Re: And furthermore...
If we suppose that "Apocalypse" is the result of a first century Christian receiving an authentic vision of the future, he may have missed the specific meaning of the start and end stripes, which do look the same as the encoding of 6 (the other 6 is just colours reversed). On the other hand, they didn't have these numbers then, so God would have had to explain that, too. I think they used letters for numbers (Roman and Greek) and in each case the number 60 or 600 wouldn't include a 6, it was a different symbol for 10s or 100s.
Wikipedia says: "In most New Testament manuscripts, the number is rendered as 666, but the variant 616 is found in critical editions of the Greek text, such as the Novum Testamentum Graece. Catherine Cory has identified the number as having symbolic correlation to the Emperor Nero, whose Greek name transliterated into Hebrew has the numeric value of 666, whereas his Latin name written into Hebrew is 616." So apparently the number represents writing down "THAT TWAT THE EMPEROR NERO" without writing that down explicitly and getting into even more trouble.
So should people's individual religious feelings be disrespected.... well, no... except when your religion tells you to kill unbelievers or disrespecters on sight, I suppose. I think Scotsmen and Sikhs carry a knife at all times for this purpose. Or something like that.