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.
UK: The teenagers who have had eight abortions: Shocking figures show girls use ‘traumatic’ procedure as a form of contraception
Jenny Hope – Daily Mail
Thousands of teenagers are having repeat abortions, with some undergoing at least eight terminations. Latest figures suggest many girls are using the procedure as a form of contraception, with pro-life campaigners claiming they are being ‘let down in an appalling way’. For one in seven teenagers who had an abortion in 2010, it was not their first.
Doctor to pay child support after failed abortion
Alys Francis – Ninemsn
A Spanish doctor has been forced to pay child support after a botched abortion caused a mother to believe she was no longer pregnant until it was too late. In what is a one-off case for Spain, the Palma de Malloca court, on the island of Majorca, has ordered the doctor, who has not been identified, to pay $1,300 per month until the child turns 25, The Guardian reports.
Children & Family
Some absent fathers paying just $7 a week in child support
Samantha Maiden – The Sunday Mail
Dads are paying just $7 a week towards the cost of raising their kids in thousands of divorced and separated families across Australia. One in three dads is paying $7 a week, according to data collected by the Department of Human Services. But the number of mums refusing to pay child support to dads who have custody of children is also growing, with 13 per cent of the $1.2 billion in debts now owed by women. In total, 103,000 women owe a child support debt to their former partners.
Children ‘are scarred for life by porn on internet’ as developing minds are violated by visual shock, expert warns
Tanith Carey – Daily Mail
Children are being scarred for life by stumbling across internet pornography before their brains are able to cope with it, according to a leading neuroscientist. Dr William Struthers told MPs that in eight out of ten cases, youngsters come across hard-core images by accident. If they are between nine and 14, when their bodies are becoming sexually mature but their brains are not emotionally developed, early exposure can lead to lasting damage including withdrawn behaviour and acting out what they see onscreen.
Drugs & Alcohol
Parents targeted in teen booze crackdown
Heath Aston, Jim O’Rourke – SMH
Police will be given new powers to stop parents turning a blind eye to under-age drinking, making it a criminal offence to host house parties where alcohol is consumed by under-18s. Under the plan being pushed by the O’Farrell government to make it easier for police to fight the teenage booze culture, adults would face a maximum 12 months’ jail for supplying alcohol to any minor who is not their own child.
‘Steroid vacations’ a dangerous rage for the ripped
Eamonn Duff – SMH
There’s something about the seedy Thai beachside town of Pattaya that keeps enticing Michael Dorn back – but it’s not the sun, sea, sand or sex for which the resort is famous. Dorn, 20, from Sydney, is part of a thriving amateur bodybuilding subculture that uses anabolic steroids and growth hormones as a fast-track to the ultimate ”ripped” body.
Muslim youth leader Fadi Abdul-Rahman’s $1.5m cocaine charges
Brenden Hills – The Sunday Telegraph
A prominent Muslim youth leader, who preaches the perils of crime to his community, has been charged with possessing more than $1.5 million worth of cocaine. Police allege 36-year-old Fadi Abdul-Rahman, who featured in Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit in 2008 and has been a fighter for justice in western Sydney, was part of a commercial cocaine syndicate that was caught with 5kg of the drug hidden in a chess set.
Soft stance on drugs a dangerous catalyst
Peter Dutton – SMH
As the opposition health spokesman, I am acutely aware of the harm caused by illicit drugs. As a former police officer, I contributed to this difficult fight in the real world. As a father I understand how dear children are to parents no matter their circumstances.
Uni chief criticises education system
Sheradyn Holderhead – Adelaide Now
The head of South Australia’s most prestigious university says high-school students are missing out on a simple, broad education – because they can ignore maths, science and English subjects and instead choose from a smorgasbord of specialised studies. In an exclusive interview a month before retiring as University of Adelaide vice-chancellor, Professor James McWha expressed his dismay that such crucial subjects were not compulsory throughout high school.
Inquiry rules in favour of school ethics classes
Sean Nicholls – SMH
Ethics classes should be retained in NSW schools as an option for students who do not want to take part in special religious education, according to the findings of a parliamentary inquiry due to report this week. The inquiry was established last year after the Christian Democratic Party MP Fred Nile put forward a private member’s bill seeking their abolition, less than a year after the former Labor government introduced them.
Live sports betting here to stay, so let’s get real about it
Eddie McGuire – Herald Sun
“Online gambling sites may soon be allowed to bet on live sporting matches and offer cash poker games.” That was the lead story on the front page of the Herald Sun on Thursday. “Australian gaming sites could run trials of both forms of betting within a year as the Federal Government tries to combat unregulated overseas gaming sites.” This column is on the record as saying that “on the run” gaming and unregulated internet betting sites are a bigger threat to the integrity of sport than drugs.
Indigenous leader slams Amnesty
Dan Harrison – SMH
Indigenous leader Bess Price has launched a scathing attack on human rights group Amnesty International for its criticisms of Gillard government proposals to extend parts of the federal intervention in the Northern Territory for a further 10 years. In its annual review of human rights around the globe released this week, Amnesty said the passage of the proposals through Parliament would ”signal a continuation of a dark era for Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory”.
