Sutherland Newsletter – September 10, 2009


High school students throughout the state of Utah are invited to apply for one of five $1,000 scholarships.  They may do so by submitting an essay on how to use information available on the new State website,, to improve Utah’s schools.


Students are encouraged to explain their experience using the website and how they believe the information on that website can lead to improving education.  Students are also encouraged to include facts found on and how those facts have impacted or are currently impacting their education.


In an effort to encourage Utahns to use the new website and to promote responsible citizenship, Sutherland Institute will award five scholarships to the authors of the best essays.


For more information on the Transparency Scholarship Essay Contest, click here to download an information sheet and entry form.  All entries must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2009.



The outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) as President Obama was addressing a joint session of Congress, and a recent Deseret News article suggesting that Utahns believe political discourse has become less civil, are among the factors motivating the topic for Sutherland Institute’s next Blogger Briefing.  On Tuesday evening, September 29, at 7:00 p.m., political bloggers across the political spectrum are invited to participate in a discussion with state party figures about the boundaries of civility in political dialogue.


Addressing “Civility in Politics: Where Do We Draw the Line?”, participants will not only view some famous and not-so-famous exchanges in the political arena, but will also have the opportunity to hear from and discuss this timely subject with leaders of the two major state parties.


Bloggers interested in receiving an invitation to the September 29 session, as well as future quarterly Briefings, should send their email and blog addresses


The Sutherland Institute is located in the Crane Building, 307 West 200 South, Suite 5005, in downtown Salt Lake City.



On Thursday evening, September 24, 2009, Sutherland Institute hosted Family and Faith Matter: Why Utah Holds to Sacred Ground at the Provo Tabernacle.  The session marked the 100-year anniversary of U.S. President William Howard Taft’s visit to Provo.  He, along with then-Senator and future Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland, spoke at the historic building.

Thursday’s event, part of the Institute’s Sacred Ground Initiative, featured Joe Cannon, editor of the Deseret News; JoAnne Roberts, a mother and resident of Provo; and Paul Mero, president of Sutherland Institute.

Mr. Cannon started the evening off by discussing highlights from a series of nine columns he wrote for the Deseret News this summer on the topic of faith, secularism, and the modern age.

Mrs. Roberts then spoke to the attendees about her experiences while trying to research the topic of same-sex marriage after her son came home from school with questions on the issue.  She said that she and her husband found the information to address his questions after attending Sutherland Institute’s previous Sacred Ground Initiative event at Thanksgiving Point where they purchased the book, Preserving Sacred Ground: A Responsible Citizen’s Approach to Same-Sex Politics.

After reading and studying Sutherland’s book, the Roberts then decided to have group discussions with their family about each of the chapters.  In her remarks on Thursday evening, Mrs. Roberts said, “We cannot silenlty sit back while the world adopts attitudes and behaviors that most of us do not approve of.”  After telling her family’s story, she encouraged audience members to also study the issues of same-sex marriage and “gay rights” with their families and friends and to stand firm in their efforts to protect marriage.

Mr. Mero concluded the evening by addressing the question of why we protect marriage and family within our laws.  He reminded the audience that our founding fathers knew that freedom required order and that a free society must have some rules.  He added that the unwrittenConstitution of the United States of America has happiness as its sole objective, and that happiness within a family means having children.

“America’s founding fathers did not fight and die for a theory of happiness.  They fought and died for their posterity – for families yet to come.  That was their ‘pursuit’ of happiness,” said Mero.

He concluded by saying that if anything can be called marriage, we lose a free society’s reason to exist.  “A marriage is between one man and one woman bounded by the hope of posterity….  If an inherently childless or non-complementary relationship can be called marriage, anything can be called marriage.”


Recently added to Sutherland Institute’s YouTube channel are segments from the Sacred Ground Initiative event in Provo.  To watch go to:


Read Paul Mero’s full address here.


Read JoAnne Robert’s full address here.