SASS Mission Statement and Ethos
The South African Secular Society is a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and is registered as a Non Profit Organisation (NPO).
Secularism is the strict separation of religious institution from the state, and the equal recognition of all people regardless of their religion or lack thereof, before the law.
The Naturalistic Worldview is a comprehensive worldview based in a scientific, empirical understanding of reality. It offers a positive, rational and fulfilling alternative to faith-based religions and non-empirical worldviews. The naturalistic worldview supports atheism, agnosticism, non-theism, and humanism.
The Aims and Objectives of the Society are:-
- to support and further the cause of secularism and a naturalistic worldview;
- to campaign on secular issues;
- to hold events to promote secularism;
- to challenge religious privilege in the public space;
- to educate the general public about secularism
- to support the non-religious community in South Africa
- to support the Secular Charter as a matter of policy
The Society may affiliate to any other organisation having similar Aims and Objectives and on such terms and conditions as approved by a majority of the Executive Committee.
The Secular Charter
We campaign for a secular state, a state in which:
- there is no established state religion;
- there is one law for all and its application is not hindered or replaced by religious codes or processes;
- there is no privileged position in society or advantage in law for any individual or group by virtue of their religion or belief, or lack of religion (whether the latter is atheism, agnosticism, non-theism, Humanism or the like);
- freedom of expression is not restricted by religious considerations;
- neither the state, nor any emanation of the state, expresses religious beliefs or preferences;
- religion plays no role in state-funded education, whether through religious affiliation, organised worship, religious instruction, pupil selection or employment discrimination;
- the state does not engage in, fund or promote religious activities or practices;
- public and publicly-funded service provision does not discriminate on grounds of religion or belief;
- the state does not intervene in the setting of religious doctrine or the running of religious organisations.
SASS commit itselves to the following principles:
- Being faithful to the Republic of South Africa; honouring and abiding by its Constitution;
- Promoting the unity and wellbeing of those who comprise the South African nation;
- Being responsive to the needs and welfare of the people of South Africa;
- Respecting the rights, culture and dignity of all people within the framework of the Bill of Rights, as enshrined in the South African Constitution; enhancing race and gender equality (adhering to the spirit of ‘ubuntu’);
- Ensuring that there is no discrimination against any member of the public on account of race, gender, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, political persuasion, conscience, belief, culture or language;
- Acknowledging that every human being has a unique value and potential, irrespective of origin, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, beliefs, socio-economic and legal status;
- Believing in the dignity, equality and worth of all South Africans, and in a fair and just society that protects and enhances the wellbeing of all its citizens;
- reflecting this wherever possible in the composition of its leadership, staff and volunteers;
- Supporting a participatory democracy;
- Co-operating, collaborating and networking with other organisations around issues of mutual concern;
- Applying people-centred development;
- Promoting voluntarism at all levels;
- Treating other organisations courteously and respectfully at all times;
- Ensuring the organisation remains true to its mission and objectives;
- Ensuring that the organisation presents itself, its policies and its programme in a positive light to the public, regardless of personal feelings or beliefs;
- Ensuring that the organisation is approachable, helpful and accessible in its relationships with beneficiaries, who are expecting high standards of service;
- Striving towards the provision of an excellent, efficient and effective service at all times;
- Being mindful of the circumstances and concerns of the beneficiaries when making decisions that affect them;
- Ensuring that the organisation has honest and open relationship with its supporters;
- Ensuring that the members serve the organisation in an unbiased and impartial manner, setting aside personal interests and upholding its good name, in order to create confidence in the organisation and the nonprofit sector as a whole;
- Ensuring that the organisation forms associations only with organisations that adhere to similar principles.