That paragraph about the Irish farmers brought a tear to my eye (a good tear). Thanks. Yes, THAT is what it is all about - like Linus giving the description of what Christmas is all about in the Charlie Brown cartoon or the Little Drummer Boy, when Aaron's broken heart was opened while playing his drum for the baby Jesus. I know these are stories, but to me they embody the spirit of what Christianity should be - at least at its very base.
I totally get what you mean about intrepretation vs. understanding. I agree that man's interpretations of scripture can only be flawed as we are much too subjective, and will mold things to suit oursleves, and like you say, will also reflect the times we are living in. I think one really has to open wide and see the message (love) on a very broad scale instead of picking apart verses looking for permission to nurture hatred.
Interesting take on 666 - that kind of blew my mind, lol. I like it though, just never thought of it.