Monday, April 24, 2006

Slackware - Pagan Software?

I had to giggle when I saw this page denouncing Slackware as "coming with its own pagan religion". Well, yes, Slackware's name was most likely inspired by the Church of the Subgenius. I dunno that it qualifies as a "pagan religion". The use of the word "pagan" is nearly meaningless anyway - it seems to include all non-Abrahamic cults, which isn't very descriptive.

He then goes on to say he'd use a BSD over that...huh?! BSD has a history of using THE DEVIL as a mascot!!! OMG! Don't touch it! It's eee-veeyyeel!

There's also a mention of the "Bob" screensaver - which is (always?) packaged with xscreensaver. You don't have to turn it on, and having a screensaver associated with a group that mocks Christian fundamentalists isn't going to hurt you even if it lands on your harddrive. If you're that concerned and sensitive about your religion, you'd better steer clear of Linux altogether, since the two people most responsible for bringing about Linux, RMS and Linus, are...hang on to your hats, folks - ATHEISTS.

Good thing Yggdrasil never took off; that's associated with another "pagan religion" politically incorrect, my stars.

I'm still trying to make heads/tails out of this post. So, some people don't like the fact that Slackware and the Church of Subgenious may have some affiliation and those people happen to be Christians. I guess this means its open season on Christians. I love Slackware (and I've been using it for almost 9 years) but I'm not zealot enough about it to just shut out anyone's view because they happen to be Christians. For instance, if the people who complained about the CoSG weren't Christians, your comments wouldn't have as much power, but the thing I hate about a lot of linux users is that they push for freedom of ideas and open software, yet mention religion and they become as closed as a virgin on prom night.

I guess I'm more open-minded than most linux users.
I guess what I'm basically saying is that in this particular case for sure, Christians are the reactionary, close-minded ones - in this case, the author and several commentors are refusing to even *use* Slackware because of a rather tenuous connection between Slackware & CoSG - AFAIK, there isn't any formal connection.

I'm most definitely not a Christian, but I wouldn't refuse to use a distro if it had some sort of Christian ties. I try to understand Christians; I have to admit that I have a hard time comprehending why they feel so persecuted, for example. I even read the book "Persecution", and the arguments still seem rather specious. Since some 75% or so of the population in the U.S. claims to be Christian, how on Earth can they be persecuted? It really strains credulity, but plenty behave as if they really think they are because of a few anecdotes here and there. And lastly, "some of my best friends are Christians". Nearly all of my relatives are. It doesn't mean I have to accept their chosen Belief System as the one and only "truth". I don't think that makes it open season on them - I just choose to reject the memeplex that some wish to have others internalize.

BTW, I haven't used Slackware since about 1995 or 1996, and I don't use Linux much at all day-to-day; I use FreeBSD for my UNIX-y things. I wouldn't say it's just Linux users that poke fun at fundamentalist Christianity, hackerdom in general has a long history of doing so.
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