Now Available: Toledo Humanists You Should Know

Logo for the Toledo Humanists Page

When we do pre­sen­ta­tions to oth­er groups about SHoWLE, we talk about three well known Toledo natives who are or were human­ists. Until today we did­n’t pro­mote them on our web­site. That over­sight is fixed.

Starting today you can find short bios about the three human­ists from the Toledo area we talk about: Gloria Steinem, Edward Lamb, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Each page gives a short biog­ra­phy, their con­nec­tion to Humanism and we tried to add a quote that fits the Humanist phi­los­o­phy.

We hope this is just a start of a big­ger project so if you know of Toledo human­ists who should be added, let us know through our con­tact form.

Click on the image to go to the page:

Logo for the Toledo Humanists Page

Winter Solstice Potluck with Gloria Steinem

One of the big events I’ve want­ed to have for the mem­bers and friends of SHoWLE was a win­ter sol­stice gath­er­ing. Many Humanist groups around the coun­try have one and my for­mer group in Columbus had a catered ban­quet each year in December. I would like to announce we will be hav­ing a Winter Solstice Potluck on Saturday December 21, 2024.

I ini­tial­ly had plans for a Winter Solstice Potluck to hap­pen in 2020 and we know why we did­n’t have one. Then after the pan­dem­ic sub­sided SHoWLE did strug­gle to get its feet back under it. I am con­fi­dent that in 2024 we are at least at the place we were at the start of 2020.

The catered ban­quet was used as a fundrais­er for my Columbus group but through the years the costs of the ban­quet wiped out any “prof­it” from sell­ing tick­ets to the event and peo­ple had a cer­tain expec­ta­tion when the event is catered. You buy a tick­et to a din­ner and you expect table ser­vice and bev­er­ages etc….

I like a potluck set­up bet­ter espe­cial­ly for a Humanist group who gath­er as a com­mu­ni­ty to observe the sol­stice.

We also don’t have to sell you tick­ets to attend and that way we can have some­thing else to fundraise off of like door prizes or a raf­fle. And I can assure you there will be plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties.

A potluck also keeps the event open and inclu­sive to the com­mu­ni­ty at large. That way you don’t need to spend $30 a plate for din­ner. It also helps us “cater” to peo­ple with spe­cial diets either they have a med­ical issue or they choose to be veg­an for exam­ple, a potluck is a bet­ter way to have food for every type of diet.

The Winter Solstice Potluck is ten­ta­tive­ly sched­uled for December 21 at the Yager Center at Swan Creek Metropark. In the fall we will have more details and dish sign-up list to try to avoid too much dupli­ca­tion. Other details will fol­low soon after.

I am excit­ed to have this event even I was sweat in the heat and humid­i­ty of June.

Mark this on your cal­en­dar. You can keep up on details as we add them on the event page on our web­site

*UPDATE*

Humanist and fem­i­nist Gloria Steinem will be our keynote speak­er. She will appear via Zoom to say a few words. SHoWLE is thrilled she agreed to speak

We are accept­ing dona­tions to pay Ms. Steinem’s speak­ing fee. If you would like to help check out the dona­tion page.

Another Old West End Fest In The Books

SHoWLE enjoyed anoth­er Old West End Festival on June 1st and 2nd this year. We had sev­er­al peo­ple join our email list and we talked to many more who stopped by. New this year was a dona­tion col­lec­tion box and we brought in $9.18.

The Prize Wheel was just as pop­u­lar with the kids and the young at heart but it did suf­fer some dam­age from overnight rain between Saturday and Sunday. We will have it restored and bet­ter than ever for the Maumee Summer Fair in August.

SHoWLE wants to thank the vol­un­teers that spent their week­end help­ing staff the booth — Ed, Michaelene, Anne, and Shawn. We also thank the donors that fund­ed the booth space and much of the swag we hand­ed out this week­end.

