Urge Toledo City Council To Mark Day Of Reason

May 4th is the National Day of Reason in 2024 and into the future. One of the ways we have wanted to mark the occassion is to have the city council issue a resolution marking the day in the city. We weren’t prepared for how hard it really is to get it done. That’s why we started a petition.

Back in 2019, SHoWLE reached out to the Mayor of Toledo about issuing a proclamation but his office declined and then the pandemic happened and our efforts fell by the wayside.

This year we decided to focus on the city council since they have issued resolutions for a whole host of issues with the most recent being demanding a cease fire in Gaza. So how hard could it be?

There is no written formal process but in talking to a long time community activist, they suggested emailing the council president with the request. We did that and heard nothing back. Not even a thank you for sending this email. After reaching out again, the president responded back that our request had been missed and she declined to sponsor a resolution from us.

A resolution has to be sponsored by a member of council and this being a resolution from a non-religious group to mark a day about reason, there were not many council members to approach who would welcome our request. We identified another council member known for their progressive stances on the issues and advocacy for social justice and reached out to them. Never heard back. Again not even an acknowledgement they got the message.

In consulting our community activist friend again, he mentioned that council is innudated with requests like ours all the time, they have no formal office or staff at city hall, and most times they won’t act on anything unless they know citizens are requesting it and will back their efforts.

That’s where our petition comes into the picture.

We’ve started a petition with the goal to ask the Toledo City council to adopt a Day of Reason resolution. The National Day of Reason is May 4th. so it is most likely too late this year to get a resolution adopted but we will share the petition with the council for next year’s Day of Reason. Won’t you help us out?

*Note* We would really like to limit the signers to people who live in the city of Toledo but if you don’t you can still help us out by making a donation to SHoWLE.

Sign Our Petition Here

SHoWLE Booth at Old West End Festival

Image showing our OWE booth

June 1 @ 10:00 am June 2 @ 10:00 am

SHoWLE has returned to the Old West End Festival to meet people and educate the public about the group and Humanism. We will be there on June 1st and 2nd from 10 am to 5 pm both days. Stop by and say hello.

Image showing our OWE booth

If you would like to staff our booth, all we ask is a commitment of at least an hour. No experience is required and you can meet and talk to new people. Fill out the form at the following link.

Old West End Festival

Woodruff and Parkwood Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43620 United States
View Venue Website

Total Eclipse of the Park

Image announcing our get together at the eclipse

April 8 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm

Every so often the sun, moon, and Earth align just right to put on a spectacular show! On April 8, Ohio will experience a one-in-a-lifetime Total Solar Eclipse; an event that won’t occur again in Ohio until 2099.

Image announcing our get together at the eclipse

SHoWLE members and friends who wish to collectively experience the eclipse can meet up near the Market Hall at the Glass City Metropark. This is NOT an official SHoWLE hosted event but is hosted by Metroparks Toledo. Please watch this space or our social media to find our exact location on the day. Bring a blanket and/or camp chairs for comfort and some snacks.

We will have two or three glasses to share if needed. Look for a white and a yello balloon on a stick. That will be Doug.

There are dozens of viewing events on April the 8th so if you can’t make it to our get together we won’t be sad about it.

*Note* Doug will try to be there but if we arrive and the place is full up or there is restricted parking then we will not be meeting up. Sorry for the late notice but a lot of places around town are closing parking or restricting movement leading up to the eclipse. If you are going to be there for sure Monday please let us know so we can try and make sure we meet up.

Glass City Metropark
A family-friendly event at Glass City will offer prime views of the eclipse on the riverfront of downtown Toledo. Watch the sky through telescopes with solar filters and enjoy a Kids’ Zone with eclipse-themed activities. Eclipse-viewing glasses will be available to borrow. Food and beverages are available for purchase at The Garden by Poco Piatti. Duration of totality: 1 minute, 56 seconds. This event is rain or shine. Even if clouds block the eclipse, stop by the Kids Zone to learn about what’s happening above the clouds.

This event is an exception to our in-person meeting policy. The nature of this activity means we will be surrounded by the general public at the places we visit. Most people, including, restaurant staff may not be wearing masks or taking any COVID precautions.


