For the defense
Two recent letter writers were critical of the number of lawyers in public service. Both lamented that our Congress consists consisted of "80 percent career lawyers," that lawyers are trained to "take a side" in disputes, and that other professions are better problem solvers and ought to make up the 80 percent in public service. I'd like to defend lawyers as problem solvers.
I would hope both letter writers would acknowledge our own country's founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, as documents designed to solve problems. I would also hope they know that a large percentage (much larger than 20 percent) of the framers of both documents were lawyers.
Individuals in all of the professions cited by the letter writers - doctors, economists, clergy, etc. - "take sides." Just read the correspondence section of the Journal of the American Medical Association or any other medical journal. There are multiple "schools" of economics. And let's not even talk about religion.
But taking sides is not necessarily an evil. Sometimes to solve a problem, as was the case with the Declaration of Independence, and as has been the case with many a struggle to protect or enforce that Constitution and its Bill of Rights, one must take a side.
W. Wimbledon Drive
Jennifer Hawes' July 20 article on Justin Williams and his perseverance in the face of many challenges with the support of many individuals as well as social service agencies and their staff was inspiring.
S.C. State is lucky to have a student with his character and strength. Thanks to The Post and Courier for brightening my day with such an uplifting story.
Meredith L. Crews
Oyster Point Row
The right ruling
A recent letter criticized the "flawed" U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. But nowhere in the ruling does it say that Hobby Lobby can deny health insurance coverage for birth control.
Indeed, there are at least 14 methods of birth control that the company's insurance plan pays for and will continue to pay for. Under the federal requirements for insurance coverage, however, there were four methods of birth control which are abortifacients.
These drugs will inhibit a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus and growing into a fetus. For many Americans, and for the owners of Hobby Lobby in particular, this is a form of abortion. Supplying these drugs goes against their religious beliefs.
This Supreme Court case was not about contraceptives. It was about religious liberty. The owners of Hobby Lobby are now within their legal rights not to supply their employees with these four abortifacients. These abortifacients are still legal, and available to any women who wants to buy them for about $45.
How about folks learn to take some personal responsibility? If you can't figure out how to use (or choose not to use) the plethora of birth control options which are paid for by your insurance company or available for free through five different programs sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services and any office of Planned Parenthood, then the cost of your choice of abortion option should be your own financial responsibility.
Hobby Lobby's owners are not forcing their beliefs upon others, they are acting on their constitutional right to have their own beliefs.
Let's stay together
The larger Episcopal Church in America (TEC) has long been known and valued for its polity and tolerance of free speech and religious freedom.
Bishop Clifton Daniels testified recently that the pillars of TEC were the Constitution and Canons, the General Convention, the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible.
As long as dioceses and people are bound by collegiality, despite differences, and take vows to "solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church," they are entitled to full communion and seat, voice and vote. That's really all the Lawrencian diocese, the "breakaway" diocese, had to do to stay "in" the Episcopal Church.
But, continuing in a procession of secession and a drumbeat of dissension in the planning for years, they finally dissociated and unaffiliated with the larger church. The Constitution of the Episcopal Church, like that of our country, lacks coercive language and provision for secession.
Does the Constitution of the United States provide for a state to leave the Union? Some states tried, but that did not work out so well, and it was very expensive and costly in many respects.
Bishop Daniels' statement is analogous and aptly put: "We are not free to be rebels." In the case of marriage, is there anything in the marriage vows that outlines how committed persons may dissolve their relationship? No, that is left to civil authorities and the courts to make equitable separations.
Suppose in a family a child was not happy and wanted to divorce himself from the family. Would the child be able to take the other children, the car and the house when he left? So we are in court, and neither party is likely to be satisfied.
In the end, after many appeals and extensive court battles and expense, I hope the union to which all acceded will prevail and people will once again realize how important it is to be under a "big tent" that allows for "seat, voice and vote" for many different viewpoints. Schism and secession are not the way.
Rev. William L. Hills Jr.
I think it's time for the "esteemed" sportswriters at The Post and Courier to stop the witch hunt directed at Coach Doug Wojcik. At this stage, Gene Sapakoff and crew should be given a 15-yard piling-on penalty.
Was Coach Wojcik out of line in some of his language to the team? Absolutely. Is he paying the price for this with his 30-day suspension? Yes, he is.
I have been at C of C basketball practices, locker-room talks and all the home games, and at no time did I witness any inappropriate behavior by Coach Wojcik.
Perhaps it is time for his critics to back off and let Coach Wojcik re-establish himself with the players, the college and the city of Charleston.
Coach Wojcik is out of the mold of Duke's "Coach K" (Mike Krzyzewski) and Michigan State's Coach Tom Izzo, tough disciplinarians who know that discipline is the key to developing players into a strong, cohesive team.
I would ask all the Cougar supporters to be respectful and supportive of Coach Wojcik, not just for his sake but for that of the team as well.
Crab catch limits
Regarding the June 28 article on commercial crabbing in the Lowcountry, a few questions go unanswered:
1) Does the crabber who puts out more traps not understand that a given number of crabs divided among a larger number of traps equals less crabs per trap?
2) Does the DNR not understand that crabbers from "off" destroyed their resources by overfishing and are doing the same thing in the Lowcountry?
3) Is there a reason that some areas can't be designated commercial and others residential?
4) Why can't there be a closed season for commercial crabbing to allow for the natural reproductive cycle to be completed?
5) Why can't there be catch limits on crabbing, and limits on the killing of female crabs, both for commercial and recreation use?
6) Who at the DNR is in charge of regulations on commercial crabbers, and why is something not being done to address these problems, especially overfishing?
Thank you, Post and Courier, for calling the public's attention to the problem of crab overfishing.
William B. Mayer