Various points have been made in the mozilla.governance discussion about a possible Mozilla Code of Conduct and policy on Planet Mozilla, relating to what restrictions might be placed on appropriate topics of discussion within Mozilla. It has been suggested that “politics” or “religion” might be examples of topics which would be so restricted in some or all forums.
Graydon Hoare has also raised the question about what acts being a Christian does, or does not, ‘imply’.
This post is intended to be an explanation of where I’m coming from when approaching such questions.
Being a child of God is my identity. It’s not something I do, but something I am – or, more accurately, have been irrevocably made, by the undeserved kindness of God. It’s not an aspect of my personality and actions which I can expose or suppress at will. It can’t be laid aside. It’s not a tribal membership or a political affiliation. It’s a total transformation, and an all-encompassing worldview.
This is because the claims of Jesus Christ over the world are total. Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch politician and theologian, wrote: “There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘Mine!'” This includes me (and, for that matter, you, whether you recognize it or not).
It’s not something that I do, but it does affect everything that I do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God“. My involvement in Mozilla is to the glory of God. (That’s where the name of my blog, Hacking for Christ, comes from.) There is no separation between “the things I do because I am a Christian, or for Christian reasons” and “other things”.
So I love my neighbour because I am a Christian. I work on Mozilla because I am a Christian. I enjoy a sunset because I am a Christian. All of these “because”s are equal. In evaluating what I do, the lordship of Jesus is never “not relevant”.
The following analogy is in no way meant to be inflammatory; I pick it because I think there’s a genuine parallel in thinking, in an attempt to help others understand my position. If I’m wrong, please be assured no offence is intended.
I am sure that many transgender people feel that their gender identity is core to who they are, in what I would suggest is a very similar way. So what would happen if we were to say to a trans person: “Being trans is a bit controversial. There aren’t many people here who are like that, and some people don’t agree with it. We’d rather you kept it to yourself. Sure, you can be trans outside the community, but please don’t discuss it or related issues here, or indicate that you are trans e.g. by your choice of gendered clothing, or take actions which are based on your gender-constructionalist worldview, or even show you have such a worldview”?
Such a suggestion would, I would have thought, be met with a polite explanation of how what was being requested was not only practically impossible but deeply hurtful. And perhaps some stronger words too!
My point for the discussion is: whatever we end up deciding, don’t ask me to do the equivalent.
 It could be that here, or elsewhere in this para, I’ve not used the right phrase; please be charitable, and focus on the overall point.