Here are some snaps tak­en dur­ing the event:

Urge Toledo City Council To Mark Day Of Reason

May 4th is the National Day of Reason in 2024 and into the future. One of the ways we have want­ed to mark the occas­sion is to have the city coun­cil issue a res­o­lu­tion mark­ing the day in the city. We weren’t pre­pared for how hard it real­ly is to get it done. That’s why we start­ed a peti­tion.

Back in 2019, SHoWLE reached out to the Mayor of Toledo about issu­ing a procla­ma­tion but his office declined and then the pan­dem­ic hap­pened and our efforts fell by the way­side.

This year we decid­ed to focus on the city coun­cil since they have issued res­o­lu­tions for a whole host of issues with the most recent being demand­ing a cease fire in Gaza. So how hard could it be?

There is no writ­ten for­mal process but in talk­ing to a long time com­mu­ni­ty activist, they sug­gest­ed email­ing the coun­cil pres­i­dent with the request. We did that and heard noth­ing back. Not even a thank you for send­ing this email. After reach­ing out again, the pres­i­dent respond­ed back that our request had been missed and she declined to spon­sor a res­o­lu­tion from us.

A res­o­lu­tion has to be spon­sored by a mem­ber of coun­cil and this being a res­o­lu­tion from a non-religious group to mark a day about rea­son, there were not many coun­cil mem­bers to approach who would wel­come our request. We iden­ti­fied anoth­er coun­cil mem­ber known for their pro­gres­sive stances on the issues and advo­ca­cy for social jus­tice and reached out to them. Never heard back. Again not even an acknowl­edge­ment they got the mes­sage.

In con­sult­ing our com­mu­ni­ty activist friend again, he men­tioned that coun­cil is innudat­ed with requests like ours all the time, they have no for­mal office or staff at city hall, and most times they won’t act on any­thing unless they know cit­i­zens are request­ing it and will back their efforts.

That’s where our peti­tion comes into the pic­ture.

We’ve start­ed a peti­tion with the goal to ask the Toledo City coun­cil to adopt a Day of Reason res­o­lu­tion. The National Day of Reason is May 4th. so it is most like­ly too late this year to get a res­o­lu­tion adopt­ed but we will share the peti­tion with the coun­cil for next year’s Day of Reason. Won’t you help us out?

*Note* We would real­ly like to lim­it the sign­ers to peo­ple who live in the city of Toledo but if you don’t you can still help us out by mak­ing a dona­tion to SHoWLE.

Sign Our Petition Here

Find SHoWLE on Discord

Starting today you can find a SHoWLE com­mu­ni­ty serv­er on the Discord plat­form. Participation is free and open to any­one who wants to par­tic­i­pate but it does require an invi­ta­tion.

You need to cre­ate an account on Discord. You will need to install the Discord app or use the brows­er ver­sion to access the group.

The good news the invites are free. A lim­it­ed time one is with this post. If it is expired feel free to reach out to us and ask for an invite. If you are a mem­ber of SHoWLE you get a spe­cial invite and get a spe­cial role on the serv­er.

This is just anoth­er social media plat­form to have some dis­cus­sions and fun out­side for­mal meet­ings. It is mod­er­at­ed and there are some rules for the group.

https://discord.gg/PTJTP8b6 (this link will expire after April 4, 2024. Just reach out to us for anoth­er if it is expired or check the social media links menu.

Judge Rules Against Catholic Families in Sylvania Bus Dispute

Images of Sylvania school bus

On Tuesday 3/19, Lucas coun­ty Judge Stacy Cook ruled that the Sylvania City School District bus trans­porta­tion plan for stu­dents of non-public schools does­n’t vio­late Ohio law or con­sti­tu­tion.

Back in 2022, a cou­ple of fam­i­lies that send their chil­dren to a catholic school in Sylvania, filed a law­suit because their chil­dren had to be picked up hours before their school start­ed, trans­port­ed with old­er stu­dents, then dropped off at a high school to trans­fer to anoth­er bus, to arrive at their catholic school. The par­ents thought it was unlaw­ful and vio­lat­ed the equal pro­tec­tion and reli­gious free­dom claus­es of the Ohio con­sti­tu­tion.

