Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (194 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Religious and political views in packages
  • From: Sankar P <sankar.curiosity@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 23:24:07 +0530
  • Message-id: <>
On Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 3:29 PM, Sascha Peilicke <saschpe@xxxxxx> wrote:
Hello everyone,

sr#81625 want's to add 'sword', a bible study tool to openSUSE:Factory. While
that is totally fine, the spec file %description contains stuff like:

+The SWORD Project is an effort to create an ever expanding software package
+research and study of God and His Word.

While I don't care much for that particular bedtime story, others may well be
offended by biased religious views (even more so if their's differing). Of
course, this may equally apply to policitcal views or offensive words.

I have the feeling that openSUSE should take neutral stance, be inviting and
open for everyone (and we're quite good at that already). But I'm not sure if
we should provide a stage for non-technical biased views. Even less so for
those with a mission. Thus, the question I'd like to ask is whether we should
allow such formulations or not. Do we already have policy for that or do we
care at all?

I personally don't see any reason why any person should feel offended
at that description. It is not speaking ill of any other
religion/atheists. It just mentions about God and his word. Whoever
wants the application can install it. If the description explicitly
abuses some other religion in derogatory words, say, "Those who don't
believe in God's word will be punished" it is wrong. However the words
that are mentioned are very normal.

If we have to drop packages because it may _offend_ someone, we will
run into a lot of problems. We have a package named Evolution. If some
creationist gets offended by this package name and asks for it to be
dropped, wouldn't it look absurd ? What we are discussing here is just
the same issue but with the sides changed. I mean, if a person doesn't
believe in God, why should he feel offended by mere words ("God and
his word") that mean nothing to him/her.

If someone wants to package a software for analyzing Hitler's /
Ravanan's / Bin Laden's words, we should be open for it. People
whoever want to use it can install and use it. The only thing we
should be bothered is to see if the description explicitly abuses
anyone else. As long as we are not installing these package by
default, none should get angry. My 2 cents :-)

Sankar P
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