ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.
Confessions of a Pro-Life atheist, why I fight abortion
Bryan Kemper – Life News
I recently asked my friend Patrick, a pro-life activist who is also an atheist to write a commentary about why he is pro-life. I think sometimes Christians might not understand that many non-religious people hold the pro-life position and hold it passionately. I thought this would be a great way for people who hold these views as part of their faith to understand why someone without a faith would hold the same views. I have included a link to Patrick’s blog and I expect everyone who decides to comment or talk to him to do so with the upmost love and respect. The courage it takes for Patrick to be an active pro-lifer is way more than most Christians can understand.
David Warren – Ottawa Citizen
According to an article published by the BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics, currently getting a lot of press, it’s all right to kill babies. Abortion, even “late term abortion,” is not the issue here. The authors, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, adopt the prolife argument that there is no essential difference between a child in the mother’s womb, and a child newly born. They then turn this argument on its head, to say if it is permissible to abort the unborn child, then it is permissible to kill the newborn.
Charities & NFP
The tricks charities try to cash in on the vulnerable, elderly and dying
Jonathan Marshall – The Sunday Telegraph
Charities are pressuring vulnerable, elderly and dying Australians with highly emotive tactics, psychological profiling and death-bed visits from lawyers to bequeath their estates. “Greedy” families must be frozen out of wills, Australia’s major charitable organisations were told last week at a confidential convention. Hundreds of representatives from almost every prominent Australian charity – including Amnesty International, World Vision, Mission Australia, the Heart Foundation, Guide Dogs, Ronald McDonald House and ChildFund – spent up to $3000 per delegate to attend.
Children & Family
Surge in abuse reports stretch crisis services to breaking point
Nicole Brady – The Age
Reports of family violence to police are at a record high in Victoria, straining legal, crisis accommodation, support and treatment services. In the last financial year, police attended 40,892 family violence incidents, a figure that has increased steadily from 29,648 in 2006-07.
Self-harm becomes today’s anorexia
Janine Hill – Sunshine Coast Daily
Self-harm is on the way to becoming the 21st century health issue equivalent of the eating disorder anorexia in the 1990s, according to a Sunshine Coast-based clinical psychologist. Dr Rhiannon Penny, of Family Challenge, said self-harm or deliberate self-injury had become more prevalent in recent years. She said that the eating disorders such as anorexia which were displayed among adolescent girls 20 years ago were being replaced by self-harm, often through cutting with knives or blades.
Australian media fears freedom under new proposals
The Spy Report
The Australian media industry is concerned about their future press freedoms under a new watchdog system announced by the Federal Government yesterday. Federal Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy on Friday issued the proposal to regulate print, radio, television and online media under one federal authority, The Australian reports. The proposed watchdog would have the power to prosecute media companies in the judicial system, an aspect which has worried the media industry. It would also regulate Australian online news sites, including blogs, which receive more than 15,000 hits per year.
The Dutch mobile euthanasia clinics that began offering assisted death in people’s homes last week received nearly 60 requests within their two first days of operation, Dutch daily De Volkskrant has reported. On Thursday, six mobile Levenseinde (Life End) units went into operation around the Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002. Petra de Jong, director of the Dutch right-to-die foundation NVVE which runs the mobile service, told De Volkskrant that patients were ‘grateful’.
Questions asked about euthanasia for brain-damaged Dutch prince
Michael Cook – BioEdge
Dutch Prince Johan Friso, brain-damaged after being buried by an avalanche in Austria last month, has been transferred to Wellington Hospital, in London. Doctors believe that the 43-year-old is unlikely to recover consciousness, although will be weeks before they have a clear idea of his prospects.
Black pastors take heat for not viewing same-sex marriage as civil rights matter
Marc Fisher – Washington Post
All of a sudden, they are bigots and haters — they who stood tall against discrimination, who marched and sat in, who knew better than most the pain of being told they were less than others. They are black men, successful ministers, leaders of their community. But with Maryland poised to become the eighth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, they hear people — politicians, activists, even members of their own congregations — telling them they are on the wrong side of history, and that’s not where they usually live. Nathaniel Thomas and the 77 other Baptist ministers in the association do not see same-sex marriage as a civil rights matter.
