SHoWLE Bans Weapons At Meetings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2022

Toledo, Ohio – The Board of Directors of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) voted to ban weapons from all meetings and events it hosts.

The resolution reads in part: “We wish to provide a safe space where, for a short time, people don’t have to worry about being shot or killed by a deadly weapon. Even if the venue where we hold our meetings and events allow weapons, SHoWLE will enforce a ban on weapons. We will also try not to use any venue for meetings or events that we know allow weapons. People who believe their right to carry a gun outweighs the safety of our community are not welcome at our meetings or events.”

The weapons ban fits in with the group’s humanist values.

“This ban aligns with our values of peace and social justice, empathy, and service and participation,” Douglas Berger, President of SHoWLE said. “We have been concerned, for sometime, about the inaction of the Ohio legislature to address gun violence and how some political leaders wild west ideas of the rugged individual strutting down the street packing heat is outdated and the inaction is terrible, on a daily basis, for many families in our community. We felt we needed to do something and the ban is what we decided.”

SHoWLE also supports evidence based actions and policies that will address the tragic cost of unchecked gun violence.

The ban takes effect immediately and exceptions will be made for sworn law enforcement officers conducting official business.

About Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

The mission of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is to provide a supportive local community for humanists and other nontheists, while promoting an ethical, reasonable, and secular approach to life through education, community service, outreach, activism, and social events.

We envision a Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan where secular people are respected and integrated in broader society, live values of reason and compassion, and enjoy a friendly humanist community.

Media Contact

Douglas Berger – President
567-302-0209

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The full text of the Resolution can be found on our Policies and Resolution page

SHoWLE Objects to Bedford Public Schools forcing kids to attend a religious event

Bedford Public Schools is forcing children to attend an assembly during the school day put on by a religious group in the guise of suicide prevention. Instead of allowing parents to opt-in to an event where kids will be “invited” to attend a church service after school, parents must opt-out. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie strongly opposes these assemblies that attempt to circumvent church and state separation by disguising the religious aspect under an important issue like suicide prevention of character building.

Carry the Cure is a non-profit organization that utilizes clinical tools, cultural traditions, and faith-based methods to offer communities comprehensive suicide & abuse prevention and healthy life-choice skills. Carry the Cure doesn’t offer any science based tools that most schools don’t already know and use to help prevent children from committing suicide.

Groups like Carry the Cure offer schools a free assembly on an important topic like suicide and during the program invite the kids in the audience to another event either after school or at a local church where sermons, testimony, and other religious services not allowed at the assembly during the school day.

SHoWLE believes issues like suicide prevention and character building are important and some of that can be addressed in the school, but we object strongly to a religious group being allowed to present a fake assembly to be used to indoctrinate children in religion later. We also object that the fake assembly is mandatory and requires the parents to opt-out. Any program, especially if it involves a religious group, should always be opt-in with the parents fully informed as to purpose of the program, the group providing the program, and any other questions that arise.

Bedford Public Schools made an error is approving Carry the Cure to perform their fake assembly during the school day and to force children to attend.

Social Media post for the afterschool event. The fake assemblies were scheduled for 1:45 PM September 13th and 12:45 PM September 14th

More than half of LGBTQIA+ People are Nonreligious

This weekend SHoWLE will be having a booth at the Toledo Pride Festival at Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo from 12:30 PM to 7 PM. If we get the rain and storms forecast for Saturday afternoon we may leave the festival before 7 PM.

The Secular Survey from American Atheists just released a report this week with some insights into nonreligious LGBTQIA+ people. The report says over half of LGBTQIA+ people are nonreligious and most of them belong to secular groups like SHoWLE.

The top policy issues is protecting the secular public schools, getting rid of religious exemptions to discriminate, and furthering LGBTQIA+ civil rights and equality.

If you are celebrating Pride this weekend and are looking for a welcoming, inclusive community please check us out.

Statement Concerning the Leaked SCOTUS Abortion Case Decision

Our right to privacy is now in danger

Like many in this country the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie were heartbroken by the content of the Dobbs decision of the US Supreme Court when it was leaked in May. It completely guts a woman’s right to abortion under 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision.

We knew this was a possibility from the decades long effort by religious zealots to overturn the case and send us back to the time of secret back-alley abortions that led to unnecessary deaths.

To be truthful, abortions will still happen, but the abortions will be less safe. Those who are caught in poverty will be worse off and women becoming pregnant due to a rape or incest will have no other options to terminate their pregnancy.

The decision also hints at future attacks on same sex marriage, sodomy, and contraception. Religious zealots want to stomp all of that out and people like Justice Alito, Thomas, and the other conservatives on the court are more than happy to help.

