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.



 







Bioethics

Attention pro-lifers! Can we afford to ignore the obvious?


Paul Rondeau - Christian Post





Biotechnology has made drastic advances over the past few years. This fairly new specialty which, oddly enough, began with the study of the fermentation process associated with brewing beer, is today all about genetic engineering—be it of plants or human beings. Biotechnology encompasses everything from making a baby in a test tube to creating a human being like Superman through the use of nanotechnology. Yet, the politically motivated wing of the pro-life movement seems to be eerily silent on the new and perhaps more threatening aspects of a field that treats the human person as nothing more than a science lab where cells can be mutated, exchanged, taken at the cost of a human being’s life, or manipulated to weed out the imperfect, the undesirable, and the weak.
















Children & Family

'Evil' children not lost cause for caring parents


Adele Horin - Sydney Morning Herald





The teenage mass murderer in Lionel Shriver's best-selling novel We Need To Talk About Kevin has shaped how many think of the evil child: they are born that way and parents are powerless to change what is written in the genes. It is not only readers of popular fiction who felt that way; the researchers who studied deviant children have also held that the quality of parenting seemed to have no impact on this group. But a new Australian study is challenging the view that parents can make no difference. It shows that nurturing can win out. What works is exactly what exasperated parents find hardest to provide: emotional warmth.










Church to expand foster care role

Damir Govorcin - The Catholic Weekly





CatholicCare has welcomed the State Government’s overhaul of the foster care system with 38 non-government agencies taking over the former role of the De­partment of Community Services. “CatholicCare is therefore de­lighted to be able to expand its foster care programs and will continue to work closely with the NSW Government and Community Serv­ices and other agencies to ensure positive outcomes for children, youth and families,” said its chief executive officer Bernard Boerma.












Church called to preserve family mealtime

Christian Today





The US is one of the most obese nations on the planet but one ministry has a vision for the nation eating delicious, nutritious food - and it starts with the church. The message Vision Forum Ministries has for Christians is that they should be wise stewards of the food they eat and set the example in eating in a way that is not only beneficial physically but spiritually too.
















Classification

Our attitude to violence is beyond a joke as new Batman film, The Dark Knight, shows


Jenny McCartney - Telegraph





If I were 10 years old, would I be badgering my parents to take me to see the new Batman film, The Dark Knight? You bet I would. It's the latest and biggest release in the superhero genre, which children instantly understand as a direct appeal to their special interests. It's also touched with the alluring suggestion of forbidden fruit: the maniacal, deranged face of The Joker, grippingly played by the late Heath Ledger, leers from posters all over town. But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic – has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.










Movie plot may have prompted shooting

AAP





In The Dark Knight Rises, a masked villain leads a murderous crew into a packed football stadium and wages an attack involving guns and explosives. It's just one of the more haunting scenes in one of the most anticipated movies this year. There is no confirmed evidence so far that the motives of the assailant in the Aurora, Colorado killings on Friday had any specific link to The Dark Knight Rises.






Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Gay parents deny children birthright


The Australian





A Queensland group says laws permitting same-sex couples to have children through surrogacy deny children the right to be raised by both a mother and a father. The Family Council of Children was responding to the launch of a lobby group protesting moves to ban same-sex couples from having children through surrogacy. The Liberal National Party (LNP) government has announced its intention to ban gay couples, singles and new de facto couples from having children through altruistic surrogacy.












Environment

Foreign ownership and food security


Kelvin Thomson MP - Speech to Association of Independent Retirees





Yesterday the Australian Government released the National Food Plan Green Paper, which outlines some options for our food policy. It is seeking feedback before making any decisions about the National Food Plan. Submissions must be lodged by 30 September, I intend to make a submission, and I encourage others with an interest in the issue to do likewise.














Gambling

Help sought from pokie players to curb addicts


Richard Willingham - SMH





Poker machine players are being asked to contribute to a checklist of problem gambler symptoms to be used by venue staff to help addicts. Swinburne University is conducting a survey of 500 regular players to validate research done at Adelaide University that identified more than 50 observable problem gambling behaviours. Gambling Research Australia has funded the study, which is being run by Dr Anna Thomas and Associate Professor Paul Delfabbro. ''Surveys in Australia regularly suggest … about 70 per cent of people seeking help for a gambling problem say it is to do with poker machines,'' Dr Thomas said. ''And almost all women seeking help for the gambling problem [do so for] poker machines.
















