Movie and Pizza- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

June 29 @ 2:00 pm 5:00 pm

Join us in the auditorium for an afternoon watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and noshing on FREE PIZZA and other snacks. The people of Wakanda have a nation built on compassion and reason and use technology to protect and help their people. Sounds like Humanism.

Imaging promoting the kids movie and free pizza on June 29th at 2 PM

The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T’Challa.

We will be in the auditorium, in the basement.

This is event is FREE and open to the public. While this is a kid focused event, parents and/or caregivers are welcome to join us too.

Free

West Toledo Branch Library

1320 W. Sylvania Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43612 United States
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Not required but then we will know to look out for you

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Another Old West End Fest In The Books

SHoWLE enjoyed another Old West End Festival on June 1st and 2nd this year. We had several people join our email list and we talked to many more who stopped by. New this year was a donation collection box and we brought in $9.18.

The Prize Wheel was just as popular with the kids and the young at heart but it did suffer some damage from overnight rain between Saturday and Sunday. We will have it restored and better than ever for the Maumee Summer Fair in August.

SHoWLE wants to thank the volunteers that spent their weekend helping staff the booth – Ed, Michaelene, Anne, and Shawn. We also thank the donors that funded the booth space and much of the swag we handed out this weekend.

Here are some snaps taken during the event:

Ohio Voted to Protect Reproductive Rights – Now What?

Our May 2024 Meeting Blurb

May 11 @ 10:00 am 11:30 am

In 2023, Ohio voted to add reproductive rights to the Ohio constitution and it wasn’t even a close vote but things aren’t all rosy as Christian Nationalists and their friends in the state house and elsewhere try to undermine our victory.

Our May 2024 Meeting Blurb

Our speaker will be Kristin Hady who has been a longtime reproductive rights advocate, clinic escort, and Board member of Pro-Choice Ohio and the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund (Aggie Fund) and works with Abortion Access Front as Director Of Programs.

What shenanigans are the religious zealots trying to pull and what can we do to stop them and get them to abide by the new amendment.

The latest NW Ohio gambit is State Rep. Josh Williams introduced a bill that would take away local government funding if a municipality funds abortion services and any money “clawed back” would be given to the fake pregnancy centers that already get millions of tax dollars from Christian Nationalists in the state house.

This meeting is FREE and open to the public. We will be in Community Room A

THE AGNES REYNOLDS JACKSON FUND

Pro-Choice Ohio

Abortion Access Front

Unless otherwise noted, our meetings and events are free and open to the public. In-person, in-door meetings and events we STRONGLY recommend attendees wear masks. Speakers can wear them if they choose while speaking. Click more information about our In-person Meeting Policy. SHoWLE has a No Weapons policy

If you aren’t able to join us for the meeting and would like to see it please use the following Zoom invite to view a live stream. The meeting will not be recorded.

Topic: SHoWLE Monthly Meeting – May 2024
Time: May 11, 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 875 3812 8071
Passcode: 484812


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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kczwjegBRj

Free

West Toledo Branch Library

1320 W. Sylvania Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43612 United States
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Why We Need Harm Reduction

Image blurb for our April 2024 meeting

April 13 @ 10:00 am 11:30 am

Harm Reduction is an approach that emphasizes engaging directly with people who use drugs to prevent overdose and infectious disease transmission, improve the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of those served, and offer low-threshold options for accessing substance use disorder treatment and other healthcare and community services.

Harm Reduction saves lives by being available and accessible in a manner that emphasizes the need for humility and compassion toward people who use drugs.

Just to note harm reduction isn’t a new thing. Classic harm reduction methods is telling people not to drink and drive and giving out condoms.

Our speaker, Jamie Decker, works for Hancock County Public Health and is a Harm Reduction Coordinator/Peer Support Specialist, SafeWorks syringe service program. He is also on the board of Harm Reduction Ohio. He will tell his story and why harm reduction is needed.

Harm Reduction Ohio (HRO) is a human rights organization working to improve the health and happiness of people who use/d drugs.