US: Our ‘New Rainbow Coalition’ supports traditional marriage
Michael Gryboski – Christian Post
A “new rainbow coalition” made up of influential Christian pastors and leaders gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon to declare support for the traditional definition of marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act in response to President Obama’s recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s support of repealing DOMA. Organizer Bishop Harry R. Jackson. Jr., senior pastor of the 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in the Washington, D.C.-area, and other pastors described themselves as a “new rainbow coalition” in reference to the different races, denominations, and political parties they represent as they all come together to support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
US: Polls on gay marriage not yet reflected in votes
Poll after poll shows public support for same-sex marriage steadily increasing, to the point where it’s now a majority viewpoint. Yet in all 32 states where gay marriage has been on the ballot, voters have rejected it. It’s possible the streak could end in November, when Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state are likely to have closely contested gay marriage measures on their ballots.
Civil unions: Campbell Newman’s conundrum
Bernard Gaynor – Online Opinion
Newly elected Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, is caught in a moral and political bind over civil unions. Firstly, Campbell Newman is pro-gay marriage and has put his position on the public record many times. Yet Newman leads a party that, he himself acknowledges, is implacably opposed to gay marriage and civil unions. The Premier can only support the LNP’s position at the expense of his personal principles. And it is a fact of life that authority is diminished once personal principles are abandoned. That is as likely to leave as sour a taste in the Premier’s mouth as the prospect of him being overridden within the party. Therein lies Newman’s moral dilemma.
State of the union
Nick Miller – SMH
Barack Obama’s presidency has been defined in large part by his marriage to his No. 1 confidante, Michelle. Her thoughts have not only helped shape a presidency, they could determine the next. As Barack puts it: ”[Hers] is the voice I hear inside my head when I make decisions.”
Defenders of marriage risk jumping at shadows
Rodney Croome – The Australian
In our society, marriage is understood to be the exclusive, monogamous union of two people for life. Same-sex couples fit easily within this definition, while polygamists and polyamorists don’t. Those people who hope or fear otherwise simply don’t understand our law, our society or the meaning of marriage. Their concern seems to be that the movement for same-sex marriage has raised the possibility of multiple-partner marriages (polygamous marriages between one man and several women or polyamorous marriages involving several men and women).
Gillard facing fresh threat
Misha Schubert – The Age
Julia Gillard’s prime ministership is again under threat, with Labor sources saying government whip Joel Fitzgibbon is now actively canvassing for votes to return Kevin Rudd to the leadership. The holder of the key post is normally a bulwark against moves to depose a leader. Sources said Mr Fitzgibbon switched camps some time ago but had begun making a case for change to MPs last week.
Prostitution & Sex Trafficking
Child prostitute’s cries for help ignored
Vincent Morello – SMH
One of seven young girls lured into an alleged child prostitution ring cried out for help when a customer sexually assaulted her, court documents allege. But no-one came to her aid, despite one of the two sisters who allegedly pimped her being in the next room. The sisters allegedly preyed on the homeless girls and introduced some of them to illegal drugs before prostituting them to middle-aged men.
Religious Freedom & Persecution
Church ‘Evicted’ after 7 years proof of Kuwait’s new Islamist policy?
Luiza Oleszczuk – Christian Post
The eviction of a Christian congregation from a private villa used for worship gatherings for the past seven years has some observers speculating whether Kuwait’s Islamist politicians are beginning to actively target non-Muslim groups.
Back in March, PI News reported about the numerous outbreaks of violence between the Muslim-Albanian minority and the non-Muslim-Slavic majority in Macedonia. Currently, the situation appears to be heightening once again after a series of murders of Christians. As Austrian news magazine “Unzensuriert” (“Uncensored”) reports, in the Macedonian capital city of Skopje, slogans like “Allahu akbar,” “Death to Christians,” and “Jihad” were shouted by several thousand Moslems in a demonstration parade after the traditional Friday prayers.
Sexualisation of Society
Sexualisation of girls
Australian Psychological Society
Mental health professionals are increasingly concerned about the prevalence of sexualised images of children and early adolescents in the media. These images appear to be widely used in advertising, and represent children, including pre-pubertal children, in ways more congruent with adult sexuality. The values implicit in the images are that physical appearance and beauty are intrinsic to self-esteem and social worth, and that sexual attractiveness is a part of childhood experience.
Christchurch Cathedral can be saved, NZ rally
Thousands of New Zealanders have marched through a chilly Christchurch calling for the city to save its iconic ChristChurch Cathedral. The day after a sharp 5.2 magnitude jolt rocked the city, an estimated five-thousand people took to the streets, calling for a halt to the demolition work on the building, which is nearly 150 years old.
Surge in imports sends Australian farms to brink
Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar – SMH
One in four Australian vegetable growers is facing financial ruin as they fight a losing battle against cheap processed imports, mounting labour costs and greater competition for our traditional export markets. The importation of processed fruit and vegetables is now worth $1.5 billion a year, a rise of almost 60 per cent over seven years, a Sunday Age analysis of federal government data shows.