Religious conservatives believe wearing masks and not being allowed to pray in a church during a pandemic is a severe violation of their religious freedom, yet they don’t think twice in using their religion to justify taking fundamental rights from all of us. With this decision, our right to privacy is in danger.

SHoWLE strongly condemns the Dobbs decision. We will never stop supporting a woman’s right to reproductive choice and everyone’s right to privacy.

We also repeat our intention not to work with ANY group that doesn’t support a woman’s right to make her own health care choices. We also will refuse to work with groups who don’t support a right to privacy.

We know it is a big ask to boycott Ohio, which is poised to end legal abortion, but if a business isn’t able to leave or refuse to do business in states that ban abortion, we at least ask those businesses to strongly express their support for a woman’s right to choose and offer to help employees obtain abortions in states where it will be legal.

Besides contacting your elected representatives and supporting any protests against taking the right to choose from women, we also ask that you donate to local abortion groups who help those with less resources to get the care they need.

The Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund (focuses on NW Ohio and Toledo)

Women Have Options

Preterm

Midwest Access Coalition

Pro-Choice Ohio

National Network of Abortion Funds


Updated on 06/24/2022 when the decision was officially handed down

The vote to overturn Roe was 5-4. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Alito’s opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts did not join the opinion. He agreed with the majority that the Mississippi abortion restriction at issue in the case should be upheld, but in a separate opinion, he argued that the court should not have overturned Roe.

The court’s three liberals, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, filed a joint dissent.

Supreme Court overturns constitutional right to abortion

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie Condemns Ohio HB 616

The Board of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie urges legislators and our community members to oppose Ohio House Bill 616.

HB 616 eliminates the ability to teach on and discuss topics like sexual orientation, gender identity, and race. If enacted, HB 616 would attempt to erase discussion of the history and lived experiences of marginalized communities and students. The bill’s broad language will have a chilling effect on learning environments.

HB 616’s definition of anti-racist concepts like diversity, equity, and inclusion as “inherently racist” and its explicit mentions of intersectionality and critical race theory suggest a focus on the sensibilities of a narrow group of adults, rather than deep engagement with the needs and concerns of teachers and students in Ohio’s K-3 classrooms.

Humanists “commit to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity” and “long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern” (The Third Humanist Manifesto). HB 616 directly contradicts our core values by attempting to legislate away any discussion of already marginalized groups.

Listening to people’s stories is at the heart of acknowledging each person’s inherent worth. We can only move toward a world of mutual care by cultivating empathy; empathy cannot be cultivated when the stories, experiences, and histories of marginalized groups are made unspeakable.

It is for these reasons that the Board of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie condemns this bill and others like it.

We also encourage our members to communicate with their State House Representative. You can find your representative by entering your address at the Ohio House of Representatives website.

Further information about the bill can be found here:

House Bill 616 @ Equality Ohio 

House Bill 616 @ Honesty for Ohio Education

Tip of the hat to the Humanist Community of Central Ohio for sharing the format of their statement used above.

SHoWLE Condemns Invasion of Ukraine by Russia

Toledo, February 24, 2022 –

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie are heart broken that Russia has unjustly invaded the Ukraine. We condemn Russia’s actions.

Unjust war is the failure of people to find common ground and consensus to live peaceably. All people should stand against the use of warfare to boost ego or settle old scores.

SHoWLE believes that the solution to this naked use of warfare will only be solved by people and not through thoughts and prayers. There needs to be large scale sanctions like excluding Russia from all international organizations they belong to such as sport federations.

A country wanting to be a good international neighbor doesn’t start a war for no rational reason.

It is disappointing that the international community didn’t act sooner to address Russia’s human rights violations.

SHoWLE will support groups whose mission is to aid innocent people caught in the crossfire.

Our thoughts go out to the people of the Ukraine and we hope this human rights violation by Russia ends quickly and any loss of life is low.


About Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

The mission of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is to provide a supportive local community for humanists and other nontheists, while promoting an ethical, reasonable, and secular approach to life through education, community service, outreach, activism, and social events.

We envision a Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan where secular people are respected and integrated in broader society, live values of reason and compassion, and enjoy a friendly humanist community.

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President
567-302-0209

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Our Virtual Darwin Birthday Blood Drive

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday with an urgent call for blood donations. There is a critical need in our area.

Darwin used science to change how we understand biology and evolution. With modern science and technology, you can impact lives today by donating blood.

For the next 90 days, go to the link below and pledge to give blood, then go to your nearest blood collection center and give the blood. Help make a positive impact to someone in need.

SHoWLE Act Of Humanity Challenge

Take a photo of yourself donating blood and share it! Just use the hashtag #SHoWLEActofHumanityChallenge

This Giving Tuesday We Need Your Support

This past year has been a big year for Christian Nationalists in this country and here in the Toledo area.

