We Are Disappointed Ohio House Passed ‘Heartbeat’ Anti-Abortion Bill

Toledo, Ohio, November 15, 2018 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie are extremely disappointed that the Ohio House passed the so-called “Heartbeat” anti-abortion law, HB 258, on Thursday.

The Republican party claims to be about protecting our rights but it seems they want to deny basic bodily autonomy to the women of Ohio, a right that seems to be the default for male citizens of Ohio. There are no laws restricting men’s accessibility to health care.

This same Republican dominated state house, in the name of rights, stripped away regulations on the 2nd amendment, ended Ohio cities ability to use Red Light cameras for traffic enforcement, and supported the Reagan Tokes Act and “Sierah’s Law.”

Yet instead of working to better the lives of all Ohioans equally, the Republican leadership decided to waste taxpayer money to pass a law that lacks any rational scientific basis and most likely violates previous federal court rulings. It is a law that would restrict the rights of at least half the population.

Humanists believe that public laws and policies should not be based on religious ideology but should be based on sound objective reasons.

SHoWLE has trouble reconciling a political party that claims it wants to “make America great again” with the constant effort to inject themselves into the medical decisions of women and their Doctors.

This needs to stop.

SHoWLE will continue to support women in Ohio who want to make their own medical decisions without religious intercession.

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President

Shawn Meagley – Vice President

About SHoWLE:

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.


You Can Be A Lobbyist

At our November general meeting, our guest Monette Richards, president of  CFI Northeast Ohio, gave us some tips and ideas on how to become citizen lobbyists after the recent election.

Richards explained that you really only need to call the local office of your elected officials and make an appointment to speak to them. Some represenatives hold office hours where they meet people without a formal appointment. When you go to the appointment have some talking points to give to the official or their staff.

The thing she stressed is to do it. Big donor money gets a lot of attention and our only way to get through that noise is to personally speak to the elected people or their staffs and let them know what you think.

Richards also said it is good to find established groups that are working on a issue you feel strongly about and join them so you aren’t reinventing the wheel.

She also suggested a book, The Citizen Lobbyist by Amanda Knief and Rev. Barry W. Lynn, as a good primer. And if you need to invent the wheel because there isn’t an established group, the Skeptical Activism Campaign Manual will help start the ball rolling.

SHoWLE member Peggy C. also suggested a website called  5 Calls.

Our next general meeting is December 8th.

We Strongly Condemn The Tree Of Life Synagogue Terrorist Attack

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie strongly condemns the terrorist attack that happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue this past Saturday.

Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the victims and wish a speedy recovery of those injured.

No one should be singled out, harassed, discriminated against, or subjected to any violence because of their religious beliefs, lack of religious beliefs, or political views.

The murders on Saturday are a prime example why our current political leaders must stop trying to scapegoat a group of people to score cheap political points for their base.

When someone like our President of the United States singles out people he doesn’t like with baseless accusations, it gives cover for others to actually act against members of that same group.

The murders on Saturday, the shooting in Kentucky, and serial mail bombings in recent days shows the terrible side of some in this country. Humanists will continue to work on reducing toxic tribalism and angry nationalism. All of us need to work together to let those who want to do harm know that they will not be welcome and will be resisted.

SHoWLE Board of Directors Elect Officers for 2018-2019

The Board of Directors held their first meeting on October 16th and the first thing on the agenda was electing officers for the year.

President: Doug Berger
Vice President: Shawn Meagley
Secretary: Margarette Webster
Treasurer: Larry Brach

Minutes of the meeting and other news will be shared soon.

Humanists Ask Lucas County To Get Something In Return For Rec Center

Earlier this week it was reported in the news that the Lucas County Board of Commissioners and the City of Maumee were talking about the county giving the Lucas County Recreation Center to Maumee. If a sale or transfer takes place, the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie thinks the county should get something in returnlike affordable housing.

President Douglas Berger sent a note to the Commissioners and copy to the Mayor of Maumee urge the county to add some conditions to any sale or transfer.

Here is the full text of the note:

I am writing to you on behalf of the members of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) concerning the plan to give the city of Maumee the Lucas County Recreation Center property at 2901 Key Street.

