Monday April 15, 2019 

Good morning! 

Welcome to Tax Day. Did you know there are over 7 million words in the tax law and regulations – more than the Gettysburg address, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bible combined? (269+1,337+773k).

Here are some headlines we’re tracking to start this Holy Week: 

rom the Charlotte Observer: 

  1. Tiger’s Win at Augusta a Reminder that Every Setback Can Lead to a Comeback

Two years removed from telling his peers at the 2017 Champions Dinner “I’m done,” Tiger Woods emphatically declared to the golf world he’s not done yet.

With a fused back and rebuilt confidence, the 43-year-old Woods snapped an 11-year drought to win his fifth green jacket and 15th career major with a thrilling one-stroke victory in the Masters Tournament early Sunday afternoon.

As a fitting conclusion to his comeback from personal hurdles, four back surgeries and a repaired knee since his last major win in 2008, Woods rallied from a final-round deficit for the first time in his major career. He finished 13-under par, one better than Brooks Koepka, Columbia’s Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. 

  1. Students for Life Bring Pro-Life Message to Times Square – Focus Coming Next 

CBN interviews Kristan Hawkins and Jim Daly

The pro-life movement is working in a bold venue to deliver its message – with two major events in Times Square, right in the heart of New York City.

Next month, Focus on the Family will take over Times Square with a Live ultrasound of a baby in the womb. And this week, Students for Life of America have been protesting in several big ways. 

Students from across America came to Times Square with a message that their generation is the pro-life generation. 

  1. Jim Daly and Other Evangelical Leaders Sign “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles” 

The Baptist Press reports:

The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission unveiled Thursday (April 11) an evangelical Christian statement on artificial intelligence that expresses both hope and concern regarding the emerging technology. 

The ERLC issued the document — “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles” — signed by nearly 70 Southern Baptist and other evangelical leaders during an event in Washington, D.C. The statement comes at a time when artificial intelligence (AI) is growing in use with such products as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to driverless cars and applications in such fields as business, finance, health care and the military. 

  1. 94 Abortion Workers Seek to Leave Planned Parenthood After Seeing “Unplanned” 

From the Christian Post: 

Chuck Konzelman, writer and director of “Unplanned,” a film about Planned Parenthood clinic director-turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson, revealed Wednesday during a congressional testimony that 94 clinic workers have come forward after watching the movie to seek help leaving their jobs. 

Konzelman, who spoke before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, revealed that since the film’s release on March 29, these workers approached Johnson’s nonprofit, And Then There Were None, and have indicated an intent to change their lives. 

  1. Is the American Flag Offensive? Laguna Beach Residents Say Yes 

When the Laguna Beach Police Department decided to add the American flag to patrol cars, they had no idea the backlash that would ensue. 

More from the LA Times: 

A decision to affix an American flag graphic to the side of freshly painted Laguna Beach police cars is dividing residents, who are alternately praising the image as patriotic or panning it as too aggressive. 

After hearing the criticism and acknowledging that the image they approved didn’t quite match the final results, officials agreed to reconsider their February decision to paint the Laguna Beach Police Department’s fleet of 11 squad cars. The City Council will take up the issue again at its Tuesday meeting. 

“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” said Councilman Peter Blake. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.” 

  1. NJ Governor Legalizes Assisted Suicide 

From USA Today: 

New Jersey is now the eighth state to allow terminally ill residents to end their lives with medical help under a bill Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Friday. 

The law gives state regulators, health care systems and doctors until Aug. 1 to prepare for the new policy, at which point certain patients will be able to ask for and self-administer lethal medication. 

Murphy, a Democrat, explained his decision in an emotionally unguarded signing statement, touching on the tension between his Catholic faith and firsthand experience watching family members suffer. 

  1. Pete Buttigieg Announces 2020 Campaign 

From the NY Times: 

Pete Buttigieg, the young Midwestern mayor whose presidential bid has been an unlikely early focus of attention from Democratic voters and donors, kicked off his campaign on Sunday and proclaimed his hometown’s revival was the answer to skeptics who ask how he has the “audacity” to see himself in the White House. 

At a rally inside a partly rebuilt factory, once owned by the automaker Studebaker and now being turned into glass-sheathed offices for tech and other businesses, Mr. Buttigieg said, “I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing nothing like Studebaker would ever come back, but that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future.” 

If elected, Mr. Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Rhodes scholar and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, would represent a series of historic firsts: the youngest president ever and the first who is openly gay.   

