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.



 





Abortion

Texas pro-lifers propose bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks


Elizabeth Graham - LifeNews





While legislators begin to file legislation during the pre-filing period that began today, they, too, look forward to supporting the flagship Pro-Life bill for the next session: Texas Right to Life’s Preborn Pain Bill. Texas Right to Life has already met with countless Pro-Life activists, experts, and Pro-Life elected officials across the state to build consensus for this measure and to spread awareness about the fact that children who are capable of feeling pain are subjected to an excruciating premature death by abortion.












Women's health rights 'under threat'

Murray Silby - SBS





A group of politicians has been recognised by the Australian Council for International Development for its work promoting the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls and combating gender-based violence. But some members of the parliamentary group, which won the Sir Ron Wilson Human Rights Award, say women's rights remain under threat around the world and in Australia. "We've seen alliances at the UN level looking at various programs for women, we've seen within the political area lobby groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby, ACL, who have very strong views about these issues and put them into the political platform and I don't think this is a new thing at all.
























Classification

Phil Cooke to Christian movie-goers: We could change Hollywood tomorrow


Alex Murashko - Christian Post





Filmmaker and media consultant Phil Cooke said it's time for Christians to show Hollywood movie executives that movies of high quality and moral standards are in large demand by attending such movies, preferably on opening night, in high numbers. "As Christians, we've done a bad job of voting at the box office. We boycott movies we don't like. We criticize movies we don't like. Hollywood couldn't care less about boycotts," said Cooke during a panel discussion workshop at the San Diego Christian Film Festival on Sunday.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Funding woes close drug rehab centre


ABC





A former pastor with a Christian group that operated Albury-Wodonga's only residential drug rehabilitation centre says its closure could have been avoided if governments had provided more financial support. Retired pastor Warren McMartin was involved in running the Granya House rehab centre in his role with the Faith City Church.












Taliban generate 70% of their income off narcotics 'taxes'

APP





The Pakistan Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik said on Tuesday that around 70 per cent of Taliban’s income comes from managing and taxing the illicit drug business. This nexus between opium producers, mafia and Taliban has had a detrimental impact on security of both Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said. Chairing the concluding session of a two-day Regional Ministerial Conference entitled “counter narcotics, enhancing cooperation for effective coordinated and sustainable narcotics control,” the Minister said world is facing US $58 billion narcotics trade.












Education

Bias law exemption fails


Michelle Paine - The Mercury





The Liberals and Greens have united to vote down legislation that would exempt religious schools from complying with anti-discrimination law. The failure raises uncertainty about the ability of Catholic, Christian and other faith schools to prioritise students of their religion. But a part of the bill that broadened the definition of discrimination was passed, despite concerns that it hurt freedom of speech.










Parents to appeal ruling that religion classes don't discriminate against the non-religious

Rachel Baxendale - The Australian





The parents of children at three Victorian state primary schools will appeal a tribunal's decision that the state's religious instruction policy does not discriminate against non-Christian families. Psychologist and mother of three Sophie Aitken, and two other parents of five children whose names have been suppressed, made a complaint to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission last year. They objected to what they perceived as a lack of educational alternatives for children who do not participate in weekly, half-hour Special Religious Instruction classes.










Islamic council linked to cash shift

Anna Patty - SMH





Private schools receiving up to $15 million in government funding each year have transferred large sums to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, which operates six schools around the country and is the country's peak Muslim body.














Euthanasia

Euthanasia by any other name


Paul Russell - Mercator Net





Discussion about end-of-life issues simmers away in Australia. Reluctant as most of us naturally are to do so, it is nevertheless worthwhile to discuss with friends and family, and in public forums, ideas about health care, advance directives and our choices in such circumstances.












A matter of trust

Martin Cullen - Mercator Net





If we are seriously debating euthanasia, is it any wonder that so many patients are suspicious of hospital doctors? I am an intensive care doctor in a Sydney hospital. I spend my days and nights amid flickering lights and beeping monitors in a small ward with desperately ill patients. Some of them have just been operated on. Some have just had a stroke or a heart attack. Some have just arrived after car accidents.
















