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 perspective, and some more.
Here we talk about prayers in public organizations.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Other countries have prayers in some public organizations. Is this a problem in Zimbabwe?
Takudzwa Mazwienduna: It is definitely a problem in Zimbabwe. Meetings in any professional place always start with an opening prayer and it has become a norm, people would think something is wrong if a prayer wasn’t part of any formal agenda.
Jacobsen: Other nations have prayers done by political officials, public servants. Is this a problem in Zimbabwe?
Mazwienduna: Definitely a problem. The Humanist Society of Zimbabwe has managed to get apologies from some public officials after some of our members complained about it, but the problem is persistent and religiosity is generally understood as political goodwill and mileage in Zimbabwe. Even our president wears robes from churches he has never attended before just to ensure that he gets their votes
Jacobsen: What could be an equivalent, if desired, in a secular setting such as in the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe?
Mazwienduna: The purpose of prayer is supposedly to solve problems and foster hope. As the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe, we can do that without bending our knees, clasping our hands or mumbling to invisible people. The ritualistic essence of prayer is irrelevant to the community.
Jacobsen: Also, we’ve been on this for some time now. Any review updates for progress in 2019 as a whole?
Mazwienduna: 2019 has been a tough year for Zimbabweans. Most people are trying to survive really given the severe economic crisis and gloomy political climate. The situation is probably a lot worse than Venezuela and we are almost in the same place as we were in 2008 when a loaf of bread cost ZW$5 trillion because of hyperinflation. The Humanist Society of Zimbabwe has not been able to mobilize primarily because of that. On the bright side however, we managed to register the society as a formal organization and it has been the biggest development this year.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.
Mazwienduna: 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-books, free 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 Alliance, Centre for Inquiry Canada, Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.
Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du Québec, Atheist Freethinkers, Central Ontario Humanist Association, Comox Valley Humanists, Grey Bruce Humanists, Halton-Peel Humanist Community, Hamilton Humanists, Humanist Association of London, Humanist Association of Ottawa, Humanist Association of Toronto, Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba, Ontario Humanist Society, Secular Connextions Seculaire, Secular Humanists in Calgary, Society of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph), Thunder Bay Humanists, Toronto Oasis, Victoria Secular Humanist Association.
Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker, American Atheists,American Humanist Association, Associação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics, Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Alliance of America, Atheist Centre, Atheist Foundation of Australia, The Brights Movement, Center for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist Ireland, Camp Quest, Inc., Council for Secular Humanism, De Vrije Gedachte, European Humanist Federation, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Foundation Beyond Belief, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist International, Humanist Association of Germany, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist Society of Scotland, Humanists UK, Humanisterna/Humanists Sweden, Internet Infidels, International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, James Randi Educational Foundation, League of Militant Atheists, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, National Secular Society, Rationalist International, Recovering From Religion, Religion News Service, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, The Clergy Project, The Rational Response Squad, The Satanic Temple, The Sunday Assembly, United Coalition of Reason, Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.