  1. Teen Suicide Clusters Vex and Grieve Communities 

The Wall Street Journal profiles teen suicides in a heavily Mormon Utah town: 

Eight months to the day after his only son, Chandler, killed himself, Kurt Voutaz was in his kitchen eating lunch. 

He and his wife, Catherine, had long since ripped the blood-soaked carpet out of Chandler’s bedroom and cleaned the walls and ceiling. It was warm for February, and they had taken the snow tires off the car. They were hoping winter was over. 

Suddenly, a police car sped across a footpath in the park behind their house. A couple of teenagers were standing nearby, shouting. 

Mr. Voutaz stepped outside to see what was going on. He quickly wished he hadn’t. Just a few yards from his house, a body was lying on the ground. It was Chandler’s friend, Cooper Nagy. Like Chandler, he had shot himself.

Cooper was the fourth high-school student from Herriman to die by suicide since Chandler’s death in June of 2017. Two more would kill themselves by May of 2018, bringing the total to six in less than a year, plus at least one recent graduate. 

  1. How Baby Boomers Don’t Parent Like Their Parents Did 

This generation is deeply involved with their children – and sometimes struggles to let go.The Wall Street Journal reports

Linda Hoskins would like to believe her adult son considers her a friend. 

She’s a baby boomer and boomers tend to think they’re cooler than their own parents were, she says. 

“Therefore why wouldn’t our kids want to hang out with us all the time. We’re their friends, right?” the 69-year-old executive director of the American Pie Council asks half-jokingly. 

Her son sees it a little differently. “She’s my mom,” says Rick, 44. While very close—seeing each other several times a week until she recently moved and texting in between—his mom isn’t on the same level as his friends, nor would he want her to be. 

  1. Facebook Says They May Be Biased Against Conservatives, But It’s Not Intentional 

A representative of the Facebook company told members of Congress at a Senate hearing that there is very likely an “unconscious bias” against conservatives at the popular social media company, but denied the existence of a purposeful political slant. 

Neil Potts, public policy director at Facebook who was on the first panel, was asked by Senator Mike Lee of Utah about the “corporate culture” of Facebook in regards to political leanings.   

“There is the room for unconscious bias that we do not recognize,” said Potts, adding that this contributed to their decision last year to approve the creation of an external investigation to determine if liberal bias existed.  

  1. University Professor Fired for Espousing Belief in Two Biological Sexes 

From the Daily Citizen: 

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit against the University of Louisville on behalf of Dr. Allan M. Josephson. The suit asserts that Josephson was harassed, demoted and then effectively fired after speaking about gender confusion in children and youth at a Heritage Foundation symposium and as an expert witness in legal cases. 

Josephson’s presentations ran afoul of current transgender activists who say all children who claim to be the opposite sex must be believed. According to current ideologically-based protocols, these children should first be allowed to live as the opposite sex – known as “social transitioning.” As they approach puberty, they should be given puberty blockers, then given opposite sex hormones, and finally, treated with body-altering surgeries.   

Josephson, on the other hand, believes “children are not equipped psychologically to make many important life decisions” – including the decision to live as the opposite sex and take powerful medication and hormones. Dr. Michelle Cretella, who spoke alongside Josephson at The Heritage Foundation symposium, says, “Administering cross-sex hormones raises the risk of cardiac problems, stroke, diabetes, and various cancers, as well as depression, anxiety, and sterility. They are not benign medications.” 

  1. Denver Man Distraught Over Virginity Threatens Mass Shooting 

From AP: 

A man has pleaded guilty to a felony terroristic threat charge after authorities said he threatened to target women in a mass shooting because he couldn’t get a girlfriend. 

Utah prosecutor Chad Grunander tells the Deseret News that 27-year-old Christopher W. Cleary of Denver was in court Thursday. 

Police said Cleary wrote on Facebook he was planning to become a mass shooter because he was still a virgin and wanted to kill as many women as possible. 

  1. If You’re Not Failing, Maybe You’re Not Trying Hard Enough 

Paul Batura writes for FOX News

Athletic competition is a great metaphor for life, a reminder that it’s OK to fail, to reach for something just beyond our grasp. In fact, if you’re not failing from time to time, you might ask yourself if you’re trying hard enough. Don’t be afraid to swing and miss. The heroic life involves reaching and risking. And failing.


Most of us won’t be running in Boston today in the marathon, but all of us are running the race of life. All of us have dreams, those goals and aspirations that stir our hearts. Big or small, see them for what they are – hopes and ideas that God may place in our minds for purposes we can’t always see. So, go ahead and take a step. Then another.

It sounds trite but it’s true: failure is often a steppingstone to future success. Seize the challenge and manage it like running a marathon – one mile at a time.