Several rural churches across Alabama have been burned to the ground over the last several days. Federal authorities are investigating but have not yet discovered a link or suggested a motive. Four more fires occurred this weekend. Our prayers and thoughts should be with the parishioners of these churches as they seek to recover.
The people of the United Church of Christ know what it is like to have someone burn down your church. One of our Virginia churches was burnt to the ground by anti-gay crusaders last year (an event which few in the Religious Right ever condemned) and other UCC churches have suffered fires through acts of violence or accident in recent months as well. Not all such attacks are hate crimes as the one in Virginia clearly was. But all such attacks are despicable and should always be condemned.