Open source gets religion


A friend sent me a tip about this new flavor of Ubuntu Linux that caters to Christians. It’s your basic Ubuntu distro, packaged with the GnomeSword Bible study software, BibleMemorizer, and something called the BibleFox theme for Firefox. I’m normally not a fan of Christian franchising (e.g. lame Christian ripoffs of famous T-shirt themes). But this case, why not? The whole point of open source software is that users can make of it what they want, and this seems like a pretty good instance of that philosophy. I can see the value of something like this, too, in getting inexpensive (well, free) and functional software to missionaries, churches in remote areas, and others who can neither afford nor obtain proprietary software. (And GnomeSword is actually a very nice piece of software, on par with the ridiculously expensive Bible study programs.)

When my friend send me the link, I emailed him back and said “What’s next — the Satanist version of Ubuntu?” It turns out that other people were way ahead of me. (In spite of myself, I have to admit “Linux for the Damned” is a catchier tagline than “What Would Jesus Download?”)

I propose the Amish version of Ubuntu, in which users have to write their own drivers,  manually configure all the settings each time they log on, and which only works
on laptops with a crank handle.

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