Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (194 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: [opensuse-factory] Religious and political views in packages
  • From: todd rme <toddrme2178@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 14:27:57 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM, Lars Müller <lmuelle@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Fri, Sep 09, 2011 at 11:59:40AM +0200, Sascha Peilicke wrote:
+The SWORD Project is an effort to create an ever expanding software package
+research and study of God and His Word.

Maybe best if one of our English native speakers commnets on this.

As a native English speaker, I do think this is a problem. There are
three possible areas of controversy and offence here. Two are easy to
change. one is not.

1. "study of God" means that the Christian god is the one and only
true god. This is the same as saying all other religions are false.
Obviously members of other religions would be justified in taking
offense at such a statement.

2. "His Word" means that the Bible is the word of God. This has the
same problem as the previous, it is saying that the Christian bible is
the legitimate word of god, and by extension that others are wrong.

3. The name "sword" has a violent and aggressive connotation, usually
associated with more extreme and evangelical brands of Christianity.
I am not longer Christian myself, but when I was a Christian I found
the name off-putting. So the name might not only be a problem for
non-Christians, but for certain types of Christians as well. However,
I think this is a much smaller issue than the description, and is
probably not worth making a big deal over.

1 and 2 are easy to fix by simply changing the description to something like:

"The SWORD Project is an effort to create an ever expanding software
package for research and study of the Christian bible and theology."

I think that would be neutral and acceptable to me. As an atheist I
have no problem with having religous software, the issue is when the
openSUSE project has the appearance of endorsing particular religious
views or denigrating others. The current description has this
appearance, but that is easy to fix.

The name is more difficult to fix but in my opinion is not is not a
serious enough issue to warrant any action. However, people who have
had problems with evangelical Christians in the past, or cultures that
have had problems with violence by Christians in the past, may have a
more serious issue with the name.

So my personal vote would be to change the description to something
that does not imply a judgement on the validity of any religious
beliefs, while keeping the package.

There used to be one or more Muslim prayer plasma widgets offered by
KDE:Extra. They don't appear to be there any more. I think the rules
should at least be consistent, so if they were removed based on their
religious content then Christian software should also not be allowed.
On the other hand if they were removed because of a lack of a
maintainer or lack of upstream updates then it is irrelevant to the
current issue.

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