South Carolina editorial roundup
Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:
The Post and Courier of Charleston on the U.S. Supreme Court declining to review a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling that granted control of 29 disputed properties to the Episcopal Church:
What is a church? Is it a group of like-minded people? A set of common beliefs? A tradition? A building?
For so many South Carolina churches, the answer is a combination of all of those things, which makes the dispute over 29 properties between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina so painful.
The 29 properties in question have centuries of history. They have offered places of worship to generations of Charleston area families and helped shape the city’s spiritual culture almost since its founding. They are buildings and places, but they are much more than just walls and land.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling from August 2017 that granted control of the 29 disputed properties to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, which remains connected to the national Episcopal Church. The state Supreme Court also refused in November to rehear the case despite the fact that one of the justices involved in the August ruling, Kay Hearn, has ties to a church associated with the national Episcopal Church.
It remains unclear how the state ruling will be implemented. But now that the highest court in the land has decided against weighing in, leaders of both church groups in South Carolina must work together toward a reasonable and fair execution of the state ruling.
Though the rift is deep — the Diocese of South Carolina split from the Episcopal Church in 2012 and disagreements had roiled the relationship for years before that — there is still a chance for some measure of compromise. And that should be the goal.
After all, what is the worth of a church building with no congregation to worship there? Churches like St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s, both of which could be shifted to Episcopal Church ownership given the S.C. Supreme Court ruling, have tremendous historical and real estate value. At least $500 million in Lowcountry property is on the line.
Without U.S. Supreme Court intervention, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina appears to have “won” this dispute in the courts. But leaving church families homeless and severing congregations from centuries of history would hardly be considered a victory. It must not be the final outcome of this difficult divorce.
Instead, church leaders have yet another chance to recognize the realities of the situation and move forward in a way that inflicts the least additional damage on Charleston’s spiritual fabric and religious history.
But further pain is not an inevitable outcome. Mutual respect and harmony are still possible. Reconciliation is still an option. The Christian values of love and goodwill do not require a court order.
Aiken Standard on children and pets left in hot cars:
When a Graniteville man left five children in a vehicle with the windows cracked on Monday and went into Walmart for 30 minutes, at what point did he think that was wrong or did the thought cross his mind?
We have come to the time of year when this occurs throughout the nation, people who leave children or animals in vehicles. Last year, 49 children died after being left in a hot car.
And although it seemed like the temperatures were pleasant with low humidity, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise at a rate of 20 degrees every 10 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In the case on Monday, if the temperature inside the car was, say 76 degrees, after 30 minutes it can rise 34 degrees to a total of 110 degrees, according to a chart on heatkills.org.
But there is no need for further explanation, it’s just common sense. As drivers and passengers, we’ve all entered a vehicle on a summer day and felt the scorching heat inside. Even in winter, we’ve entered a vehicle on a sunny day only to feel its warmth.
You simply do not leave any one or anything with a pulse in the sun, inside a vehicle with the windows shut or cracked.
Now let’s take this one step further. It should also be said, leaving children in a car, no matter what the conditions are outside, is just unacceptable. In Monday’s case, all of the children were under the age of 10. Way too young.
According to KidsAndCars.org, the organization has conducted extensive research on how often children are injured, abducted, disabled, or killed because they are left unattended in or around vehicles. To date, the organization has captured information about almost 10,000 children whose lives have been endangered because they were left unattended in or around vehicles on private property.
It’s fortunate the shoppers in the Walmart parking lot on Monday were observant and called 911, otherwise the situation could have been much worse. The kids in the car turned out to be OK. We have to be thankful for that.
But as responsible people, we should know what’s best and use proper judgment.
It’s just common sense.