We are concerned that the county is considering giving away this valuable piece of property so that the city of Maumee can sell it to the highest bidder for high end homes and condos.

We believe this is unfair to the citizens of Lucas county. Large sums of county tax dollars were spent and have been spent on the structures and other amenities on the property.

We do agree that if the county doesn’t have the funds to continue the upkeep then the Commissioners should consider disposing of the property, but we feel that Lucas county citizens should get something in return.

SHoWLE has some suggestions on any disposal of the property:

1. Any sale or transfer should include a requirement that there be some affordable housing in the development mix. The county needs affordable housing and the Commissioners should do what they can to create more affordable housing.

2. Any disposal should be done at the market rate. Why should the city of Maumee make a profit off the county giving the land away? If they build houses on the land the city will gain tax dollars.

3. It would be better for the citizens of Lucas county that the county sells the land directly to a developer(s) at market rates, so the people of the county get back some of the money invested in the property over the years.

4. The county could consider putting the new jail on the Rec Center property.

SHoWLE hopes the county will take our ideas and concerns into consideration especially about including affordable housing in any sale or transfer.


We Achieved GuideStar Bronze Level

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) was recently recognized for our transparency with a 2018 Bronze Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile!

GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits.

In order to get the 2018 Bronze Seal, SHoWLE shared important information with the public using our profile on www.guidestar.org. Now our community members and potential donors can find out more about our mission and programs.

Check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and tell us what you think:

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie GuideStar Profile

Our Pride Booth Introduced The Group To Many New People

Our booth at Toledo Pride festival

SHoWLE had our first informational booth at the Toledo Pride Festival on August 18th. Doug, Shawn, Margarette, and Larry had over 50 people show interest in the group.

It was a beautiful day with a large crowd visiting all the booths in Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo.

“Having a booth takes a lot of time and effort to pull off,” SHoWLE President Doug Berger explained. “For our first time, we did a great job. I have a lot ideas on how to improve our booth for the future.”

If you be interested in helping staff our booth at other events let Doug or Shawn know.

First Humanist Nooner A Success

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie(SHoWLE) plans to have many activities that don’t fit into the classic general meeting format. Doug Berger, SHoWLE President, started off the non-meeting programing by hosting a lunch get together at a local restaurant.

The first Humanist Nooner, as it is called, took place at the Panera Bread in Maumee. Even though only four people showed up, Doug considers it a success.

“Even if one person shows up I would mark it as a win,” Doug said. “You can’t start something from scratch and expect a hundred people to show up. I knew that when starting up SHoWLE itself.”

Those that attended were happy with the good service and the conversation included politics, religion, and why Sylvania Township hates TARTA.

Doug will host these lunches each month on the 3rd Wednesday. He is open to suggestions for the next location to check out.

If you want to host your own event, use our contact form to send a message to Doug. The more events there are the better for the group.

SHoWLE Will Not Take St. Anthony Land Bank Pledge

screenshot of Toledo officials and Rep. Marcy Kaptur at a press conference demanding the Diocese of Toledo save St. Anthony church

*For Immediate Release*

Toledo, Ohio, June 22, 2018 – The Lucas County Land Bank, a county agency, voted to accept the donation of St. Anthony Church from the Diocese of Toledo contingent on an engineering inspection and a call for written pledges to help in redeveloping the building. At this time the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) has decided NOT to make a pledge.

“Although the church and state issues we were concerned about seem to be abated. We are still troubled with the city and county taking on this project without any concrete plans,” said SHoWLE President Doug Berger.

We do feel that the Padua Center and the neighborhood should not only have a seat at the table but should be taking the lead in any plans for the building. We didn’t feel it was appropriate telling them how to reuse the building.

Berger added that SHoWLE will be monitoring the issue and should it look like outsiders are minimizing or ignoring neighborhood input then it is prepared to support the neighborhood.

Whatever is done with the building has to benefit the whole neighborhood and not just the outsiders who ‘saved’ it,” Berger said.

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President

Shawn Meagley – co-founder