Threats toward judges speak to a deeply harmful strike at the core of our democracy | Opinion

Threats must stop

Virtually every day we learn of serious threats against judges, their families and their staff members. This situation is beyond being unfortunate.

According to the American Bar Association, threats against federal judges have doubled in the past three years.

We should not tolerate, applaud or follow those whose words or conduct encourages threats against our fellow citizens whom we enshrine with the label of “Your Honor.”

Our judges are our fellow citizens who have undertaken to administer justice, with no friends to reward and no enemies to punish, as they labor in the vineyard of every imaginable controversy.

The conduct that has the appearance of sanctifying these threats is not only morally and legally wrong, but it also threatens the very fabric of our society.

Judicial independence and the rule of law, the concept that no one is above the law, makes our country a shining light that protects us all.

Everyone has a responsibility, by word and deed, to embrace the rule of law and to protect and defend those who administer the law against the people whose poisonous words and actions encourage violence against those who safeguard our liberties.

Good citizenship demands no less.

Ellis I. Kahn, Charleston

Gratitude for public courses

I would like to commend the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission for purchasing Hidden Valley Golf Club.

This is a giant leap for outdoor recreation in that county.

There is so little public golf available in our area.

The comments by the spokesman for the Midlands Golf Course Owners Association show a great deal of short-sightedness.

Their future members benefit from honing their skills on public courses.

Not everyone who enjoys playing golf can afford a country club and many of those who could are on waiting lists and need a place to play in the meantime.

Elizabeth Russell, Columbia

Reproductive research to consider

Neurobiological research on the fetus combined with new insights from the theory of evolution offer fresh perspectives on when human life begins – a crucial question for pro-life advocates.

Evolutionary scientists are starting to contend that what distinguishes homo sapiens from other animals is our superior ability to cooperate across genetic lines, an ability that is a function of the proportionately larger frontal lobe of the brain which makes social interactions, abstract thought, language and consciousness possible.

In short, a case can plausibly be made that the fetus is not really human until these mental tools have developed.

New research published in 2021 conducted by Miikihito Shibata, Kartik Pattabiraman, Nenad Sestan and others at the Yale School of Medicine found that it is the later stages of the second trimester of pregnancy that is the most crucial time for the formation of the neural connections of the prefrontal cortex with the rest of the brain.

These Yale researchers also found that retonic acid in the brain apparently switches on the gene CBLN2 which is crucial in forming connections with the frontal cortex, all not happening until the second trimester. Only when this happens is the fetus capable of distinctively human thought and behavior.

Indeed, then, a case could be made that the fetus is not truly human until the seventh month of pregnancy (human uniqueness understood in terms of being capable of cooperation or even of consciousness).

In that case, abortion prior to the seventh month would not be the termination of a human life.

Mark Ellingsen, Boiling Springs

Imagine this

Imagine someone signing a contract to be a school teacher and then refusing to teach the students. You would assume that they would be fired, right?

Imagine that they are fired, but they sue the school district for wrongful firing. We’d think that they were mentally unbalanced.

Now imagine someone who calls themselves a Christian but is upset when they are “persecuted,” even though the New Testament pretty much guarantees that persecution will be an integral part of the “job description,” that persecution is something to wear as a badge of honor, in a sense a sign of one’s faithfulness, a sign that one is “doing it right.”

Then imagine that these same people turn to secular agencies — state or federal government — to come to the rescue and save them from this “persecution.”

At best, we would simply say that they know nothing about the faith they claim to follow; at worst, we would say that they seek to destroy the very faith that they claim to follow, looking for a life of ease and entitlement rather than a life of servitude to one’s fellow man.

More simply: Trump is not a Christian, and people who claim that he is aren’t either.

Tim Mueller, Columbia