Ask Takudzwa 14 – Soft Spots in Legislation

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspectiveand some more.

Here we talk about areas of concern in legislation.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If we look at a Canadian context, one soft spot is the possibility for removal of the tax exemptions for churches or the creation of a single, secular, and public school system for all children and adolescents.

Roman Catholic Christians acquire privileges in society through public taxpayer monies due to the dominance of the faith at the foundation of Canada. Any comparable cases with Zimbabwe?

Takudzwa Mazwienduna: Such cases in Zimbabwe have been dealt with, the government is very secular and as from 2015, churches were taxed. Taxing churches has however posed a threat to secularism because they have now acquired a legal voice in political issues as taxpayers.

Jacobsen: Any possible starting points for these efforts? Any radical ideas or notions from not just the leadership but the membership of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: We have raised our concerns when we have seen something like that happening and the government knows better than to repeat the same mistakes. Current threats to secularism from the political establishment are nothing more than stunts to get votes or scapegoat the government’s incompetence, corruption and violence, such as the recent National Prayer against sanctions.

Jacobsen: Could there be risks of violent reprisal on the part of the religious against the humanists and the secularists?

Mazwienduna: The religious stunts by the government are something we could speak against, if it was not for the fear of violence. We know just as well as everyone that religion is not at the core of the issues, rather political scapegoating. The government has a record for abductions of activists or opponents that contest them on any issue. The religious stunts are clearly not to endorse Christianity however, but an advancement of government propaganda.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.

Mazwienduna: It’s always a pleasure Scott.

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.

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