G.D. Basson is the Administrator of “The Angry African Atheist.” Here we talk about the background, religion, and how to become involved in some of the community in South Africa.
*Interview conducted on July 1, 2020.*
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was geographic, cultural, linguistic and religious personal and family background?
G.D. Basson: I was born and raised as a white, English speaker in South Africa, mom is Methodist and dad is a bad catholic. Sunday school was rather short-lived and I didn’t even get to my first holy communion, mostly due to my parents being sick of having to get up early on Sunday mornings with a hangover. The church was then relegated to Easter and Christmas until that eventually fell away too.
Jacobsen: How did these influence you growing up?
Basson: Privileged is probably the most accurate word to use, I grew up in a loving home and was taught to be fairly critical in my thinking. Thanks to my parent’s lazy religious outlook I was able to explore religions from a relatively early age.
Jacobsen: When did religion become less tenable as a life philosophy for you?
Basson: I started questioning religion in early high school, having understood that it was my eternal soul that was at stake I spent a fair amount of time researching different religions, from the Abrahamic to Zen Buddhism and everything in between. At the time I settled on LaVeyan Satanism though can honestly say that this was more to be different than actual honest belief. From there I had some issues with drugs and was sent to rehab, as tends to be the case in South Africa their “treatment” was very much based off of the narcotics anonymous program and I found myself becoming a bible bashing young-earth creationist. This continued for around 2 or 3 years before realising that I had simply replaced one unhealthy obsession with another. I re-evaluated the evidence and came to the same conclusion I had as a teenager, namely that there is not sufficient evidence in any deity to allay my doubts.
Jacobsen: What are some benefits of having an online community page for atheists?
Basson: Living in a country where the vast majority of the population believes in the Christian doctrine in one form or another, along with the persecution that comes with that situation can leave one feeling alone and unappreciated. communities online are a way to join like-minded people together.
Jacobsen: Why found “The Angry African Atheist”? What is its current purpose, scope of operation, and reach?
Basson: The purpose of founding The Angry African Atheist is to promote healthy discourse surrounding current events affecting Africans in general and South Africans specifically using satire and humour to engage with members. In terms of scope, I am the only person working on this project, unfortunately having to juggle a day job has made this a lot more difficult than anticipated. In terms of reach, the page currently has 74 likes but would obviously like to expand that exponentially. The long term plan is to make a career out of writing about current events in a funny, satirical and engaging way in order to highlight injustice and impart the truth.
Jacobsen: What do you hope for its growth and extension in reach as we move into 2021?
Basson: This is a difficult question to answer. what I’d like is the opportunity to write full-time, producing content on a daily basis and assisting the atheist community in Africa in a meaningful way. unfortunately juggling a day job makes this an exceptionally difficult task. realistically I’d like to produce more content and be able to at least start earning a fair income from ads etc. once I am able to do that I would be more comfortable looking at the possibility of quitting the day job and committing myself full time to this.
Jacobsen: How can people get involved in the freethinking African community?
Basson: We tend to be a friendly bunch, unfortunately, there isn’t much of an offline support structure in this country. The best place to start would be to join a few Facebook groups.
Jacobsen: What are other recommendations of webpage, groups, or people to keep an eye out for?
Basson: South African Atheist Movement https://www.facebook.com/groups/SAAM1 is a good resource with a diverse and amicable membership. The Angry African Atheist also has a blog, which can be found here: http://theangryafricanatheist.blogspot.com.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Mr. Basson.
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.
*Associates and resources listing last updated May 31, 2020.*
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.
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