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

Obama: Do what we can to save one child, but infanticide okay


Steven Ertelt - LifeNews

President Barack Obama today showed the kind of care and regard for human life when it comes to the issue of guns that he never has when it comes to abortion. The tragedy at Sandy Hook can never be overstated — children died and teachers and staff died attempting to keep them save. There are no words that can properly convey how senseless the loss of life was that fateful day in Connecticut. President Obama seems to understand this tragic loss of human life.


Gun control and the fierce urgency of now

John Barron - ABC

Flanked by four young children who had written to him asking for action on gun violence, President Obama signed 23 executive actions which stiffen existing laws, but he needs the fractious US congress to initiate new laws on high-powered weapons and ammunition. In a deliberate irony, given his support for abortion rights, President Obama reframed the issue of gun rights in terms of the greater "right to life" of the children at Sandy Hook, the movie-goers in Aurora and the victims of countless other gun crimes. "Those rights are at stake, we're responsible," the president said. "This is our first task as a society... keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged; we can't put it off any longer."


US Department of Health & Human Services fights for abortion drug mandate on Bible publisher

CBNNews

The Obama administration is appealing a judge's order blocking enforcement of the Obamacare mandate requiring a Bible publisher to provide abortion-inducing contraceptives to its employees. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted Tyndale House a preliminary injunction against the rule late last year.


Why the world is more dangerous with fewer girls

V. Rukmini Rao and Lynette Dumble - The Age

In India and China, where the ratio of men to women is skewed in favour of men, there are higher levels of rape and violent conflict.

There is some optimism emerging from the latest study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research examining the ratio of men to women around the world. The World Bank expressed similar optimism in 2009. Both institutions are buoyed by the partial reversal of South Korea's skewed child sex ratios, which had peaked in the mid-1990s at 116 boys per 100 girls.


Six reasons why men can speak on abortion

Marc Barnes - LifeNews

The injustice of abortion is the free choice of a woman who sees it working towards her good. This has lead to the common call for men to remove themselves from the debate surrounding the injustice. It is, after all, a woman’s issue. While I sympathize with the thought, it doesn’t hold to the light of reason. Women bear pregnancy and birth, as they physically and emotionally bear the sad experience of abortion. As such, they are certainly the most experientially trustworthy spokeswomen for the issue. But this pride of place does not exclude the male voice.


Children & Family

Welfare cuts to lone parents will not help them find work


Peter Whiteford - SMH

John Hirst on this page on Wednesday argued that the social welfare system provided ''the economic underpinning for the regular abuse of children''. He also argued in support of the government's decision to move about 100,000 lone parents from the single parent payment to the lower Newstart payment when their youngest child turns eight. As he points out: ''The larger purpose is to improve the wellbeing of these households by persuading the single parent to take work and not rely wholly on welfare.''


Queensland: The most 'family friendly' state

Lachlan Mackintosh - ABC

Give yourself a pat on the back Queensland, you've made our state the most family friendly place in Australia to live. But I’m sure you already knew that. That's why you live here! And if you are from Toowoomba, well congratulations, you are officially the friendliest place in Queensland to live.


Classification

Mortal Kombat being reconsidered for R18+ rating


Luke Reilly - news.com

Following the birth of the new R18+ rating for video games in Australia Warner Bros. has revealed plans to seek classification for Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition. “Warner Bros Entertainment Australia will be submitting the Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition for classification under the new R18+ classification category,” read a statement. Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition features the 2011 game plus all downloadable content released for the title in one bundle.


Drugs & Alcohol

Drug, gun detection doubled in 2012: Customs


ABC

Customs and Border Protection says it made double the amount of detections of illicit drugs and weapons last year compared to 2011. Officers confiscated more than three tonnes of illicit drugs and seized 1,100 firearms and nearly 250,000 other weapons. Customs spokesman Tim Dawson says the department is making better use of technology and undercover officers.


Busts net drugs, guns in Gympie homes

AAP

Four people have been charged with drug offences in the Gympie area, north of Brisbane. Police allegedly found cannabis, amphetamines, cash and three firearms during raids of properties in Gympie, North Deep Creek, Veteran and Southside on Wednesday afternoon. A 54-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, both of North Deep Creek, have been charged with trafficking and supplying dangerous drugs and with possessing dangerous drugs and firearm.


Environment

Public funds used to 'enable activists to break law'


Imre Salusinszky - The Australian

Industry and government hostility towards the NSW Environmental Defenders Office has hardened as details have emerged of the publicly funded legal aid agency's links to Whitehaven Coal hoaxer Jonathan Moylan. "NSW taxpayers should not be expected to fund the EDO so it can provide regular legal assistance to enable Jonathan Moylan and other activists to continuously break the law," NSW Minerals Council chief Stephen Galilee said yesterday. The EDO, which is already facing funding cuts from the O'Farrell government, successfully appealed against a $5000 damage bill imposed on Mr Moylan and three fellow protesters in 2009, after they chained themselves to a railing at the Tomago aluminium smelter north of Newcastle.


