Ask Takudzwa 18 – Prayers in the Public Organizations and in Political Offices

by | December 29, 2019

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 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-booksfree or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

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 Matthew Henry on Unsplash

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