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Date/Time Permalink: 04/16/06 06:08:11 am
Category: General

This article makes me nervous. It never occurred to me that Big Religion would horn into the FOSS flock. Somehow, I thought users would always just come to it as... users.

There is no flame/controversy-proof way to put it, so I guess I'll just say it plain: I'm going to have a hard time of it in Open Source if it becomes predominated by heavy religion. Not because there's any religion I do or don't like - I honestly do not care who/what/why anybody worships any way at all, and I greet all missionaries at the door with a polite 'Thank you, but we're happy with the beliefs we have.' No, but from the other side of the fence, there's a lot of them there folks that tend to be a tad xenophobic; whereas I have problems with none of them, a whole lot of them have problems with me.

How free (as in freedom) does Free Software remain after we have our code monitored by the Moral Majority? Do we really need Focus on the Family wringing their hands over this meter? What's going to happen to my fortunes.offensive file? It's bad enough I have to rot13 decode it now.

When the first clash between freedom of expression and dogma happens, it may prove to be the worst storm that Linux will have yet survived. Linux doesn't have a very strong relationship with the media, whereas I'd yet to have *HEARD* of or *SEEN* the Telletubbies in my life before I'd already heard that some pastor thought "Tinky-Winky" was gay. And as experience in the United States shows, the difference between "religiously condemned" and "against the law" is usually a few dollars and a few votes.

Now link "DRM" with "Thou shalt not steal" - as if they had anything to do with each other, since DRM is actually a tool to enable a great deal of stealing, albeit from us by the corporations and not the other way around. Ooooh, I see a heck of a clash coming between GPL-3 and scripture.

Add to this...well, ESR said it best in the Jargon file in demographics and religion. We of the hacker community are a very broad mixture, and are marked by our tolerance for all walks of life. That includes sexual lifestyles and alternative beliefs. The only things frowned upon are prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance. Well, fellow hackers, say a big howdy-do to people who believe a specific race alone is chosen as God's favorite, think roasting in hell's too good for anybody who has sex any way but they do, and resist every possible scientific achieve with either the argument that it's a violation of God's nature or contradicts what their favorite scripture says.

Great. Every time they release a new program with scientific applications that mentions evolution, they're gonna have to release dual versions that refer to creation too, and have a law saying they both have to be included...

That's the problem with True Freedom - you have to take anybody. I guess we'll have to adapt to the new difficulty as we always have before.

Standard disclaimers: My views and opinions may be right or wrong; none of them are immoral. And I don't care about anybody who's out to complain that they're one of the *GOOD* religious people, they're not whackos like so-and-so, and it's unfair that I tar all of you theists with the same brush. If that is the case, today is Sunday, and you belong in the same pew as one of those whackos, telling them to stop making a bad name for you, and furthermore, you have to ask yourself if any of your donated tithe found it's way to the pockets of one of the afformentioned whackos, and if so, stop it. Until you've *SUCCEEDED* in those two actions, yes, you too Holy Believer, are as much a part of the problem as the worst of your lot.

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