Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Politicization of Our Faith

Perhaps like me, you were a bit puzzled to hear news of a group of conservative religious leaders meeting with Donald Trump a week or so ago. They were concerned about his stance on issues such as abortion and transgender rights. The group of religious leaders was comprised largely, if not entirely, of evangelicals – people such as Mike Huckabee, Franklin Graham, James Robison, Ralph Reed and Tony Perkins.

After the meeting one of Trump’s earliest evangelical supporters, Jerry Falwell Jr., along with new Trump convert Ralph Reed were on Fox News excited about their candidate. No official endorsements were handed out after the meeting but, clearly, many attendees left there with typical obligatory optimism. They want to like Trump…they need to like Trump…because they so thoroughly despise Hillary Clinton. read more

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Conservatives must lead the fight for welfare reform

Addressing intergenerational poverty is tricky business. If we are trying to break the cycle of poverty, innovative and nontraditional measures must be employed. We just cannot keep using the same failed approaches. To stop intergenerational poverty, we must focus on rising generations — the children of these families trapped in poverty. With situational poverty, parents need and receive direct help with their temporary circumstances. With intergenerational poverty, the adults in the room are either very often the problem or live with circumstances that don’t allow them to be the solution. The only way to effectively break these cycles of dependency is to focus on the children and, frankly, until now, many conservative policymakers have been reluctant in principle to bypass parents. read more

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A Revolution in Education

It is time for a revolution in education in Utah. Yes, I know. Every few years a bunch of do-gooders comes along determined to fix everything that is wrong with education. When I talk about a revolution in education, I’m not talking about fleeting movements or technical fixes. I’m talking about fundamental changes to how we view education built upon truths we’ve already learned. The kind of revolution in education I’m talking about is like the American Revolution, not the Russian or French revolutions. I’m not talking about destroying all that we’ve built that is good. I’m talking about building upon the good as we reconsider some realities that seemingly have slipped our minds. read more

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White Privilege

Discussing today’s topic is a no-win situation – like when your wife asks you if her new dress makes her look fat. The term “white privilege” is fraught with rhetorical disaster. I’m foolish for even raising the issue, and more foolish still for a variety of substantive reasons in raising the issue.

Frankly, I don’t know the meaning of white privilege but feel compelled to raise the issue because, evidently, I’m guilty of it. So, let’s begin with the politically correct meaning of white privilege. read more

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Utahns can lead the nation out of the Trump-Clinton morass

Utah has the opportunity to lead the nation once again. In the face of candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Utah could choose an alternative that could possibly change the course of politics for a generation. Utah could achieve consensus on an alternative to Trump and Clinton, set the example, announce it to the nation and invite every other state to do the same. At most, we could regain our national identity and sanity. At least, the true spirit of freedom can rest on this exceptional state. read more

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The Open Society and the End of Freedom

If there is one redeeming aspect of his character – if any at all – people seem to like that Donald Trump says what’s on his mind. People who like Trump often say that they like how he speaks. People like candor. I, too, often “think out loud,” just say what’s on my mind in the moment. But, unlike Trump, my candor can get me in trouble. Trump, it seems, is made of Teflon for many voters.

But this commentary is not about Donald Trump. It’s about thought and speech and its context in a free society. read more

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Public Lands and Patience

Utah is a beautiful state – much more so than I give credit. But I’m not an outdoors guy so even when I drive the state I’m not really looking at my surroundings in awe. Most of the time I think to myself, why would anyone want to live out here? I also prefer the greenery of the east coast and deep south – oh, and beaches. So when I drive through Price and across I-70 all I see is lunar landscape. It also makes me wonder why water projects aren’t a higher priority for Utah. Nevertheless, despite my quest for objectivity, my geographic prejudices and preferences most assuredly influence my views on environmental and public lands policies. read more

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