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Ask SASS 9 – Keeping Expectations Realistic


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/11/13

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.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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