New bible reading activity

Todd Cranston-Cuebas geekhunter at
Mon Mar 17 02:27:22 EDT 2008

Actually, I spent a good part of the weekend thinking about how I would
respond to this thread. First, it's important to decide if OLPC want to be
truly open. If open means sharing, collaborating, supporting, etc. then the
BibleReader should definitely be included in any list of XO Activities
recognized by the project. I would expect no less than a KoranReader or any
other specialized reader required by the children and/or their families. The
argument for a special reader is sound. As I conduct my own bible study I
find the ability to rapidly find chapter, verse, books of the bible,
bookmarking etc. as invaluable. Yes, you could use the Read activity or just
surf the web, but the specialized readers are significant enhancements to
true students.

I'm actually heartened to see the response over the weekend since I was
beginning to wonder about the "openness" of this project if open only means
anti-Christian. Yes, I can say anti-Christian since the comments on seeing
the value of including a special activity for Darwin's Origin of Species is
clearly meant to be confrontational and anti-Christian. Funny how it's
acceptable to bash Christians isn't it?

In terms of not doing the "OLPC any favor" by including a BibleReader
activity, I think it's quite the opposite. Giving OLPC users the greatest
access to information should be a driving motivator. Of course, I would not
suggest that any specific religious texts and/or activity be part of the
core build, but clearly blocking the listing of such an activity would seem
rather 1984'ish to me.


On Sat, Mar 15, 2008 at 1:13 PM, John Gilmore <gnu at> wrote:

> > In other words, I think that in terms of third party content and
> > activities, we want to be "culturally neutral" by supporting all
> > types, cultures, religions, and ideals, rather than by ignoring all of
> > them.
> +1.
> It did seem odd to me that a whole application would be dedicated to
> reading (various translations of) exactly one book.  Perhaps this
> (GPL) application can be improved by volunteers to work with two books.
> Or more!  (As every computer science student knows, the interesting
> numbers are 0, 1, and more than 1.  Once your code handles 2, getting to 3
> or 3000 is usually really easy.)
> We've also seen people working on making it easy to read the Koran on
> the OLPC.  Perhaps the two efforts can be merged ;-\
>        John (an atheist myself)
> PS: Some countries have an official religion; their educational
> department is probably going to put religious education in every XO
> they use, as it already is in their schoolbooks.  Get used to it.
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