Ask SASS 9 – Keeping Expectations Realistic

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

This is an ongoing and new series devoted to the South African Secular Society (SASS) and South African secularism. The Past President, Jani Schoeman, and the Current President, Rick Raubenheimer, and the current Vice-President, Wynand Meijer, will be taking part in this series to illuminate these facets of South Africa culture to us. The whole SASS-y gang join us.

Here we talk about support from the international community.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s start with some commentary on the international community. Secular communities can vary in size and scope and depth per region and per country of the world.

How important is joining up with that global culture, that international community, of secular people?

Rick Raubenheimer: Well, it’s nice to have, I think, because we can exchange useful views, and there was the talk of possibly funding a conference in Africa. That would be useful, because we don’t have the funds to do something big ourselves. Otherwise, I must say we haven’t had much contact with them except for them asking us to join.

Jacobsen: When they reached out, what was the reasoning behind the decision to accept the offer or the invitation to join them?

Raubenheimer: The idea of them funding an African conference in South Africa was motivation.

Jacobsen: If you’re looking at Uganda or Botswana, or Ghana, and elsewhere, these individual organizations can only do so much and joining up with international contexts or an entire region of like-minded people can, basically, help them share information, strategies, things that have worked for them.

Things that have not, for them. Do you see that other organizations can find a benefit in joining up with a larger community of like-minded people?

Raubenheimer: I can imagine in the abstract that that would be the case. I don’t have contact with the other organizations to be able to say specifically that this has been the case.

Jacobsen: Moving forward, what are some early benefits that have come from being part of Humanists International? What, more particularly, would you like to see as some benefits coming from Humanists International?

Raubenheimer: In terms of what benefits have come so far, I would imagine the only benefit, so far, has been that we are listed on their website and people willing to dive into the website and locate the map to locate us on would be able to find us. That’s the only benefit I can see we’ve had so far from it.

In the future, more contact, I guess, I hope. I would’ve thought they might have an email newsletter, periodically, but I’ve heard nothing from them, and perhaps more contact in the conference I mentioned.

Jacobsen: I’m out of questions [Laughing].

Raubenheimer: I thought it would look like it would not be a very deep topic to mind, shall we say.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-booksfree or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular AllianceCentre for Inquiry CanadaKelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.

Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du QuébecAtheist FreethinkersCentral Ontario Humanist AssociationComox Valley HumanistsGrey Bruce HumanistsHalton-Peel Humanist CommunityHamilton HumanistsHumanist Association of LondonHumanist Association of OttawaHumanist Association of TorontoHumanists, Atheists and Agnostics of ManitobaOntario Humanist SocietySecular Connextions SeculaireSecular Humanists in CalgarySociety of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph)Thunder Bay HumanistsToronto OasisVictoria Secular Humanist Association.

Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an AgnostikerAmerican Atheists,American Humanist AssociationAssociação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and AgnosticsAtheist Alliance InternationalAtheist Alliance of AmericaAtheist CentreAtheist Foundation of AustraliaThe Brights MovementCenter for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist IrelandCamp Quest, Inc.Council for Secular HumanismDe Vrije GedachteEuropean Humanist FederationFederation of Indian Rationalist AssociationsFoundation Beyond BeliefFreedom From Religion FoundationHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist InternationalHumanist Association of GermanyHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist Society of ScotlandHumanists UKHumanisterna/Humanists SwedenInternet InfidelsInternational League of Non-Religious and AtheistsJames Randi Educational FoundationLeague of Militant AtheistsMilitary Association of Atheists and FreethinkersNational Secular SocietyRationalist InternationalRecovering From ReligionReligion News ServiceSecular Coalition for AmericaSecular Student AllianceThe Clergy ProjectThe Rational Response SquadThe Satanic TempleThe Sunday AssemblyUnited Coalition of ReasonUnion of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.

Photo by Tim Johnson on Unsplash

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