From the rul­ing:

“The evi­dence sub­mit­ted by plain­tiffs con­sist of sev­er­al affi­davits by the par­ties and a non­par­ty spouse. These affi­davits recite that they choose Catholic edu­ca­tion because of their per­son­al Catholic faith. The affi­davits also recite the var­i­ous incon­ve­niences the Plaintiffs and their chil­dren face because of the District’s trans­porta­tion scheme. However, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have offered no evi­dence of any coer­cive effects on their reli­gious prac­tice: there is no evi­dence that the trans­porta­tion plan has com­pelled Plaintiffs to do any­thing for­bid­den by their reli­gion or that it has caused them to refrain from doing some­thing required by their reli­gion. Plaintiffs have also not offered any evi­dence that the trans­porta­tion plan has com­pelled them to affirm or dis­avow a belief for­bid­den or required by their reli­gion. Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to demon­strate any coer­cive effect upon their reli­gious prac­tice. The Plaintiffs have there­fore failed to show that Defendants’ trans­porta­tion plan vio­lates their right to free exer­cise of reli­gion under the Ohio Constitution.

The Court finds against Plaintiffs as to their claim that Defendants’ trans­porta­tion plan vio­lates their right to free exer­cise of reli­gion under the Ohio Constitution. Again, the pre­sump­tion that a leg­isla­tive act is con­sti­tu­tion­al applies to the Board’s trans­porta­tion plan. With this pre­sump­tion the Court finds in favor of Defendants as to Plaintiffs’ free exer­cise claim.”

JENNIFER A SWIECH, et. al., v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE SYLVANIA CITY SCHOOL DIST., et. al.,

Both par­ties had asked for a sum­ma­ry judge­ment since the facts in the case weren’t in dis­pute. In the orig­i­nal law­suit the fam­i­lies asked the court for an injunc­tion to order the school dis­trict to “fix” the trans­porta­tion plan. Judge Cook said the court could­n’t do that, it could only rule if the dis­tric­t’s act was law­ful and not uncon­sti­tu­tion­al.

The orig­i­nal law­suit was dis­missed by the par­ents on August 30, 2022. Parents refiled on September 16, 2022 and asked for class action sta­tus and removed all ref­er­ences to the 1st amend­ment to keep it out of Federal court. The class action was nev­er cer­ti­fied.

A lawyer for the fam­i­lies, who was one of the plain­tiffs when the law­suit had been filed in August 2022 but dropped out in September of 2022, stat­ed they were prob­a­bly going to appeal the rul­ing.

Additional infor­ma­tion on this sto­ry is in the Toledo Blade behind a pay­wall. Images of the arti­cle is below.

A Released Time Religious Instruction FAQ is now available

We were con­tact­ed recent­ly by some­one who lives in the Sylvania Public school dis­trict. She said that LifeWise had a pre­sen­ta­tion sched­uled for the next school board meet­ing and want­ed to know if we had any infor­ma­tion about the group.

Released Time Religious Instruction is allowed under Ohio Revised Code 3313.6022. The big take­away is that school dis­tricts aren’t required to adopt RTRI poli­cies.

Other points from the law:

(1) The student’s par­ent or guardian gives writ­ten con­sent.

(2) The spon­sor­ing enti­ty main­tains atten­dance records and makes them avail­able to the school dis­trict the stu­dent attends.

(3) Transportation to and from the place of instruc­tion, includ­ing trans­porta­tion for stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties, is the com­plete respon­si­bil­i­ty of the spon­sor­ing enti­ty, par­ent, guardian, or stu­dent.

(4) The spon­sor­ing enti­ty makes pro­vi­sions for and assumes lia­bil­i­ty for the stu­dent.