Old West End Festival

Woodruff and Parkwood Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43620 United States
View Venue Website

RSVPs can be optional, where we just want some idea of who is coming, and mandatory, where we have to provide a venue an actual headcount or need a minimum number of people for a certain event for it to actually happen. We can ask for RSVPs for any kind of gathering or event. RSVPs aren’t tied to if we live stream the meeting or event on Zoom. If the event is not a meeting, like volunteering at a Foodbank, then we most likely won’t be live streaming the event. The event post will let you know if there will be a live stream and we will include the Zoom link and phone numbers on the post so you can join in.

Toledo’s Humanist History

Image promoting our meeting about Humanist history in Toledo

March 9 @ 10:00 am 11:30 am

Believe it or not SHoWLE is not the only Humanist group to have formed in Toledo. Back in 1952, the Toledo Humanist Society was founded by Dr. Gardner Williams. It was active up until the 1980s.

Rev. TK Barger

Our friend, Rev. TK Barger, from First Unitarian Church of Toledo, will visit with us and talk about Dr. Williams and the history of Humanist activities in Toledo before SHoWLE existed.

We will be in Community Room A.

To find the room when you enter the branch at the main entrance, on your left is the check out desk. Straight ahead is the reference desk. Walk past the reference desk, where there are some work tables, and on your left you should see a soda pop vending machine. Turn toward the machine and if you look to your left you should see a door – that is Room A.

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


Old West End Festival

Woodruff and Parkwood Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43620 United States
View Venue Website

For those not able to join us in-person, we will provide a zoom room which will be a webcam view of the speaker. If there is a Q & A part after the talk we will try to include those on Zoom but we only have one person running – but we will try.

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: SHoWLE March 2024 Meeting – Toledo’s Humanist History
Time: Mar 9, 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 874 4996 9299
Passcode: 768830

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Toledo Blade Underplayed Bigotry Toward The Trans Community

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.

Glass City Humanist Coming To Toledo Radio

Glass City Humanist cover art next to WAKT logo

We are pleased to announce that starting soon, the Glass City Humanist podcast, an outreach of Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie, will be making a 1 hour monthly program that will be heard on WAKT 106.1 FM in Toledo and on the Internet.

We Act Radio is a community radio station giving the residents of Toledo a way to know each other through music, talk, and other forms of programming. The content is generated by the community and by request of the community. It provides a voice for communities that may not have a voice in the media.

Glass City Humanist, produced and hosted by SHoWLE President Douglas Berger, will use the time on WAKT to introduce Humanism and the group to a bigger audience in Toledo and by extention listeners to the radio website. The exact content won’t differ too much from the content heard on the podcast but GCH will be able to do different things that might not be possible with just the podcast.

“We plan on doing things like asking for listener questions that will be read in the next episode,” the host Douglas Berger said. “We will also be able to interview people in a proper studio instead of just on Zoom or my house.”

There also might be chance at some future point to do a live show.

Details are still being finalized and we will let everyone know when the shows will start airing.

For more information about Glass City Humanist visit https://glasscityhumanist.show and for more information about We Act Radio WAKT 106.1 check out https://toledoradio.org

Remember SHoWLE on GivingTuesday

Showing logo for GivingTuesdayNWO
Douglas Berger – President of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

Hello, I’m Doug Berger, founder and President of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie. I want to remind you that Giving Tuesday is on November 29th and we would like to be your choice for your giving this year.

SHoWLE is the only active group in Northwest Ohio that is a democratic member run group providing a supportive – diverse – safe space for humanists and the non-religious. Our goal is Building Community Through Compassion & Reason For A Better Tomorrow.

We know people are limited in how many groups you can support, we know that under our current economic climate lots of people are either struggling or have had to cut back. I hope we make the cut for your tax deductible donations this GivingTuesday.

The simple fact is there is no organized effort, in Northwest Ohio, to help support the non-religious. We represent about 20% of the population in general. Humanists and the non-religious don’t have the millions of dollars or hundreds of volunteers that religious churches and groups have even as they beg for your dollars each year.

SHoWLE supports real religious freedom like strong separation of church and state. We don’t think that public laws and policies should be based on one particular religious view.

SHoWLE believes Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

We affirm the dignity of every human being and asserts that humanity is responsible for its own destiny, having within itself all that is needed to improve the conditions of life.

I hope you will donate to us this year and when you can at other points of the year. If you are interested in our group check out one of our meetings or even join.