Politics

How Obama won—and what it means for America


Sheila Liaugminas - Mercator Net





President Obama won re-election because of an astounding, slick, savvy and highly successful ground game and campaign geniuses who ran that machine like General Patton and his divisions ran a military campaign. Credit is due where it is earned, and the Obama team blew away even the top pundits who never saw it coming, through Election Day itself. It was Obama’s shock and awe. It wasn’t the economy that delivered. It was demographics. Sheer, simple, brilliantly executed machine politics crafted to get out the vote by all means possible to deliver every demographic group who identified with an Obama promise. And racking up those groups for Election Day was itself a stroke of genius.










A deluded feminism's real damage

Philippa Martyr - Quadrant





I’m with Steven Kates. He’s absolutely right when he says: "The confluence of the mendicants, the envious, the abortion lobby, what I call the cohort of damaged women, and the social-sciences know-nothings has proven a formidable combination." I agreed with him when I read this on Catallaxy, and I still agree with it now, principally because it’s a brief but accurate summary of our current Federal cabinet. (Kates left out "corrupt unionists", but perhaps we can group them under ‘mendicants’.)














Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

SA Sex Work Bill defeated


Ros Phillips - Family Voice





FamilyVoice Australia has welcomed the defeat of a private member’s bill to decriminalise the sex trade in the South Australian House of Assembly this morning. “The Sex Work Reform Bill failed by one vote (19:20),” said FamilyVoice national research officer Ros Phillips. “It was a narrow defeat, but we rejoice that it has put an end to an attempt to bring in ‘open slather’ prostitution and pimping. Similar laws in NSW and elsewhere have resulted in a boom in legal and illegal brothels as well as street prostitution. They are out of control.”
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christmas lights go out in Europe


Bruce Bawer - Front Page





Now, it doesn’t matter whether you, as an individual, care for Christmas trees or consider them a big deal. That’s not the point. The point is that when you give way on one not-such-a-big-deal thing after another, it eventually does become a very big deal indeed. Step by step, one culture gives way to another – all the while telling itself that it isn’t doing anything of the kind.












Sexualisation of Society

Man watched porn to desensitise himself


Canberra Times





A Sydney man caught with child pornography images told a court he aspired to a career in law enforcement, particularly child protection, and wanted to ''desensitise himself''. Acting Chief Justice Richard Refshauge sentenced Meaad Yazarlou on Wednesday to two years, with six months served in weekend jail and the remainder suspended. Yazarlou had pleaded guilty to charges of using a carriage service to access child pornography and possessing child pornography.














Other

Rome has no monopoly on child abuse


Xavier Symons - On Line Opinion





Over the past couple of days, media commentators have lauded the establishment of royal commission into institutional handling of child abuse. This powerful national commission, many have written, will finally allow for a proper investigation of the Catholic Church's handling of child abuse cases in the past 50 years. I want to emphasise something a little different – the scope of this commission.










Systemic abuse was not confined to the Catholics

Richard "Tommy" Campion - The Punch





When I saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard on television announcing there would be a Royal Commission into child abuse in churches and other institutions I was overwhelmed. I wept uncontrollably. I became breathless. I walked the floor struggling to breathe, trying to comprehend what I had heard.












Why the Church should thank the media

Michael McVeigh - Eureka Street





The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse can only be a good thing for the Catholic Church. It is a chance to account for the betrayal and crimes of priests and other church representatives who committed acts of abuse against the vulnerable, and for the careless, even callous way in which many church officials responded to complaints against their own. This will be a long overdue first step in moving forward.












Where do child sexual assault victims go if there are no organisations to take them in?

Melinda Tankard Reist - blog





Where can child sexual assault victims go to for help if no organisations can take them in? This is the question on everyone’s lips as the rumour grows that the funding of 11 specialist child sexual assault services in NSW may be at risk. Because of proposed state budget cuts, at least one of these essential services, Wollongong West St Centre, has been allegedly recommended for de-funding. The fate of 10 other child sexual assault services, including four in western Sydney, is also unclear.