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 transgendered people as if they are lying about who they are and should experience backlash.

Mr. Dawkins also wrongly attempted to make his views on transgendered 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
567-215-2694

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Copy of pressrelease

Ohio Attorney General Wrong To Insert State Into Religious School Lawsuit

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) have issued the following statement on the brief filed by Ohio Attorney General David Yost in support of a lawsuit brought by three religious schools against a Lucas county public health order closing all schools in the county to in-person instruction.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 29, 2020

Ohio Attorney General Wrong To Insert State Into Religious School Lawsuit

Toledo  – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) is extremely disappointed that Ohio Attorney General David Yost has decided to insert himself and the state into a Federal lawsuit by three Lucas County religious schools over the Lucas County Health Board’s order to close all schools in the county to in-person instruction until January 11, 2021 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Like the original lawsuit, Attorney General Yost makes the same argument that was rejected by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick on December 14th, that the religious schools should be treated like non-education secular businesses that were allowed to stay open.

Judge Helmick stated in his decision:

“While, as Plaintiffs note, TLCHD has not ordered gyms, tanning salons, or casinos to close, (Doc. No. 1 at 5-6), these are not the relevant “comparable secular activities.” Instead, the comparable secular activities are educational classes offered by all other schools in Lucas County. These specific environments have substantially similar groupings and movements of individuals. Emmanuel Christian, St. John’s, and Monclova Christian are prohibited from offering in-person instruction to grades 9-12 (or grades 7-12) along with all other Lucas County schools “because the reasons for suspending in-person instruction apply precisely the same to them.””

Judge Helmick also noted that if we were to take the school’s argument to the logical conclusion, the state would not be able to regulate anything involved with a religious group.

“Plaintiffs’ arguments, therefore, would extend to prohibit the government from regulating any aspect of a Christian’s public life because, as Plaintiffs’ mission statements make clear, the purpose of providing “a biblical foundation for . . . students” is to prepare students “to exemplify Christ [and] make Biblically-based decisions” throughout an individual’s life, and not only during the schools years. Thus, a Christian business would be exempt from minimum wage and maximum hour laws,9 while Christians in states where officials have issued Covid-19-related orders closing restaurants for in-person dining could not be prohibited from gathering to share a meal in one of those restaurants.10

More closely to the issue at stake in this case, Plaintiffs’ arguments would mean States could not mandate that students attending parochial schools receive the equivalent number of hours required of public-school students or require that parochial schools provide courses in specific subjects.”

The lawsuit, instead of trying to protect the right of the schools to be treated equally, is trying to force the county to treat religious schools differently than other schools that have complied with the order. They want a court to force the county to give them preferential treatment just because they are religious.

This is the complete opposite meaning of the 1st amendment which is meant to keep religious activities from being singled out by the government for being religious.

“The fact remains, rightly or wrongly, that the Lucas County public health order specifically exempts in-person religious activities,” SHoWLE president Douglas Berger said. “We believe that churches and religious groups, including religious schools, should put the long-term health of their members above the need to gather together for their religious activities since those activities aren’t restricted to happening outside the home. It is for this reason the public health order, that explicitly exempts religious activities of the schools, isn’t an undue burden on them.”

It appears that Attorney General Yost has decided, after claiming he would defend state public health orders, and against the facts of the case, that preferential treatment for religious schools is in the state’s best interests.

We strongly disagree with his decision to insert the state in this case with his brief to the court.


Reference:

Ohio AG files brief supporting religious schools’ return to in-person instruction

Monclova Christian Academy et al v. Toledo-Lucas County Health Department 12/14/2020

SHoWLE President Douglas Berger discussed this case in Episode 16 of the Glass City Humanist podcast starting at the 08:34 mark.


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.

*Update* – On December 31, a three judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction to the schools against the public health order pending an appeal hearing.

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.

Continue reading “Ohio Politicians Need To Stop Practicing Medicine Without A Licence”

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.

Continue reading “SHoWLE Disappointed Ohio AG David Yost Supports LGBTQA Discrimination”