Entries by William C. Duncan

Regrettable words and the ethics of tale-bearing

Recently, the news reported some comments from a well-known, and by all accounts, generous and philanthropic individual in the state, of an unfortunate and ad hominem nature about a prominent politician. Such comments are, of course, always regrettable. What could explain them? We have to admit that we don’t know. It could be a regrettable […]

Arranged marriage

Today, the law of Utah says that marriage is an association of a man and a woman, or a man and another man, or a woman and another woman. Not, however, because a massive cultural change in the state led a majority of Utahns to decide that marriage should be a way for the government […]

Marriage: a cornerstone, not a luxury good — Sutherland Soapbox, 12/16/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. Prominent sociologist Andrew Cherlin had an interesting piece in the New York Times this weekend about the much-observed correlation between social class and marriage rates (professionals tend […]

Parents’ rights: Integrating rights and responsibilities

The U.S. Constitution is understood to protect the ability of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, free from state interference. That formulation derives from a pair of cases from the 1920s involving disputes over education. In Meyer v. Nebraska, the Supreme Court invalidated a Nebraska law that prohibited instruction in schools from being […]

Intergenerational families: Humanity’s keystone species

At Yellowstone last summer, we heard about keystone species, “a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance.” These species solve large ecological problems that would otherwise threaten the very existence of an ecosystem. Consider the challenge of transmitting virtue. It was commonplace among the Founders of the United […]

6th Circuit marriage decision is powerfully protective of liberty – Sutherland Soapbox, 11/11/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post.  Last week’s decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has thrown a wrench in the “inevitability” of a national mandate of gender-neutral marriage. […]

Take the long view of court’s (non)decision on marriage — Sutherland Soapbox, 10/7/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.  Utah’s marriage law, and a measure of its self-determination, has now been wiped out by the inaction of the U.S. Supreme Court. As you’ve no doubt heard, that court yesterday [Oct. 6] turned back petitions from Utah and […]