We Are Now Offically A Chapter Of The American Humanist Association!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is now an official chapter of the American Humanist Association

(Toledo, Ohio, June 7, 2018) – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) had their chapter application approved by the American Humanist Association.

Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

“This is a major foundational stone we needed for SHoWLE to have a chance at a strong start and become a sustainable long term active group in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan,” SHoWLE President Doug Berger said. “The AHA does a great job supporting their local chapters and it will be a great asset for Humanists in Toledo.”

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President
567-302-0209

Shawn Meagley – co-founder
419-266-7945

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Humanists Ask Toledo Officials Not To Insert Themselves In Saving St. Anthony

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

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) urge Toledo city officials and US Rep. Marcy Kaptur not to insert themselves in the effort to save St. Anthony Catholic Church on Nebraska Avenue.

Seeing Rep. Kaptur and current and past Toledo elected officials standing at a podium with the city of Toledo seal, demanding the Diocese of Toledo not tear down St. Anthony is troubling,” Doug Berger, President of SHoWLE said.

The separation of church and state not only protects the government from religious intrusion but also protects religion from some intrusion by the government.

“It sets a bad precedent, especially as organized religion continues to lose members,” Berger said. “The City of Toledo can’t save all the old churches in the city and when it chooses not to then that is going to be a no win situation.”

The Diocese of Toledo, in a statement, wondered where the calls to save the building were for the past 13 years after it closed and as the building continued to deteriorate.

“The government officials demanding the building not be torn down will stick the Diocese with the repair bills should they prevail. The only way for tax dollars to be spent on a renovation and/or reuse would require the property be sold to a non-religious entity at a fair market price,” Berger said.

The misleading statement by a community member that demolition would be a health and safety issue is also a problem.

“If the building were kept, it would still need any asbestos and lead paint removed and it would have to meet modern building standards. I don’t think the Diocese hired a fly by night demolition company who wouldn’t take the required precautions in tearing down such an old building.”

The building is historical and significant to many people in the community but there hasn’t been any specific plans from the people wanting to keep it.

SHoWLE believes that Rep. Kaptur and the city of Toledo shouldn’t pick sides in the issue and they should stay neutral as called for in the 1st amendment.

Related story:

Kaptur, Kapszukiewicz call on diocese to halt St. Anthony demolition

Secular Humanists Make The Newspaper

screenshot Front of the Religion section Toledo Blade 06/02/2018

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie had a nice write up in the religion section of the Toledo Blade. The print version took up nearly half a page and was above the fold. We could never afford advertising that good.

To question whether morals and values can exist apart from theology cuts to the heart of secular humanism. While atheism simply denotes that an individual does not believe in God, secular humanism “kind of takes that a step further,” Ms. Meagley said; it answers the “now what” question that, for some, follows when a person comes to terms with a disbelief in God.

Secular humanism’s affirmation of an ethical life suggests parallels between the ways that a conscientious religious adherent and a conscientious humanist would live. But a humanist, significantly, would do so without tying these views and values to theism or the supernatural.

Good Without God

First Meeting A Success

Nice Crowd at first meeting

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) met for the first time officially on May 5th. We had a dozen humanists interested in the group and moving forward.

The interest was so great that we were able to have enough AHA members to sign our chapter application and we had several people interested in serving on the steering committee. This committee will help develop the formal structure of the group as we become a chapter.

“I think it shows how needed a group like this is in Toledo and our PR campaign helped get the word out,” Co-founder Doug Berger said. “I am over the moon at the number who attended today without any previous history.”

Berger led the meeting and gave a presentation about the group and what he would like to see happen in the future. There was a good discussion period where the consensus was that there needs to be a group that can help protect the 1st amendment and concern that our group is too small to be effective.

“I understand the concern,” Berger said later. “We need to start small and grow into some of the ideas I have for the group. I have no problem with that.”

The next meeting will be on June 16th 2018 at 11 am at The 577 Foundation 577 East Front St.  Perrysburg, Ohio 43551 (just west of East Boundary St.)

Berger will also being doing a presentation about church and state issues in the Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan area.

All meetings of SHoWLE are free and open to the public.

Here is a clip from the Toledo Blade on May 5th:

Meeting announcement in the Blade
Religion Section Toledo Blade 05/05/2018

A New Dawn For Humanism In Toledo

A new day is dawning over Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. From Monroe to Findlay and from Sandusky to Defiance, a new group is forming to give a safe space and community to people who are secular humanists.

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) values people, emphasizes reason, and focuses on this world. Our purpose is educating the public about Humanism and building a Humanist community in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Membership is open to all Humanists in substantial agreement with our principles and values. Our regular meetings and scheduled events will be free and open to the public.

SHoWLE will be having an organizational meeting on May 5th, 2018 at 1 PM in the meeting room at the Washington Branch of the Toledo Public Library 5560 Harvest Lane Toledo OH 43623. The plan is to hold regular monthly meetings and become a chapter of the American Humanist Association.

Humanism is a democratic and ethical lifestance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

For most, humanism is an alternative to religion. In many cases and situations there is a humanist alternative to problems we see in the world. We feel that in the Toledo area, that alternative isn’t being heard. or at least being addressed.

We are looking to build a strong core of individuals who share Humanist values and who want to build a vibrant community for Humanists

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