Foundation for Life, the ironically named anti-abortion group that also includes support from the Archdiocese of Toledo, purchased the vacant lot next to the last abortion clinic in Northwest Ohio. Now members of their group can harass and mislead women without consequences.

The Center for Christian Virtue, also ironically named, a group that is anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-human just purchased a building across from the Ohio State House in Columbus for $1.25 million.

Groups like these, who completely oppose values we Humanists support, can drop tens of thousands of dollars to push their Taliban-like agenda.

Make no mistake, the world that groups like Foundation for Life want to see has already hurt many people. This isn’t just a difference of opinion. Christian Nationalists are an existential threat not only to Humanists but to anyone who believes in the Bill of Rights.

Meanwhile, we have to convince people like you to support our work and to help us build a community with reason and compassion for a better tomorrow.

It shouldn’t be this hard. We shouldn’t have to beg. The Christian Nationalists don’t have to beg. Humanists should have a community that is supporting and affirming of our values in Northwest Ohio.

We are asking you to please support SHoWLE: Make a cash donation today!

Help us build a Humanist community. One that values people and the world we live.

https://humanistswle.org/donate

Donations are tax deductible.

PS: You can help even more by becoming a member or renew your membership on our website

https://humanistswle.org/join-our-group


References:

Center for Christian Virtue, a heavy hitter in Ohio’s culture wars, buys building across from Statehouse

Foundation for Life buys parking lot across from Toledo abortion clinic

Time to Adopt-A-Family

For the third year, SHoWLE is participating in the Holiday Adopt-A-Family program through Lucas County Children’s Services. This year we have two small children, one 3 years old and one 18 months old and they have a caregiver that we would like to get a gift or two for as well. For those who want to help but don’t want to buy something you can donate cash to SHoWLE and we will use it to buy gifts and other needed items for the family. Just send us a check or money order or you can use our donate page on the website – just note that the donation is for the adopt-a-family. All donations and cash contributions should be given to us by December 10, 2021.

This is the kind of activity we would like to do year round as we get more members and some want to seriously commit to helping the community year round. While doing this during a religious holiday time is not ideal, this is manageable enough for our small group to complete. During the pandemic last holiday season we were able to gift the family we had with quite an assortment of needed items.

We hope you can help out. Any questions, please email Bev at bevzilla@yahoo.com

SHoWLE To Host Demonstration on World Humanist Day

*** For immediate release ***

Toledo Humanists Sponsor Demonstration at Courthouse for World Humanist Day

State and local politicians need to stop ignoring science in pandemic response

Toledo, June 15, 2021 –

Last week the story about the Doctor who told an Ohio House committee about how they believed the covid vaccine made one magnetized made Ohio the laughing stock of the world. But this is just another instance where ignoring science has made this pandemic last much longer than it should.

Politicians in the state house have for years thought they knew more than scientists and medical professionals as they hacked away at the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices. During the pandemic many of these same political rays of light have undermined the state’s response to the pandemic and put economics over people.

The gerrymandering that put the Republican party in a super majority in Columbus against the actual number of votes they got in recent elections is an existential threat to the people of Ohio. Politicians make sure that Amazon, which pays little in taxes, gets taxpayer funded infrastructure and tax breaks while Average Joe arbitrarily gets $300 of pandemic unemployment funds taken away to force him to work a job that pays less than what he got from unemployment.

Enough is enough. June 21st is World Humanist Day and one guiding principle of Humanism is to not ignore science and medical experts during a pandemic. Humanists believe that we should put people ahead of profit and we need to stop finding ways people struggling economically don’t deserve help.

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie will be hosting a demonstration on Monday June 21st at Noon in front of the 10 Commandments monument at the Lucas County Courthouse at the corner of Adams and Erie St. Bring your signs and banners to show your views.

We are demanding politicians stop ignoring science and hurting people by stripping away their rights. We also want our elected officials to worry more about people and less about parasite businesses that pay little to no taxes. We all need to pay our fair share and the legislators in Columbus need to stop enacting laws through the state budget to avoid our right to petition the government for redress of grievances. If the politicians in Columbus are worried so much about law and order that they need to make protesting a felony maybe they need to get their own house in order and start holding people accountable.

Ohio needs a serious change in behavior if it doesn’t want to continue to lose residents. This is 2021 not 1951. Enough is enough.


About Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

The mission of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is to provide a supportive local community for humanists and other nontheists, while promoting an ethical, reasonable, and secular approach to life through education, community service, outreach, activism, and social events.

We envision a Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan where secular people are respected and integrated in broader society, live values of reason and compassion, and enjoy a friendly humanist community.

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President
567-215-2694

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