Burke warns of potential for forest deal collapse

ABC

The Federal Environment Minister has interrupted his holidays to travel to Hobart and warn Legislative Councillors the forest peace deal could collapse if it is not resolved quickly. Tony Burke has only weeks to decide whether to progress a nomination to add some of the deal's proposed reserves to the state's Wilderness World Heritage Area. The nomination is a crucial part of the deal to reduce logging in native forests but legislation to enact the agreement is stalled by an Upper House inquiry.


Greens split over coal company hoax

The Australian

The Australian Greens are split over a hoax that temporarily wiped $300 million off the value of Whitehaven Coal. Greens leader Christine Milne has said the action was part a long and proud history of civil disobedience. Her colleague Lee Rhiannon congratulated activist Jonathan Moylan, who issued a bogus press release purporting to be from the ANZ Bank and which said the bank had cancelled a $1.2 billion loan facility for Whitehaven's Maules Creek project in northwest NSW. But another Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, says the stunt was not something she would encourage.


Euthanasia

Connecticut pro-lifers try to stop bill to OK assisted suicide


Steven Ertelt - LifeNews

Senator Ed Meyer has introduced a bill to legalize assisted suicide in Connecticut. Defeating this anti-life bill will be the highest legislative priority of the Family Institute of Connecticut Action in 2013. The pro-life group is already hard at work on defeating the measure but needs help. From a statement to LifeNews: No one supports keeping a patient alive by extraordinary means against that patient’s will. That is not the subject of this bill. Rather, assisted suicide means that someone provides the means and/or information for another person to commit suicide. When a physician is involved, the practice is physician-assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is not only an attack on human life, it is bad public policy that puts vulnerable populations–the sick, the elderly, the disabled–in harm’s way


Human Rights

Schools practise what they preach


Kevin Donnelly - SMH

Secular critics argue that religious organisations such as faith-based schools, especially Catholic schools, should not have the right to discriminate in relation to who they enrol and who they employ. Wrong. One of the fundamental rights in any democratic and open society is freedom of religion. Faith-based schools, by their very nature, are there to uphold and teach the spiritual values and morality embodied in their religion. If freedom of religion is to have any meaning, then it follows that schools should have the power to discriminate in relation to who they enrol and who they employ.


Review 'missed opportunity' to separate church and state

Judith Ireland and Jonathan Swan - Brisbane Times

Labor Left leader Senator Doug Cameron has questioned the role of the Australian Christian Lobby in a review of anti-discrimination laws and says he does not believe there should be any discrimination on the basis of sexual preference or marital status. Senator Cameron told Fairfax Media on Wednesday that he was concerned that Ms Gillard spoke with the Christian lobby before the matter was discussed in caucus.


Marriage

Half a million French wave the flag for “paternity, maternity, equality”


David van Gend Blog

Spectacular rally in Paris this week, with hundreds of thousands of French families and activists and even some gay groups objecting to the demolition of the meaning of marriage, and to the abolition of a child’s birthright to both a mother and father. Bigger than the Grande Armee of Napoleon – let’s hope it shakes the Socialist President into sanity. Interestingly, the passion is as much, or more, about the legal right for same-sex couples to adopt or use surrogacy / IVF to obtain a child. As Jim Wallace points out in the interview linked below, if you set gay marriage laws in cultural concrete, there is no way you can disallow gay adoption and surrogacy / IVF, because marriage carries within it the intrinsic right ” to found a family” – that is there in the International Declaration on Human Rights, Article 16.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Obama declares Religious Freedom Day


Sheila Liaugminas - MercatorNet

In another twist on news that doesn’t square with other news, and words by the president that don’t match actions by the president… Mr. Obama declared January 16th Religious Freedom Day. Here’s the Proclamation: Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose. Right there is a tip off to where his administration has been going with religious liberty in America, transitioning it to the freedom to worship.


East Java: six Catholic schools could be shut down for not teaching Islam

Mathias Hariyadi - AsiaNews

The authorities threaten to close the schools by 19 January. Until now Christian schools have never been required to offer courses and seminars on the Qur'an. Given the sensitive nature of the matter, school administrators are not making any public statement. Municipal authorities in Blitar, a town in East Java province, are threatening to shut down six Catholic schools "by 19 January" if the latter do not provide Islamic courses and readings of the Qur'an to their Muslim students, in accordance with regional bylaw n. 8 of 2012, which requires all Muslim students to receive Islamic courses in school.


Who burnt Pastor Mulinde with acid?

Newvision

It is over a year since Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International at Namasuba, Uganda was burnt with acid shortly after he had finished preaching to his faithful. It is however disturbing that more than a year later, the case file at Katwe police vanished without a trace, and investigations into the horrendous act ground to a halt! On December 12, 2011, assailants waylaid the pastor at his church in Namasuba just as he had parked his car after preaching to his faithful at Kikajjo.


Other

Discrimination debate


2GB

Ben Fordham debates the leader of the Australian Christian lobby Jim Wallace and gay rights advocate Alex Greenwich over whether religious organisations should be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals.

  -  ACL Comment:   Would Alex Greenwich employ Jim Wallace in his office - considering Greenwich receives public electoral funding ?