Cardinal attacks gay marriage plans
David Cameron faces fresh pressure from church leaders over the Government’s plans for gay marriage. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, claimed the proposals are “madness”, it has been reported. In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, he accuses the coalition of trying to “redefine reality”. The Prime Minister is a “passionate” advocate of the change, telling his party two years ago he supported gay marriage “because I am a Conservative”. Cardinal O’Brien wrote: “Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.
Outcry as Syria blocks Red Cross aid to rebel strongholds in Homs
Syria faced harsh world condemnation as it continued to block the Red Cross from delivering desperately needed aid to the vanquished rebel stronghold of Baba Amr in the city of Homs. As more bloodshed was reported across Syria, Britain and Turkey joined the international outcry accusing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime of committing a crime by barring aid convoys from entering Baba Amr for the second day. And China, which twice joined Russia in blocking UN Security Council resolutions against Syria’s lethal crackdown on dissent, urged all parties in Syria to “unconditionally” end the violence.
PM Julia Gillard’s bid to dump whip
Samantha Maiden and Linda Silmalis – The Sunday Telegraph
Julia Gillard has clashed with one of her most loyal lieutenants over her ministry reshuffle, with former cabinet minister Joel Fitzgibbon threatening to resign after declining a junior portfolio. Details of the clash emerged yesterday as the Prime Minister’s star recruit to the foreign affairs portfolio, Bob Carr, told The Sunday Telegraph the party needed to “junk” the culture of leaks and backbiting. Mr Carr will get off to a flying start as Foreign Minister as early as next week – with New Zealand the likely destination – as the federal government fast-tracks his instalment into the Senate.
Religious Freedom & Persecution
U.S. Lawmakers challenge Iran to spare a Christian pastor’s life
Patrick Goodenough – CNS News
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday will take up a bipartisan resolution calling on Iran to spare the life of an Iranian Christian pastor sentenced to death for “apostasy.” Sponsored by a conservative Christian Republican and a liberal Muslim Democrat, the list of bipartisan co-sponsors for the resolution – introduced on Feb. 17 by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) — has climbed to 46.
A year ago they begged for Britain’s help when Colonel Gaddafi’s tanks encircled their city, threatening annihilation. Now former Libyan rebels in Benghazi – liberated with the aid of the RAF last March – have systematically desecrated the graves of more than 150 British servicemen killed in North Africa 70 years ago. Headstones at the Benghazi War Cemetery have been torn down and crucifixes smashed with hammers by a mob of extremists, some carrying guns and dressed in combat fatigues.
Nigeria’s Boko Haram calls for “war” on Christians
David Eto – Bikyamasr
A Nigerian spokesman for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram told Bikyamasr.com on Sunday that they are planning a “war” on Christians in the next few weeks. According to the spokesman, speaking via telephone from northern Nigeria, the group “will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country.”
OM raising funds to keep ship ministry afloat
Through the generosity of a partner of OM’s Ship Ministry, a 1 to 2 matching grant of up to $3 million has been made available to keep Logos Hope sailing into the future. Having recently celebrated three years of active service, OM’s flagship Logos Hope requires significant technical work to ensure the vessel can continue to bring knowledge, help and hope to the one million people that the ship ministry reaches on average every year.
Climate change research is costing Australian taxpayers
Gemma Jones – The Daily Telegraph
Millions of dollars in government research funding is being ploughed into studies of emotion in climate change messages, ancient economic life in Italy and the history of the moon. Studies of sleeping snails and determining if Australian birds are getting smaller because of climate change have also been allocated funding in the latest round of grants totalling $300 million by the Australian Research Council. A study of “an ignored credit instrument in Florentine economic, social and religious life from 1570 to 1790” secured $578,792 for a researcher from the University of Western Australia.