK - they certainly don't have a voice in politics, anyway, and my only experience with people trying to convert others is with JW, who would come to the door maybe once every couple of years.
The whole fundamental Christian movement is something I didnt know really existed until I moved here. Churches running classes about child abuse (aka Ezzo), people hitting their children with implements (something you'd be reported to social services immediately for in the UK), and so on. Abortion being a hot topic of religious fervour, with political clout. The church heavily tied up with politics (ironic, really, that this is supposedly not allowed, yet is a greater issue here than in the UK) The list goes on. All tied up with the concept of Christianity. I just hadn't come across this before.
So, the anti-Christian feeling of some people, both irl and on the boards, came to me as a shock. I've never come across anyone before who had an assumption/suspicion that I may share the evangelical attitudes of fellow Christians. I'd never come across the idea that people may need to protect their children from people trying to convert them to any other religion - bar the extreme cults which you want to keep from your impressionable teenagers. I have this feeling that so many people think I just don't 'get it', because of my religious background. I really hate the feeling of people being divided by the details of their religion, rather than being brought together in the family of God, or whatever you call Him. This goes against all that I have felt and believed and experienced my whole life so far.
That's what has saddened me recently. Realising that in this American culture, for some people, the fact that I am Christian, whatever the details of my beliefs, lumps me in with these extremists. I don't personally care, I get irritated, sure, but I'm not American, never will be, and don't identify with the problem, if you can understand what I mean. But the overall situation appals me and frustrates me. The depth of the problem appals me. The influence that these people have, via idiots like GW, appals me. And this is on world politics, it's not just America's business, it's the whole world. And until I came here to live, I had no idea.
I think that I have a depth of spirituality and understanding, yet somehow since I came to the US, and to mdc, I've felt that I am dismissed as being superficial and ignorant. Which is weird, as in the UK, religious education is part of the curriculum, so I think I have a better understanding than many Americans. But my very culture, not fitting with the fundies, nor anyone else, leaves me like a fish out of water.
But then, that's how I feel socially too. Divided by a common language, and now a common religion too.
I think I"m being as clear as mud.