[Sugar-devel] Religious/Spiritual Text

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Thu Dec 17 15:11:03 EST 2009

On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 09:45, Art Hunkins <abhunkin at uncg.edu> wrote:
> It has recently been suggested to me that the religious/spiritual text in my
> OurMusic and OurMusicMC activities may not be well received by some, and
> that the text may hinder chances for deployment and even potentially cause
> individuals (or Sugar Labs) trouble.

Two concerns.

o We are sending Sugar to Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and
(officially) atheist countries, and to populations practicing a wide
variety of indigenous polytheisms. Christianity will be taken by many
as cultural imperialism, Crusading, or worse, given the history of
supposedly Christian imperialist theft, enslavement, and genocide.

o We are in a life-and-death fight over Creationism in the US.
Demographics says that the Creationists will lose the political and
educational fight definitively in the next generation, but why fan the

I will leave it to other Christians to criticize your theology in
accordance with their own.

> Needless to say, I'd like to avoid
> these eventualities if at all possible.

You have two choices. You can abandon your Judeo-Christian material,
or you can provide equivalent material for Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists,
and atheists. I see on your Web site that you have materials for
Judaism, Islam, and multiple kinds of Christianity. A good start.

(BTW, I believe that your title YVWH is an error for YHVH. Also that
ALPHA ET OMEGA might be better as ALPHA KAI OMEGA. I would also
recommend that you look at the Creative Commons license page. You have
attempted to specify a set of rights very similar to CC-By

I have proposed that we expand the Sword Bible reader to include
scriptures of all world religions, since the software is agnostic and
only the texts are denominational. I know where Free electronic
versions are for most of them.

> (For perspective on the relevance of
> this text to me, please see my list of "Recent Compositions" at
> www.arthunkins.com. These activities are the final manifestations of a
> long-term project.)
> The current text is:
> A Creation Story:
> On the sixth day I was created. God said I was very good.
> On the sixth day We were created - my friends and I. God said We were very
> good.
> On the sixth day my Family was created - my loved ones and I,
>  together with all the other creatures. God said my Family was very good.
> God saw that everything He made was very good.
> He was so pleased He decided to take a holiday, and joined us in play.

I wish Christians would act as though they believed this. As Gandhi is
supposed to have said, "Christianity is excellent. They should try
it." In what is sometimes laughingly known as reality, many Christians
believe that your notion could only have applied before the Fall, when
there were no children, and that children now are born in a state of
Original Sin.

> A possible alternative text (equivalent, and equally acceptable to me - but
> expressed in more "universal" language):
> One day long ago I was created. Spirit was delighted with me.
> One day long ago We were created - my friends and I. Spirit was delighted
> with us.
> One day long ago my Family was created - my loved ones and I,
>  together with all the other creatures. Spirit was delighted with my
> family.
> Spirit, delighted with everything Spirit had made, decided to take a holiday
> and join us in play.

According to the Bible, God was later appalled at his Creation, and
decided to wipe out humanity (and leave the world to the fishes).
According to Chabad and other versions of Chasidism, this is the ninth
world that God created. The previous eight were total failures.
According to Buddhism, God is deluded in thinking that he created the
universe, when in reality both God and the Universe were the results
of pre-existing karma from a previous version. According to a Hindu
myth, a column of ants several feet wide and miles long was made up
exclusively of reincarnated Kings of Gods. According to a number of
dualist religions, material reality is inherently evil, and our aim is
to escape from it into the spirit world.

> I'd greatly appreciate *any and all* comments, especially from those with
> backgrounds and concerns different from mine. I'm eager to hear from as many
> of you as are willing to share your views and "on-the-ground" insights.
> TIA,
> Art Hunkins
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Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.

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