Help us create a community that supports reason, science, and equality. Help us build a community through compassion & reason for a better tomorrow.

More than half of LGBTQIA+ People are Nonreligious

This weekend SHoWLE will be having a booth at the Toledo Pride Festival at Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo from 12:30 PM to 7 PM. If we get the rain and storms forecast for Saturday afternoon we may leave the festival before 7 PM.

The Secular Survey from American Atheists just released a report this week with some insights into nonreligious LGBTQIA+ people. The report says over half of LGBTQIA+ people are nonreligious and most of them belong to secular groups like SHoWLE.

The top policy issues is protecting the secular public schools, getting rid of religious exemptions to discriminate, and furthering LGBTQIA+ civil rights and equality.

If you are celebrating Pride this weekend and are looking for a welcoming, inclusive community please check us out.

Toledo Humanists Disappointed Gary Johnson Refused To Vote On Six-Week Ban Resolution

Toledo Member of Council at Large Gary Johnson (D)

Toledo City Council passed a resolution on June 26th that condemned passage of the six-week abortion ban by the state legislature back in April. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie support the passage of the resolution. The issue we have was the refusal of Council member Gary Johnson to vote. He fled the council chambers so he didn’t have to vote on the resolution.

Continue reading “Toledo Humanists Disappointed Gary Johnson Refused To Vote On Six-Week Ban Resolution”

Toledo And Lucas County Need To Step Up To Save Public Transportation

It was reported in the news this week that the Board of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) voted to cut Sunday and Holiday service due to continuing financial problems. SHoWLE sent an email to the city and county elected officials to step up and save the only public transportation option in Lucas county.

Some background:

The service cut, which, with one exception, will take effect Jan. 6, is expected to cover most of a $3-million-plus budget gap that TARTA leaders had hoped to fill by switching the agency’s local subsidy from property taxes to a sales tax.

But the sales tax failed — for a third time in eight years — to clear a statutory process for getting on last month’s general-election ballot in Lucas County, and the transit authority had no alternative revenue proposal ready to go.

That process required all of TARTA’s current member communities’ legislative bodies to endorse the admission of Lucas County as a new member. Sylvania Township’s trustees, as they had done twice before, voted that resolution down in July, and several TARTA trustees and Mr. Gee on Thursday blamed them for the transit authority’s current situation.

Among board members opposing the service cut was Daniel Woodcock, who said imposing it before seeing how a fare increase might improve the authority’s finances would do a “major disservice” to the community.

But agency administrators said that with each 25 cents of increase generating no more than $250,000 in revenue, and with TARTA already having exhausted its monetary reserves, there was no way to put off the service cut any further.

TARTA board approves service cuts

Here is the email SHoWLE President Douglas Berger sent on behalf of the group:

My name is Douglas Berger and I am President of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE), a chapter of the American Humanist Association. I am contacting you today with our concern about the current struggles of the TARTA system and the announced end to Sunday and Holiday service.

I don’t think I need to say that a strong and vibrant city and county that is able to be inclusive of all socioeconomic strata needs to have a strong public transportation system. Toledo and Lucas county does not have one and the one we do have seems to be getting worse.

Cutting service impacts the people less able to have or afford alternatives. They may have to work on Sunday or they want to attend church services. Cuts in service also impacts local businesses by reducing the ability of some customers to visit their stores.

I watched again as one stakeholder community was able to block a viable plan for TARTA to survive and be the public transportation option we can all be proud of. I’m afraid that the block was due to a lack of compassion and empathy for the workers and others who depend on the service.

We here at SHoWLE would like to know what are you doing or plan to do to fix TARTA for long term success? I know public transportation isn’t as flashy as a new employer or a renovated hotel downtown, but many people who make up the backbone of the city ride the bus and they vote.

One idea I had is to see if TARTA could be dissolved and a new authority agency created to take over the assets and this new authority would start off funded by a sales tax as most modern public transportation systems are in this country.

The county might see if a small percentage of the hotel motel tax could be used to supplement TARTA funding until a better funding source could be used.

The other stakeholders in the TARTA system need to pressure the lone hold out to allow a sales tax measure to take place. A sales tax would be better than a property tax.

SHoWLE really hopes that all members of the TARTA authority can work to solve this issue so Toledo won’t lose out future businesses who see a broken public transportation system as a negative when considering where to locate.