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From:  Charles Butler
Date:  Mon Dec 14, 1998  8:15 am
Subject:  Religious Sign Language

I will try to answer your question politely. What I hope we are trying
to do is create the equivalent of an Oxford English Dictionary in
various signed languages, not just one group, isolated, from another.
Religious sign language has not heretofore had a single dictionary that
one can look to. As you are in Australia, I am sure that Aussie Sign
Language as a two-handed system has an entire different grouping than
ASL. I would hope that you would understand that what I hope, in the
long-term can be created by the center for Sutton Movement Writing is
one uniform way of writing all signs from whatever dictionary for
comparison, dissemination and discussion, not just little "pockets" of

For example, there is one book for interpreters called "Signs of Sexual
Behavior". That book took over 10 years to produce because it took a
long time to break down "trust" barriers that the Deaf, and perfectly
reasonably so, had put up to exposure of "sexually charged" signs.

In the same way, as a Witch, which I do not consider an "arcane"
subject, just a different religion, in which there are Deaf adherents,
should not have to be ashamed to walk into a normal bookstore, like
borders or and be able to purchase, conceivably from the
Center for Sutton Movement Writing a complete dictionary that happens to
contain their subject matter under "Earth Religions" which are real
religions, not "arcane and esoteric" subject matters.

Yes, the books exist in picture form, but not in a uniform, coherent
writing system, and that is what Sign Writing is all about, a
dissemenatable system for all signed languages, for everyone, not just
interpreters or researchers.

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