[kwlug-disc] (In progress) kwlug candidate meeting site sourced.

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Mon Dec 21 03:07:42 EST 2009

Thank you for your comments, unsolicited.  I did wonder about the
way my post would be received.  I guess it depends on people's backgrounds
and points of view.

To be clear:

It was not meant as an attack on you personally.

It was not meant as an attack on church in general, either.

And it was not my intention to start a truly religious flamewar on a tech
mailing list.  But it seemed that people were politely speaking around
the issue, and I felt it was important enough to talk about plainly.

Again, it's the perception of what church is for.  If it is truly just
a building, this is not an issue.  If it is truly only about community,
this is not an issue either.  But for many people, religious or not,
church is not just another community centre.

Of course, the church building is used for many programs, or can even
be rented out.  If the building is used to do good (such as for Out of
the Cold), it seems perfectly logical.

But if the church is assuring people that there will be no proselytizing,
in its own building, in order to soothe the worries of those using the
building, hasn't something been lost?  What else do people expect at church?

I'm not saying that proselytizing must be mandatory (eg. Out of the Cold).
But I would certainly not prohibit it in a church of all places.

I understand the benefits of community.  And one of the reasons I even
hesitated posting about this was because KWLUG is free, about a free
operating system, put on for free by its own members, sharing what they
know and have with the community.  In many ways, it's a great fit, if
you only look at it from a community point of view.

And in almost any other setting, that's the point of view people would have.
But there's a whole other world in church, and to expect that world to
be quarantined, and to expect newcomers to assume that it's quarantined,
is to do a disservice to the church, and I think the LUG as well.

I do apologise for my overbroad generalizations.  As I said, I wasn't
sure I found the right words to convey this.  My experience is limited.

I can only imagine various reasons why people might feel uncomfortable.
I don't think it is wrong to imagine those reasons, and try to put
myself in others' shoes.  Some people may be uncomfortable because they
hold the church in extremely high regard.  Some because they are at
odds with the church.  Some because the environment may be distracting.
Some because it assumes a homogeneous set of beliefs that may not exist.
Some for other unknown reasons.  And some (most?) may not care at all.
I don't know what reasons others have.  I'm speaking for myself, and
trying to think logically about the pitfalls.

There will be assumptions.  What assumptions do we want to encourage?
I don't speak for the group.  We all need to decide for ourselves.

- Chris

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