(5) No pub­lic funds are expend­ed and no pub­lic school per­son­nel are involved in pro­vid­ing the reli­gious instruc­tion.

(6) The stu­dent assumes respon­si­bil­i­ty for any missed school­work.

LifeWise Academy is a large reli­gious group based in Columbus that works with local groups to install Bible class­es in school dis­tricts. In 2022, LifeWise brought in over $6 mil­lion in dona­tions, enrolls near­ly 30,000 stu­dents from more than 300 schools across more than 12 states. LifeWise has a strong pres­ence in Ohio. LifeWise will be in more than 170 Ohio school dis­tricts by next school year — more than a quar­ter of the state’s school dis­tricts.

LifeWise only teach­es Christianity and only hires Christians to be instruc­tors and staff.

The oth­er issues we have is that chil­dren are being removed from school grounds for an hour more by peo­ple who don’t work for the school dis­trict and who the dis­trict does­n’t vet. The class­es have absolute­ly no con­nec­tion to any­thing being taught in the pub­lic school. It is basi­cal­ly a Sunday school dur­ing the week. LifeWise claims it is teach­ing char­ac­ter val­ues but you can learn those val­ues with­out reli­gion.

We have cre­at­ed a FAQ page about Released Time Religious Instruction with addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about the class­es and LifeWise.

Toledo Humanists Condemn Override of HB 68 Veto

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toledo Humanists Condemn Override of HB 68 Veto

TOLEDO — The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie con­demn the over­ride of the veto of House Bill 68 that will now allow the ban on gender-affirming care and ban on Trans women in school sports to become law.

The major­i­ty ignored med­ical sci­ence and the pleas of the Trans com­mu­ni­ty and dis­missed their very exis­tence. Several Senators dur­ing the vote claimed Trans kids don’t exist and that their God assigned the child’s gen­der at con­cep­tion. Rep. Gary Click, in a state­ment on X called for resources for indi­vid­u­als who regret their tran­si­tion “as they realign with their authen­tic selves.” We reject Rep. Click’s call as mis­guid­ed and tinged with reli­gious big­otry.

We don’t believe that laws and pub­lic pol­i­cy should ignore sci­en­tif­ic con­sen­sus or be irra­tional­ly sup­port­ed by moral pan­ic. It is clear to us that some leg­is­la­tors believe their reli­gion is above basic human decen­cy and com­pas­sion. Bullying chil­dren is not a good look.

It was also iron­ic in the same ses­sion the same peo­ple who vot­ed to harm Trans kids over­rode a veto on a bud­get item that pro­hibits local gov­ern­ments from enact­ing their own reg­u­la­tions on tobac­co, par­tic­u­lar­ly bans on the sale of fla­vored nico­tine prod­ucts, which are typ­i­cal­ly mar­ket­ed toward minors.

The action by the Ohio Legislature to force HB 68 into law also denies the right of par­ents to sup­port their child’s health care needs what­ev­er that maybe.

We hope that the ban is chal­lenged in court and ends up like oth­er sim­i­lar bans by being ruled uncon­sti­tu­tion­al.

We will do what we can to sup­port the LGBTQI com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing these unwar­rant­ed and inde­fen­si­ble attacks from the gov­ern­ment.

Media con­tact: Douglas Berger, President

More infor­ma­tion:

‘Cowardly, self-serving vote’: Ohio Senate over­rides DeWine’s veto; bans health­care for trans youth

Donating Cash to Food Banks

At our November meet­ing, it was men­tioned that food banks could use cash dona­tions in addi­tion to the usu­al food dona­tions. Cash dona­tions can actu­al­ly help more clients of the food bank than direct food dona­tions.

We also acknowl­edge that the need for food banks last all year and not just for the hol­i­days. SHoWLE will be arrang­ing some vol­un­teer time at a local food bank ear­ly in 2024.

This is just a list of the two main food banks in Lucas coun­ty.

Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank
Seagate Food Bank