Marriage

Gillard: "I know my view is different to yours"


Julia Gillard - Same Same





“I’ve got a view about the cultural status of marriage in our society, so it’s not about my view about valuing relationships, it’s my personal view about the cultural status of marriage in our society. You don’t agree with me – a lot of other people don’t agree with me. And you’ve pointed to opinion polls about all of this. But for me, politics isn’t about making decisions based on opinion polls, it’s about making decisions you feel are right. And we wouldn’t have done some of the big tough things we’ve done as a government if we just got out the opinion polls every morning.










Rudd 'outed' PM's gay marriage support

Stephanie Peatling - SMH





Three gay marriage advocates have recalled a conversation in which Kevin Rudd told them he would ''fix'' the marriage law and that Julia Gillard had previously spoken in support of the change when she was a member of his cabinet.










Allegation of deal with PM over same-sex marriage untrue

International World News





The Australian Christian Lobby says a report in today's Fairfax media alleging a deal had been done with the Prime Minister over gay marriage is untrue. "Unfortunately this is just more misinformation from same-sex marriage activists," ACL's Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said today.












Dogs from New York and Virginia wed at charity extravaganza

Kiley Armstrong - Associated Press





Two dogs got married Thursday night at an extravaganza to benefit the Humane Society of New York. Bride Baby Hope Diamond, a white Coton de Tulear with black-gray markings, was led down the aisle, resplendent in her canine couture gown. Her poodle groom, a dapper dude named Chilly Pasternak from Richmond, Va., didn't seem too excited about the whole affair but, nevertheless, went along with the ceremony. Seven-year itch, anyone? After they got hitched, the cuddly couple were presented with a Guinness World Record in the category of most expensive pet wedding at $158,187.26.














Politics

Labor calms tremors over 'seismic shift' to the Greens


Richard Willingham - SMH





A State byelection in which the Greens claimed a majority of the primary vote in a seat held by Labor for more than 100 years has few federal implications, government MPs said. The Greens' Cathy Oke achieved a 5 per cent swing against the incumbent, Jennifer Kanis, in the seat of Melbourne, but Labor has claimed victory after preferences from the Sex Party, Family First and a range of independents. The Greens have refused to concede until all votes are tallied.














Cracks in federal Labor despite Vic win

Andrea Hayward - AAP





Leadership speculation continues to dog federal Labor with ACTU president Ged Kearney admitting unions have discussed Kevin Rudd's possible return as prime minister and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy saying he'll quit the front bench should that happen. Ms Kearney said people would have to think union leaders were "naive and silly" if they hadn't discussed the possibility of Mr Rudd returning.












ALP claims victory in Melbourne, is it time to make nice with the Greens?

Geoffrey Robinson - The Conversation





The outcome of the Melbourne by-election, in in which Labor has claimed a narrow victory, reflected a disappointing performance from the Greens. At the 2010 state election Labor’s victory was dependent on Liberal preferences. In the absence of a Liberal candidate, the Greens were favoured this time. Personal votes count for less in Melbourne than in other electorates due to the seat’s high population turnover, but even so, the retirement of veteran Labor MP Bronwyn Pike should have worked in the Greens’ favour, just as the retirement of Lindsay Tanner did when federal Greens MP Adam Bandt won his party’s first ever lower house seat in Canberra.




















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Who will save the Christians in the Gaza Strip?


Khaled Abu Toameh - Gatestone Institute





Are Palestinian Christians living in the Gaza Strip being kidnapped by Muslims who force them to convert to Islam? This is a story that is considered taboo among many Palestinians, who prefer to lay all the blame only on Israel. According to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Gaza Strip, at least five Christians have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in recent weeks.














Sexualisation of Society

The growing scourge of pornography in public


Matt Richtell - SMH





On a recent morning at the main public library in San Francisco, dozens of people sat and stood at computers, searching job-hunting sites, playing games, watching music videos. And some looked at naked pictures of men and women in full view of passers-by. The library has been stung by complaints about the content, including explicit pornogra hy, that some people watch in front of others. To address the issue, the library over the last six weeks has installed 18 computer monitors with plastic hoods so that only the person using the computer can see what is on the screen.














Other

Hipster look driving male anorexia


Jackie Sinnerton - Herald Sun





It's a fashion trend that critics say has contributed to anorexia among girls for years. Now experts fear the skinny look is causing problems for young men. Eating Disorders Association Queensland says the latest state figures show a 100 per cent growth in cases of boys under 12 being treated at EDA in 2010-11.












Police concede priest wasn't pursued over child sex abuse

Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie - SMH





Police have admitted for the first time that a notorious paedophile priest escaped justice and lived out his life in Britain because they failed to question him about serious child sex allegations. Victoria's Assistant Commissioner, Steve Fontana, confirmed Father Ronald Dennis Pickering was not pursued because detectives handling complaints about him in the 1990s believed force command was unlikely to support any request to travel to Britain.