74 episodes

Explaining Humanist values, how we can live our values to support social justice issues, and responding to science denying Christian Nationalists bent on smashing the wall between church and state. Human problems require human solutions. There will be interviews, from time to time, with Humanists and other secular people in Northwest Ohio and beyond.

Glass City Humanist Douglas Berger

    • Society & Culture

Explaining Humanist values, how we can live our values to support social justice issues, and responding to science denying Christian Nationalists bent on smashing the wall between church and state. Human problems require human solutions. There will be interviews, from time to time, with Humanists and other secular people in Northwest Ohio and beyond.

    The Humanist Take on DEI and Embryo Personhood

    The Humanist Take on DEI and Embryo Personhood

    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like the only one who didn't belong? That's the feeling DEI initiatives aim to eradicate, and today, we're peeling back the layers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, explaining its critical importance against a backdrop of legislative pushback here in Ohio. As universities come under fire, we debunk myths that paint DEI as a one-sided agenda. Within our humanist values, we argue for communities where everyone, irrespective of race or other identifiers, is welcomed without the barriers of special privileges.



    In another thought-provoking segment, we tackle the complex controversy of the recent Alabama court case involving in vitro fertilization (IVF) and personhood. We point out that Ohio's new Reproductive Rights Act draws sharp lines in the ethical sand concerning IVF. As religious convictions clash with reproductive technologies, we examine the precarious balance between faith and science. Furthermore, the conversation extends to the sensitive issue of parental and physician decision-making in children's medical care, where we stand firm on the principle of minimal government intervention.



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    • 32 min
    Religious Privilege Above The Law - Dad's Place Church Bryan Ohio

    Religious Privilege Above The Law - Dad's Place Church Bryan Ohio

    When the steadfast beliefs of a small-town church collide with the rigidity of municipal codes, the result is a legal labyrinth worthy of a deep exploration. That's why Bruce Gerencser, a former evangelical minister, will share the saga of his friend Pastor Chris Avell and his federal lawsuit drama with the city of Bryan, Ohio. Amidst the clash of ideologies and legalities, we dissect the pivotal issues at play — from the constitutional guarantees of the First Amendment to the civic responsibilities of a community.



    Venturing beyond legalities, our conversation pivots to the societal conundrum of rural homelessness, with Bryan serving as a microcosm of a nationwide struggle. Dad's Place Church's transformation into a shelter thrusts the spotlight upon the thin line between benevolence and zoning infractions. Where do we draw the legal line especially when the lives of those struggling is in the balance?



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    01:02 Introduction

    03:29 Report from WTVG in Toledo

    04:00 Interview with Bruce Gerencser

    46:10 Epilogue & Update




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    • 50 min
    Standing Up for Trans Kids and Secular Freedom in Ohio

    Standing Up for Trans Kids and Secular Freedom in Ohio

    When Ohio's political landscape takes a turn that sends shivers down the spine of every advocate for trans rights, it demands a response—mine is unapologetically fiery. The recent override of Governor DeWine's veto on House Bill 68 is more than just a legislative move; it's a cold shoulder to the well-being of trans kids who deserve gender-affirming care and the right to participate in sports. In this episode, we propose legislative changes that champion the rights of all children. From challenging religious exemptions to advocating for initiatives like free school lunches, we confront the political maneuvers that threaten to undermine our shared values of compassion and equality.



    We wade through the murky waters where religion and freedom intersect, casting a spotlight on the secular challenges emerging in state legislatures. We examine the recently released State of the Secular States Report from American Atheists. These reports will tell you where your state stands on real religious freedom or has it been consumed by fake moral panics in 2024. Join us for a crucial examination of these pressing social issues and the integral role they play in the broader narrative of human rights and secularism in America.

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    01:01 Gary Click's Attack on Trans Kids13:25 American Atheists State of the Secular States Report


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    • 35 min
    Voices Unheard: Examining Global Challenges to Freedom of Thought

    Voices Unheard: Examining Global Challenges to Freedom of Thought

    We discuss the 2023 Freedom of Thought Report by Humanist International. We explore the bias in the International Religious Freedom Act and the need for more representation of atheistic and humanistic voices. We highlight discrimination faced by humanists worldwide and the challenges of mandatory religious instruction in schools. We emphasize the importance of protecting secularism and pluralism and call for collective action to dismantle barriers to freedom of thought.

    Show Notes

    05:17 History and Context of the Freedom of Thought Report

    15:48 United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has had no atheists appointed

    19:51 Selected clips of speakers from Freedom of Thought Report press conference


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    • 53 min
    Being Secular During Religious Holidays and the Real Origins of the Religious Right

    Being Secular During Religious Holidays and the Real Origins of the Religious Right

    What if the Christmas tree had more to do with paganism than Christianity? What if your favorite holiday celebrations were more inclusive, less religious, and yet equally festive? We explore secular alternatives like Human Light and Festivus, and address the 'Happy Holidays' vs 'Merry Christmas' debate in an attempt to foster inclusivity and respect for everyone's beliefs during this festive season.

    Strap in as we journey back to the rise of the religious right in the 70s and 80s, a movement not birthed out of conflicts over sex education or abortion, but a court ruling disallowing tax exemptions for religious schools endorsing racial discrimination. We analyze the political activism of Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed, and their influence on the 2016 and 2020 elections. Ronald Reagan's role in the movement and he led to Donald Trump. We round off the episode by spotlighting the issue of conservative religious groups violating tax laws and the IRS's backlog of untouched cases due to political influence. Beware that you aren't indirectly supporting discrimination or a conservative agenda.

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    00:45 Being Secular During Religious Holidays15:07 The Real Origins of the Religious Right


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    • 38 min
    Defending Church-State Separation: A Conversation with Andrew Seidel

    Defending Church-State Separation: A Conversation with Andrew Seidel

    Join us for a captivating conversation with the esteemed Andrew Seidel, vice president of strategic communications for Americans United. Andrew, a seasoned attorney and ardent defender of the First Amendment, takes us through his remarkable journey in law and his dedication towards upholding the separation of church and state. He offers intriguing insights into the legal concept of 'standing' and the pivotal role of this church-state separateness in shaping many contemporary issues.



    Our discourse further unravels the NOT subtle weaponization of religious freedom, a disconcerting trend that threatens democracy by privileging a select few such as the new speaker of the US House Michael Johnson, a Christian Nationalist of the first order. As we weave through the integral threads of church-state separation within the fabric of our republic, the significance of authentic religious freedom and the strive for unexceptional equality becomes evident. Andrew concludes our engrossing dialogue on a positive note, expressing optimism in the growing awareness of people towards this significant struggle. Eye-opening and enlightening, this conversation is a must for those keen on comprehending the profound correlation between religion, state, and the fight for equality in America.



    Show Notes

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    01:43 Origin Story

    05:10 How Are 1St Amendment Cases Litigated?

    09:14 Christian Nationalists Attack On Public Schools

    15:09 Weaponizing Religious Freedom Harms Democracy

    19:28 1st Amendment Doesn't Just Protect The Religious

    24:01 Speaker Michael Johnson Is A Christian Nationalist Of The 1st Order.

    31:14 Ending with Some Optimism


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    • 36 min

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