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


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


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.

Donations are tax deductible.

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


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

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


A Response to Richard Dawkins Transphobic Tweet

**** For Immediate Release ****

April 12, 2021 – Toledo, Ohio:

We are extremely disappointed in the recent transphobic Tweet by Richard Dawkins who is a well known scientist and spokesperson for those of us in the freethought community.

Mr. Dawkins wrongly equated a white woman who committed fraud by claiming to be black with transgender people as if they are lying about who they are and should experience backlash.

Mr. Dawkins also wrongly attempted to make his views on transgender people as something that can be debated like a question about culture or flavor of ice cream.

Mr. Dawkins demeaned and dehumanized an entire subset of people and this is not the first time he has expressed a contrary view about whole groups of people based on nothing but his own biases.

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie can’t stand by without responding. Richard Dawkins doesn’t speak for SHoWLE or any of our members.

Going forward SHoWLE will not promote or support any project or event that involves Mr. Dawkins. We will ask the Center for Inquiry to remove him from their board of directors and spin off the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science housed at CFI. We would like CFI to make a strong statement against Dawkins remarks.

Richard Dawkins has benefited from his fame and status in our community and the things he says can effect other people for good and bad. Degrading any humans is totally against our Humanist values and we feel Richard Dawkins needs to apologize and step away from the public eye completely.

For reference: Richard Dawkins is Still Denying the Basic Humanity of Trans People

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


Copy of pressrelease

Helping Those Recovering From Religion

We recently hosted Charles Hill, the facilitator for the Columbus chapter of Recovering from Religion group via Zoom for our monthly meeting. Charles and friend of the group Joe Pittenger want to form a Toledo chapter of Recovering from Religion.

If you are interested please fill out the interest form below of send an email directly to Charles (

(Any information collected with this form will remain confidential and used only to contact interested persons who wish to participate in a Recovering from Religion group in the Toledo area. If you would like to join the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie click HERE.)

*Update* The form has been removed, If you still have an interest then visit our contact page and fill it out.

Humanists Respond To Proposed Laws

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie has submitted written testimony to the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee concerning two bills before the committee. One would allow the legislature to override executive orders issued by the Governor and the second would add more regulations to people needing public assistance. SHoWLE opposes both bills.

Senate Bill 17

Makes several changes to the SNAP (aka Food Stamps) and Medicaid programs. It prohibits the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services from adapting SNAP eligibility rules for situations like having a pandemic. It also changes SNAP to a reporting system where the person getting the benifit would have to report ANY change in their income. For example, most people on SNAP work. They would have to report any extra shifts they pick up even if the income overall wouldn’t put them over a threshold.

Another bad change is requiring able body people on Medicaid to work at least 20 hours a week. A good number of people on Medicaid work so this change would hurt those, while not disabled, still shouldn’t be working. There is also a question about if a work requirement is allowed since the Biden Administration just recently rescinded all waivers for the requirement.

Click HERE if the embeded letter can’t be seen above

Senate Bill 22

This bill would allow the General Assembly to rescind any executive order made by the Governor or any emergency order by any state agency such as public health orders dealing with a pandemic that come from the Ohio Department of Health.

Even if there wasn’t a constitutional question about this proposed law, SHoWLE believes that allowing the legislature to ignore science and medical experts to end public health orders is a danger to all Ohioans. The legislature has undermined the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed at least 12,000 people in the state and almost half a million in the US. It is simply wrong to politicize the lives and safety of the citizens of Ohio.

SHoWLE believes Ohio would be in a much better position had the state continued to do the right thing in addressing the pandemic rather than giving in to the selfish and science denying members of the legislature. SB 22 will make things much worse now and in the future.

Click HERE if the embeded letter can’t be seen above

SHoWLE will continue to keep track of and respond to public laws and policies that are of interest to the group or fits our mission statement and purpose. Laws and policies that not only effect church and state issues but also social justice issues will be responded to as well.

If you feel as we do about these two bills, we ask that you contact your state Senator and let them know how you feel about SB 17 and SB 22.

*Update* SB 22 passed the committee and the Senate on 2/17. The bill now moves on to the House.

House Bill 90

A companion to SB 22 was introduced in the Ohio House and is now in the State and Local Government Committee.

Here is the letter I sent to the committee opposing HB 90:

Click HERE if the embeded letter can’t be seen above