SHoWLE President Douglas Berger had a letter to the editor published in the Toledo Blade on April 20, 2023, responding to a previous editorial that seemed sympathetic to a woman who gave a speech against Trans women at the University of Toledo. The editorial downplayed the bigoted framing and rehash of anti-Trans tropes relating to Trans women participating in women’s sports. The editorial complained about Trans rights supporters protesting Riley Gaines’ speech but didn’t point out the false narrative that Gaines used in her speech and the fact that it was sponsored by the right-wing Christian Nationalist group Turning Point USA.
Douglas was also disappointed that even though his letter was published, the heart of it was cut out by the Blade and made it seem, again, that the issue was one of difference of opinion and not one of a battle to protect the rights of a marginalized group. SHoWLE doesn’t believe that human rights should be put up for a popular vote or be debated like what ice cream flavor you like.
Below is the full text of the letter Douglas submitted followed by images of the Blade editorial in question and the printed letter.
I sat down to read the Blade and saw yet another editorial (“Editorial: Let Riley tell her story” published 4/22) claiming that someone with bigoted ideas is being hurt because other people have called them out on their bigotry. Make no mistake, Riley Gaines told her story framed in bigotry against Trans women all because a Trans woman won ONE event at the NCAA tournament.
Gaines should know that more goes into performing sports than just body parts and what sex one is but we live in a society that seems to accept the status quo for longer than we need. Take basketball. When women were first allowed to play basketball, they were only allowed to play half court because men assumed that women didn’t have the stamina to run up and down a full court. They also had to play in skirts because it was un-ladylike to wear shorts in public.
Does Gaines feel the four other women that beat her in the 200 freestyle were actually “intact males” and why didn’t Lia Thomas win that race if she won the 500 freestyle? I thought Trans women had an unfair advantage?
The science on the issue isn’t clear yet but unlike Gaines’ anecdotal “evidence”, the NCAA has had specific rules to include Trans athletes for at least 10 years now. One would think the flood gates would be open and there would be only Trans women winning everything – obviously that didn’t happen. A person’s genetic make-up and internal and external reproductive anatomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance.
It is also telling that Gaines’ talk was sponsored by the Christian Nationalist group Turning Point USA, whose founder and President Charlie Kirk, on a podcast in 2022, said that the Transgender community was a “social contagion” and that this “public mania” would, in 20 years, be likened to “the modern-day equivalent of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s”.
Riley Gaines (like Charlie Kirk) used bigotry to tell her story, the content of which was underplayed in the editorial. As we move forward and the people who support all humans as having basic dignity and worth become the majority only then will we be actually united as people.
Would it shock you to know that many Humanists don’t know that social justice is related to Humanism. Working on social justice issues like civil rights and relieving poverty is not just being “woke” or “virtue signaling”. We will be watching a Secular Student Alliance video presentation by new American Humanist Association executive director Nadya Dutchin from March of this year.
Then we will have a discussion about social justice and Humanism.
This will be a virtual meeting via Zoom. Register using the following link:
Toledo, February 5, 2020 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) announces the debut of a new outreach project for secular people and friends in Northwest Ohio. “Glass City Humanist” is a podcast hosted by SHoWLE President Douglas Berger.
We get asked how can someone support Humanism in Toledo and Northwest Ohio? The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie programming and operation is funded by membership fees, donations, and grants. There are many ways you can support our work.
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.
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.
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
If you have any questions, or for media inquiries, feel free to use our contact form.