Threat To Remove Amish Homes Is An Unnecessary Blow To The 1st Amendment

Toledo, December 20, 2019 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) are concerned about the recent legal issues involving 14 Amish households in Lenawee County Michigan.

We do believe that laws that have a genuine secular purpose, such as health regulations, should apply equally to all people without regard to religious beliefs.

We also believe that when government agencies engage with religious groups like the Amish, that engagement should be done in a positive and helpful manner. Where strict religious beliefs conflict with practical regulations we would like to see an effort to accommodate the religious group while still getting the group to comply with the health laws in question.

The aggressive and antagonistic behavior of the Lenawee County Health Department is not the positive and helpful effort we want to see.

The Amish community has a long history in Ohio and we would think the people at the Lenawee County Health Department might look to see how Ohio health officials interact with the Amish here.

SHoWLE also agrees with Mike Ferner, founder and coordinator of the Toledo-based Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie, that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in the Lenawee county pose more of a threat to the children than 14 outhouses in the Amish community.

Condemnation and removal of the houses seems like overkill and we feel the Lenawee County Health Department is wrong to use the threat over a small group of people who refuse to use technology and electricity.

We feel there is a better way to resolve the issue.

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
419-356-8568

Shawn Meagley
419-266-7945

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For further background: Lenawee County sued over treatment of Amish residents

Ohio Politicians Need To Stop Practicing Medicine Without A Licence

*For Immediate Release*

Ohio Politicians Need To Stop Practicing Medicine Without A Licence

Toledo, October 2, 2019 – It seems like everyday the Ohio legislature is introducing or passing yet another abortion restriction bill. The claim is it is saving babies or protecting the health of the mother, but it seems that is lie. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie demand that Ohio politicians stop practicing medicine without a licence as they unfairly and unjustly regulate women while ignoring actual medical science.

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SHoWLE Disappointed Ohio AG David Yost Supports LGBTQA Discrimination

image of Ohio Attorney General David Yost smiling
Ohio Attorney General David Yost

Ohio Attorney General David Yost waited until Friday to announce that Ohio will sign-on to a brief for three US Supreme Court cases that will decide if the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQA people. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie are disappointed in Yost’s decision and reject his reasoning.

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Having A Blast At Skepticon

This weekend I am attending Skepticon 11 in St. Louis, MO with Shawn and Peggy. Skepticon is a free convention for seculars and skeptics.

Shawn and I are having a good time, meeting new people, getting new ideas, and communing with people who have similar world views as we do.

I’ve learned how to make an awesome podcast and how to persuade people on issues I think are important. I also learned about the religious right’s effort to have special laws passed in state legislatures through their Project Blitz initiative. Did you know Ohio has a chapter of the Prayer Caucus? It lobbies state legislators in Columbus.

Shawn and I are bringing back meeting and event ideas for the coming year.

The only misstep to this year’s conference is it being scheduled during the 5th Anniversary of the death of Michael Brown. He was shot and killed by a white police officer just 10 miles away in Ferguson. Until one of the talks this evening, Skepticon made no effort to acknowledge the event. I hope they do better next time in making sure there are no conflicts like that or at least dedicate some time to marking those kinds of tragedies.

Shawn walked around the area where our hotel is located and mentioned to me she saw a lot of homeless people. It made me consider that a convention like Skepticon should include a community service project so participants experience life outside the hotel.

I do want to attend another Skepticon in the future. This type of convention is needed by people in our community.

Berger Spoke At Lights4Liberty Vigil

On Friday evening, July 12th, at Levis Square in downtown Toledo, the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) co-sponsored the Lights For Liberty vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.

Lights for Liberty partnered with international, national, regional and local communities and organizations who believe that human rights are fundamental rights, are not negotiable, and are willing to protect them.

President Douglas Berger was one of several speakers, at the event in Levis square, who highlighted the human rights issue with the immigration detention camps setup around the country.

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Toledo Humanists Disappointed Gary Johnson Refused To Vote On Six-Week Ban Resolution

Toledo Member of Council at Large Gary Johnson (D)

Toledo City Council passed a resolution on June 26th that condemned passage of the six-week abortion ban by the state legislature back in April. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie support the passage of the resolution. The issue we have was the refusal of Council member Gary Johnson to vote. He fled the council chambers so he didn’t have to vote on the resolution.

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Toledo Humanists Condemn Passage Of Another Anti-Abortion Law In Ohio

Toledo, April 16, 2019 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) has issued a statement about the recent anti-abortion bill (also called the ‘Heartbeat’ bill) that was signed by the Governor.

The statement condemns in strong terms the legislature for passing the law that has neither public support nor is it based on any sound scientific facts.

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More To My Letter About The Berkeley Puncher Incident


Hayden Williams (right) with President Trump at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference on March 2nd.

The Berkeley Puncher is a ’cause celebre’ in the conservative press and social media. Keith Burris, editorial director of Block Newspapers (owner of the Toledo Blade) wrote an op-ed about the ‘war on tolerance’ and used the violent incident in Berkeley as an illustration of ‘both sides’ doing it and it should stop. I wrote a letter-to-the-editor in response.

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