PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Free Your Mind
 
Comments: 22
Article views: 912
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Free Your Mind's badges.
 

Top 3 myths about religion in South Africa

23 November 2012, 07:20

1) South Africa is a Christian country (i.e. majority rules).


The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the new South Africa states that everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.


In a speech on 21 October 2010, our Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke stated:


"We have opted for a secular state which is enjoined to observe strict neutrality among religious tendencies. This duty indeed extends to the right not to believe or hold or observe any religion."


One might be forgiven for thinking otherwise as South Africa still has some way to go to redress religious discrimination in our legislation.


One change that has already been made relates to marriage laws. Prior to 30 November 2006, religious marriage officers could only be legally designated as such "for the purpose of solemnizing marriages according to Christian, Jewish or Mohammedan rites or the rites of any Indian religion" in accordance with the Marriage Act. The Civil Union Act legalized same-sex marriage and also allowed for the legal designation of religious marriage officers without any religious restriction in accordance with the Constitution.


The Witchcraft Suppression Act of 1957 based on colonial witchcraft legislation suppressing traditional African religion is currently under review by the South African Law Reform Commission. The act criminalizes claiming a knowledge of witchcraft, conducting specified practices associated with witchcraft including the use of charms and divination, and accusing others of practising witchcraft.


The South African Law Reform Commission's 2010/2011 Annual Report states:


"One of the SALRC's other new projects, the review of witchcraft legislation, will support the constitutional guarantee to freedom of religion, but will also serve to protect vulnerable groups. It is mostly women advanced in age that are persecuted as witches by communities holding traditional beliefs. These innocent victims are vulnerable to a double degree: as women and as older persons."


The Christian holidays of Christmas Day and Good Friday remain in our calendar of public holidays. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, a chapter nine institution established to support democracy, held countrywide consultative public hearings in June and July 2012 to assess the need for a review of public holidays following the receipt of complaints from minority groups about unfair discrimination.


Not everyone is Christian and not all non-Christians are blessed with an employer who allows them time off to celebrate their own religious beliefs. If anything ever comes of this, it does not mean that Christmas will be cancelled unless one's celebration of the day relies on government sanction.


One might also be forgiven for thinking there is no separation of church and state in South Africa as certain religious leaders and interfaith groups have made it their business to provide Zuma with an election campaign platformask South Africans to forgive Zuma's philanderingdefend Zuma's image in The Spear saga and publicly support the e-toll system. What do they hope to receive in return? I can only speculate that apart from political connections, Zuma's new God squad wants liberal laws to go.


2) Everything that is not Christian (or Jewish or Muslim) is Satanic (and evil).


Religious fundamentalists, so-called occult experts and the sensationalist media would like you to believe that everything that is not part of mainstream religion is evil (see one choice news article here: Rise in witchcraft & Satanism in KZN). Such propaganda belongs in history books about the Inquisition and the infamous Malleus Maleficarum handbook for medieval witch hunters.


3) All religious South Africans are sheeple.


I find it somewhat ironic that some atheists criticize others for not thinking exactly how they think and believing exactly what they believe.


Exercising one's constitutional right to explore beliefs outside of mainstream religion requires some serious intellectual effort and resistance to social prejudice.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Tiisetso Maloma
Open letter to minister of Small ...

Below I list a few things which I believe frustrate entrepreneurship growth and acceleration in South Africa.  Read more...

1 comments 117 views
The alarming issues relating to y...

Unemployment is one of the key indicators of poverty and has various negative effects on people. Read more...

5 comments 65 views
Submitted by
Logan
Impeach President Zuma

Why do we expect the best from professionals in all areas of our normal day-to-day, but accept what clearly is nowhere near sufficient from our President? Read more...

6 comments 133 views
Submitted by
jerrypitie
Investing in the poor pays much f...

It is nothing but a wreck of a thought and act of pruning short cuts for the lazy and the ignorants. Read more...

23 comments 574 views
Submitted by
Juanne Coetzee
Potential armed shopping robbers ...

ARREST - SAPS at their best Read more...

3 comments 921 views
Submitted by
Jotta Malvern Booysen
Open letter to Premier Helen Zill...

After kidney failure people need a new kidney or dialysis to live. If you do not get dialysis, toxins will build up in your blood and water will fill your lungs and you will die. Read more...

33 comments 2072 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.