Sutherland Institute: Public lands compromise is a win for conservation

By Matthew Anderson There is a process to producing sound public policy in America. It begins with lively debate, where essential values are articulated and the free exchange of ideas reigns supreme, and it culminates in principled compromise. Both competition and cooperation are necessary parts of this process. Without various interests posturing to present the best arguments in favor of their position, an elected body cannot fully explore the issue, and public policy will be left wanting. Once arguments and opinions have been exhausted, principled compromise comes into play, making…

Derek Monson: Americans, think carefully about what view of freedom we stand for

By Derek Monson What is American freedom? With terrorists killing hundreds of civilians at a time as part of an existential attack on the West and its cultural and philosophical ideas, this question is becoming very important. Perhaps we can best approach it by answering a different question: Which philosophical view of freedom is the most sensible one for America? One way to come at this question is to look at the core idea of freedom within each perspective, and consider where the logic of that idea leads. At its…

How elastic can the Constitution be?

By William C. Duncan With serendipitous timing, this week the online journal Public Discourse published an excellent article by Professor Steven Smith, a law professor at the University of San Diego. In the article, Professor Smith notes that while during the middle period of the Roman Empire, “the outward forms of the ancient republican constitution were largely preserved … these forms were a mere façade.” He quoted Edward Gibbon’s observation that what was left was the “image of liberty.” The timing of the article is striking because this week a…

Is polygamy next? It would only require the court to follow its own logic.

By William C. Duncan Is the legal acceptance of polygamy the most predictable consequence of the legalization of same-sex marriage? To judge by the dissents to the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage redefinition decision and by many conversations with a wide variety of people (not a scientific measure), one might think so. I have my doubts. It is clear that advocates of polygamy think the Obergefell decision requires recognition of some type of group marriage. In a pending Utah case, the attorney for a polygamist and his wives has argued exactly that. The…

The ‘bigot’ tactic

By Derek Monson Recently I participated in a debate with someone from Equality Utah about religious liberty and public accommodations protections for LGBT individuals. After the moderator asked why they are pushing the public accommodations law, the other side opened by saying that he didn’t think a gay couple wanted “a homophobic florist, or cake baker, or wedding photographer to shoot their wedding.” Now, it has always been curious to me how LGBT activists, and the left in general, are so willing in political debates to stereotype and attempt to…

Room to improve: Utah ranks 11th best for fiscal solvency

By Derek Monson Utah has a well-earned reputation as one of the best-managed states in the nation. But according to George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, Utah is the 11th best state in the nation in terms of its fiscal health. These rankings were compiled after a researcher at the academic institution analyzed the financial statements of all 50 states. This analysis looked at five areas of fiscal solvency individually, before combining them into one ranking of overall fiscal health. The five areas were: (1) cash on hand vs. short-term bills,…

Tolerance, equality and human nature in a progressive liberal world

By Derek Monson A recent Gallup social ideology poll reported that for the first time since its polling began in 1999, an equal portion of Americans identify as social liberals as identify as social conservatives. In part, this may be because younger generations are sympathetic to the criticism of the conservative social order from progressive liberal ideology: namely, that it passively undermines or actively discards tolerance and equality for the vulnerable and minorities in society. Given the ascendance in the Gallup polling of social liberalism, it seems reasonable to examine…

Making the world safe for diversity

By Stan Rasmussen In one of his hallmark addresses, delivered in 1963, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed,  [L]et us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We…

Registration now open for World Congress of Families IX [UPH Wire]

This October, an amazing slate of speakers and entertainment — including The Piano Guys and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir — will come together to inform, energize and uplift an international gathering in Salt Lake City. The World Congress of Families (WCF IX) is the world’s premier gathering of family scholars, religious leaders, parliamentarians and advocates uniting to strengthen the family. Registration is now open to the public: click here! Plenary speakers will include: •Nick Vujicic, Australia, who was born without limbs and is an internationally renowned motivational speaker. •Catholic Archbishop…