“While it is possible to use fire to systematically wipe out all traces of a culture or civilization, why must we emphasize the negative side of it?” said B.C. resident Bart Hall. “It can also heat a home or roast marshmallows. Children can read books by the flames of a bonfire – and we should always focus on the education of children, not the annihilation of heritage.”
Facebook commenter Francine Michaels posted this message: “I believe that the men and women who may have poured gasoline on these churches only wanted to burn out the bad parts of each church, not the whole building. These smouldering timbers should not overshadow their good intentions.”
Controversy often swirls around fire. After burning down buildings in one city it has a history of quietly relocating flames to another part of the world.
“Sometimes arson can act as a helpful early warning system of a greater threat,” observed amateur historian Spencer Brown. “Think of the Reichstag fire – how it was definitely a portent of the danger posed by communists – and the good things that flowed from that unfortunate event.”
At press time, the Catholic Church was contemplating building churches out of less flammable material, like gold.