HRO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports drug policies based on science, health, compassion and human rights. We are the largest distributor of naloxone in Ohio: 42,000 naloxone kits, which reversed several thousand overdoses, in 2022.

This event is free and open to the public.

We will be in the Auditorium in the Basement. There is an elevator to use if needed.

Free

West Toledo Branch Library

1320 W. Sylvania Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43612 United States
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A Released Time Religious Instruction FAQ is now available

We were contacted recently by someone who lives in the Sylvania Public school district. She said that LifeWise had a presentation scheduled for the next school board meeting and wanted to know if we had any information about the group.

Released Time Religious Instruction is allowed under Ohio Revised Code 3313.6022. The big takeaway is that school districts aren’t required to adopt RTRI policies.

Other points from the law:

(1) The student’s parent or guardian gives written consent.

(2) The sponsoring entity maintains attendance records and makes them available to the school district the student attends.

(3) Transportation to and from the place of instruction, including transportation for students with disabilities, is the complete responsibility of the sponsoring entity, parent, guardian, or student.

(4) The sponsoring entity makes provisions for and assumes liability for the student.

(5) No public funds are expended and no public school personnel are involved in providing the religious instruction.

(6) The student assumes responsibility for any missed schoolwork.

LifeWise Academy is a large religious group based in Columbus that works with local groups to install Bible classes in school districts. In 2022, LifeWise brought in over $6 million in donations, enrolls nearly 30,000 students from more than 300 schools across more than 12 states. LifeWise has a strong presence in Ohio. LifeWise will be in more than 170 Ohio school districts by next school year — more than a quarter of the state’s school districts.

LifeWise only teaches Christianity and only hires Christians to be instructors and staff.

The other issues we have is that children are being removed from school grounds for an hour more by people who don’t work for the school district and who the district doesn’t vet. The classes have absolutely no connection to anything being taught in the public school. It is basically a Sunday school during the week. LifeWise claims it is teaching character values but you can learn those values without religion.

We have created a FAQ page about Released Time Religious Instruction with additional information about the classes and LifeWise.

Toledo Humanists Condemn Override of HB 68 Veto

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toledo Humanists Condemn Override of HB 68 Veto

TOLEDO – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie condemn the override of the veto of House Bill 68 that will now allow the ban on gender-affirming care and ban on Trans women in school sports to become law.

The majority ignored medical science and the pleas of the Trans community and dismissed their very existence. Several Senators during the vote claimed Trans kids don’t exist and that their God assigned the child’s gender at conception. Rep. Gary Click, in a statement on X called for resources for individuals who regret their transition “as they realign with their authentic selves.” We reject Rep. Click’s call as misguided and tinged with religious bigotry.

We don’t believe that laws and public policy should ignore scientific consensus or be irrationally supported by moral panic. It is clear to us that some legislators believe their religion is above basic human decency and compassion. Bullying children is not a good look.

It was also ironic in the same session the same people who voted to harm Trans kids overrode a veto on a budget item that prohibits local governments from enacting their own regulations on tobacco, particularly bans on the sale of flavored nicotine products, which are typically marketed toward minors.

The action by the Ohio Legislature to force HB 68 into law also denies the right of parents to support their child’s health care needs whatever that maybe.

We hope that the ban is challenged in court and ends up like other similar bans by being ruled unconstitutional.

We will do what we can to support the LGBTQI community during these unwarranted and indefensible attacks from the government.

Media contact: Douglas Berger, President

More information:

‘Cowardly, self-serving vote’: Ohio Senate overrides DeWine’s veto; bans healthcare for trans youth

Donating Cash to Food Banks

At our November meeting, it was mentioned that food banks could use cash donations in addition to the usual food donations. Cash donations can actually help more clients of the food bank than direct food donations.

We also acknowledge that the need for food banks last all year and not just for the holidays. SHoWLE will be arranging some volunteer time at a local food bank early in 2024.

This is just a list of the two main food banks in Lucas county.

Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank
Seagate Food Bank

We Oppose HB 183: The Bathroom Ban For Trans People

President Douglas Berger submitted written testimony to the Ohio House Higher Education Committee that is considering House Bill 183 that would prohibit transgender kids and adults from using the public bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Two people on the committee are from the NW Ohio area. Rep. Derek Merrin (R-42) and Rep. Josh Williams (R-41).

The hearing for opposition testimony is Wednesday October 11th. Here is the text of his testimony as submitted:


Chair Rep. Young, Vice Chair Rep. Manning, and Ranking Member Rep. Miller, my name is Douglas Berger and I am President of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie, based in Toledo.

I am writing today to express our group’s opposition to House Bill 183 that would prohibit transgender kids and adults from using the public bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

We oppose this discriminatory bill since it reminds us of the dark days of Jim Crow when bathrooms and even drinking fountains were segregated by race and this bill is based on the same kind of false narrative and flimsy evidence that those Jim Crow laws were based on.

We are also tired of members of this legislature passing off irrational religious bigotry as public policy and law. When will your need to impose your religion on others stop?

HB 183 has no factual basis and no data to justify a ban is needed. Most anecdotal stories are made up. The numbers of teachers and people of faith who have been arrested and charged for abusing children far out distance any reported crime due to Trans people using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. I am more fearful of a child being alone with a priest or minister than using a bathroom with a Trans person.

Representative Lear and Bird also failed to note which religious conservative lobby group they copied and pasted this ridiculous proposal from. There is a reason these proposals all look alike.

We can also promise that the people who introduced this bill and at least three members of this committee have never met a Trans kid and has never talked to the Trans community but they seem to want to discriminate against Trans people anyway. I’m sure it is easier to discriminate when you never talk to them.

Our members would also like to know who will enforce this ban and how will it be enforced. Will birth certificates be required to be shown or will a school official be designated as a genital checker? Will you have a parent sign a form so their child can have a genital check? If there is no enforcement mechanism then this proposal is just for show. In fact it would be used to out Trans kids and bully them.

Adding on an unfunded mandate on public schools and colleges that you barely help fund is also something to consider.

In a recent TV interview, a member of this committee said that educational policy should only go toward the academic progress of students and we shouldn’t be introducing social issues into the classroom. How does HB 183 advance academic progress? It doesn’t but it sure introduces social issues into the classroom. How will this bill improve the dismal school ranking the state has received recently.

Why don’t Trans kids deserve to be protected too?

We ask you to vote no on HB 183.

SHoWLE Disappointed By 303 Creative Court Decision

Toledo, July 1, 2023 – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie are very disappointed in the ruling on June 30 by the US Supreme Court in the 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case. It is wrong that religious beliefs now trump all other rights to full public business accommodations and allow discrimination of people in a protected class.

The court said that requiring the graphic designer to make wedding websites for same-sex couples was an unconstitutional violation of her first amendment rights because the creation would be seen as an endorsement of something her religious beliefs prohibit.

We don’t believe requiring business owners not to discriminate against customers in protected classes makes the person or business endorse something against their religious beliefs. At the end of the day they can still not approve of same-sex marriages. If a business can’t bring itself to serve customers from the protected classes then they need not be a public business.

We are also concerned about the unprecedented protection the court granted to a religious person. They ruled on a case that didn’t include any actual harm. The plaintiff wasn’t creating wedding websites when she filed the lawsuit and there is some question that the LGBT customer written about in her case was made up. Secular people who claim their religious freedom was violated, like for example challenging 10 Commandment statues on court house lawns, are dismissed because the mere presence of the religious item or text isn’t an actual harm according to federal courts.

The plaintiff agreed in court that she would sell her services to LGBTQ people, just not wedding website designs. So her religious beliefs are not absolute. How does making a sign for a gay man not also seem to endorse his sexual orientation?

The decision was capricious and arbitrary and gave special rights to religious people that are not allowed by anyone else. The Christian Nationalists have been bent on subverting decades of church and state legal decisions.

The US Supreme Court set back religious freedom for many years.


For further information on this decision see: Supreme Court rules website designer can decline to create same-sex wedding websites

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.

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PDF of Statement Available Here