Aliens in the Apple

Luth3r hacks iChurch, makes Bible open source

Ben 30 Aug 2011 Church Culture Funny things Potentially controversial

GENEVA TRIBUNE, August 1517.

New things are afoot in the world of Scripture freedom. Two days ago a hacker, who goes under the pseudonym Mart1n Luth3r, released a set of 95 bullet points outlining how to hack iChurch’s core systems. Some of the hacks are totally new, but most of them are ancient hacks that haven’t been used for several centuries.

Tribune reporters found Luth3r openly promoting his hacks on the streets of Wittenburg last night. Luth3r was happy to discuss his 95 points, stridently noting how greedy iChurch employees have become in the years since Pope Stephen’s passing.

“iChurch has become selfish, even downright abusive, and not just to their own employees. They claim to respect Scripture, but only let high-ups in management even read it. What’s worse, they’ve translated the entire work into their proprietary language Objective-Latin, which only their wealthy clients can read.”

“They’ve also amassed hundreds of diabolical Scripture patents, many of them covering some of the most basic and well-loved parts of Scripture. My 95 points clearly show iChurch’s flawed reasoning in all of these cases.”

Pope Timothy has already pronounced anathema on Luth3r for undercutting iChurch’s key principles, violating their many Scripture patents, and transgressing the non-disclosure agreement he signed on joining iChurch. Luth3r confirmed to the Tribune that he did in fact break the agreement, but not without many “intense nights” arguing with himself over what was best to promote truth.

“Most of the iChurch management staff are no longer interested in truth, but only in promoting their own iTruth Indulgence Store. iTruth itself has become so self-focussed and bug-ridden that it’s hard to find any virtues there, let alone real truth.”

“In fact, our Programmer has clearly stated in Scripture that truth should be open and free. Scripture is one of the core components for the operation of truth. Which is why, starting tomorrow, I’m publishing my plain-German translation of the Scriptures as open source on LitHub.”

Fellow hacker JoNNox, who established the Free Scripture Foundation, says, “It’s the first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of proprietary Scripture — well done Luth3r. But unfortunately he doesn’t go far enough. Just being ‘open source’ isn’t enough. Free Scripture is more about freedom than about being low-cost. And publishing his Scriptures on LitHub, when LitHub themselves are not open source, is just plain wrong.”

Pope Timothy’s pronouncement hasn’t stopped Luth3r from gaining a following, however. Crowds of supporters pledged to show their agreement by attending his trial at iCourt next month. One of his fans in Switzerland, J0n Calv1n, even created a virus that spreads itself using the patent-free WordOfMouth technology, using the words, “Support Luth3r — go on a Diet of Worms!”

There are many issues at “stake” in this debate, and at this juncture the Tribune is unwilling to takes sides. We’re sympathic, though not supportive, of this new turn of events on the Scripture scene, and we’re awaiting with interest the outcome of Luth3r’s hearing next month.

Please send in letters of support or criticism for Luth3r, and the Tribune will do its best put them in his hands. As Luth3r himself said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”

Note: I don’t like how closed Apple is, but this post ended up sounding much more anti-Apple than I really am. :-) The idea originated after a friend called me an “iconoclast”, and I started thinking about the Reformation in hacker terms: “wherein Martin Luther hacked the Roman Catholic Church and made the Bible open source”. It’s tempting to think of the Reformation as boring theological history, when in fact it must have been a terribly exciting, freeing time to be alive.

References: Martin Luther, Ninety-Five Theses, Luther Bible, John Knox, John Calvin, Diet of Worms, Martin Luther quotes, Objective-C, Software patent, GitHub, Free Software Foundation, Computer worm.

Comments (12)

Alan 30 Aug 2011 at 11:11pm

LOL *runs away and hides*

Alexia 30 Aug 2011 at 11:33pm

great write up Ben. It did make me think that it would have been an exciting time to be alive, but also scary. :)

Ben 31 Aug 2011 at 9:16am

Hehe. But boy, that was a quick reply — I’m sure it came through just seconds after I posted the blog entry. Okay, Wordpress tells me it was 240 seconds, but still. :-)

Lynn A. Hoyt 31 Aug 2011 at 11:24am

At least in those days, you knew who was whom. As Luther said it:
“Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.

On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me.”

None of this “I don’t want to offend anyone” and “one must consider the circumstances”, or that’s one man’s opinion” hogwash. I think I would have been scared to death, but would have been spiritually more healthy in that milieu. Enjoyed your piece very much.

Jeremy E 31 Aug 2011 at 3:53pm

Simply Brilliant. Well played, sir.

Ben 31 Aug 2011 at 3:55pm

Thank you, brother-in-almost-law.

rick 31 Aug 2011 at 4:34pm

Classic. 2 points Ben

Sharon L 31 Aug 2011 at 10:04pm

This is great, but when I got to the Diet of Worms, I laughed out loud!

Alan 31 Aug 2011 at 10:48pm

Quick, you say? let’s see. Wikipedia tells me the average reading speed of an American adult is 250-300wpm, and your post is 652 words long including the references. That makes an for an average read time of 130.4 - 156.5 seconds, now add 2 seconds for Chrome’s page load, another 3-4 seconds for typing my response. That leaves roughly 80 seconds for Wordpress to send me the email notifying me of a blog post and me to respond to the new email notification, not stretching the bounds of plausibility at all! ;)

Liana Havelaar 1 Sep 2011 at 6:03am

Which makes Jeremy *what* sort of brother??

Hilary 1 Sep 2011 at 8:02am

And Z-gli reposts the hack in his blog “lock, stock, and two smoked sausages”

Jeremy E 1 Sep 2011 at 9:19am

I like to think of myself as a “brother from another mother”