Author Archives: William C. Duncan

Weighing decisions of character against feelings of discomfort

In our continued debates over moral issues, it is not uncommon for politicians, opinion leaders and others to announce that, after agonizing over the issue, they have decided to change positions or announce positions in favor of things like abortion … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Family | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Freedom to close businesses on Sunday is worth preserving

Living in a community bordering Highland, we see lots of signs for and against local Proposition 6, which would do away with the city’s Sunday closing. The anti-Proposition 6 campaign is in the right. People don’t need to shop on … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Free market | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Spending our children’s inheritance

One of the gems in Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is his description of the tradition threatened by the social engineering of the French Revolution as an “entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to … Continue reading

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Poverty’s elephant in the room

One core advantage of religious and other private charity over government welfare is that it is more likely to address the elephant in the room in discussions of poverty: marriage and family structure. The Department of Workforce Services report on … Continue reading

Posted in Poverty | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Intergenerational poverty, taxation and the Scrooge response

Earlier this week I spoke at an important conference on intergenerational poverty in Salt Lake City. Karen Crompton of Voices for Utah Children and State Senator Stuart Reid organized the conference and invited my participation as a follow-up to Senator … Continue reading

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Polyamory and willful blindness?

Imagine a scenario where a small child is allowed to play with loaded weapons without meaningful oversight from the parents. Then imagine the parents excuse their behavior by saying that the child had not yet been shot or shot anyone … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Law | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Same-sex marriage inevitable? Not so fast

At a Sutherland Institute event in April 2011, Maggie Gallagher noted that victory in a war comes when one side believes it is no longer worth fighting. Thus, one of the most important arguments made by those who want to … Continue reading

Posted in Gay Rights, Marriage | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Defending traditional marriage at UVU ethics week

Utah Valley University’s Center for the Study of Ethics very kindly invited me to give a speech on “The Meaning of Traditional Marriage” on Sept. 18 as part of an Ethics Awareness Week In the speech I tried to explain what … Continue reading

Posted in Marriage | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Academic witch hunt ends in acquittal

A Child Trends report in 2002 concluded: “First, research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.” There is … Continue reading

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Government welfare and moral excellence

The great demographer Nicholas Eberstadt recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal about the dramatic explosion in the receipt of government welfare. His concluding paragraphs: The prospect of careening along an unsustainable economic road is deeply disturbing. But another possibility … Continue reading

Posted in Welfare | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Utah's Reid shows leadership on intergenerational poverty

Utah State Senator Stuart Reid is providing important leadership on a crucial issue — intergenerational poverty. The 1990s saw a major effort to reform public welfare through work requirements for welfare recipients. This effort had merit, but Senator Reid is … Continue reading

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Alimony, audits and adoption: family issues heard during Utah interim meetings

During last week’s interim day meetings, the legislature heard three family issues. The Judiciary Interim Committee listened to testimony about reforming alimony (brought to the Committee by Representative Fred Cox, R-West Valley City) which has been a Sutherland Institute priority. … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Legislature, Parental Rights | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Utah could take a lesson from Chris Christie on surrogacy

On Aug. 8, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did the right thing in vetoing a bill that would have allowed adults to contract with one another so that one would carry a child to term for money and then surrender … Continue reading

Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How sound marriage laws enhance liberty

A sincere question often raised in the debate over the definition of marriage is whether it is appropriate for government to be in the marriage business at all. For those of us who believe in the principle of limited government, … Continue reading

Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Playing chicken with religious liberty

Hopefully many readers have been to Chick-fil-A recently. After the company’s president expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a husband and wife, four big town mayors have threatened to prevent the company from doing business in their … Continue reading

Posted in Marriage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment