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.



 



Charities & NFP

Charities not feeling the Christmas spirit


Lindy Kerin - ABC





Charity groups around the country are urging Australians to be generous this Christmas, saying this year's donations have been the lowest in years. The Exodus Foundation's Reverend Bill Crews says while there is no shortage of volunteers, he is concerned about decreasing donations of material gifts which he attributes to Australians becoming more cautious about their financial future.












Classification

US: Parents who are horrified by real violence are drowning their children in simulated violence

Mike Adams - NaturalNews





The great contradiction in the recent Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting is that many of the parents who are horrified at violence directed at their children are the very same parents who allow their children to inundated with simulated violence from every imaginable direction. Many of the very same kids who were seen crying after the shooting incident will go home and watch simulated murder on television, where mass murder is considered “normal” and “acceptable.” Beyond simulated violence on television, children are also routinely exposed to violence through Hollywood movies. The violence in movies has dramatically escalated over the past two decades, to the point where movies that are considered PG-13 today would have been rated “R” just twenty years ago.








The year's most complained about ad - Carefree Acti-Fresh Liners commercial

Petra Starke - Herald Sun





A sanitary product commercial that used the word "vagina" got more Australians' knickers in a twist than any other this year, finishing 2012 as the year's most complained about ad. The Carefree Acti-Fresh Liners commercial, in which a young woman explains the biology of the vagina, racked up 149 complaints for inappropriate language, nudity, objectification of women and vilification on the basis of gender, all of which were ultimately dismissed.








Euthanasia

Social reforms still on agenda


Dinah Arndt - The Examiner





Laws to allow voluntary euthanasia, legalise same-sex marriage and restore the size of State Parliament will all be debated next year. In one-on-one interviews with The Examiner, Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim made it clear they were still committed to a raft of socially progressive reforms.
















Gambling

Stolen money used to gamble


David Killick - The Mercury





A 25-year-old bank employee's gambling addiction led him to embezzle $27,000 from the accounts of friends and family and from the staff footy tipping competition, a court has heard. Joshua James Bailey pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Hobart to three charges of using a computer with intent to defraud, three charges of dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage, and one charge of stealing.












Health

Teen terminal illness blurs boundaries


Health Canal





Ms Kim Devery, a lecturer in the Department of Palliative and Supportive Services, and colleague Mrs Sharon Bowering last week presented a keynote address at the Palliative Care Nurses Australia conference in Melbourne on how nurses can maintain good emotional health when providing palliation for adolescents and young adults. Ms Devery said that health care workers are deeply committed to provide excellence in palliation when caring for patients in the 15-28 age group.






Homelessness & Poverty

Every night, 19,000 need shelter

Stuart Rintoul - The Australian





Almost 230,000 Australians used specialist homeless services last year, including accommodation, with more than 19,000 needing shelter each night. Of the 230,000, or 1 in 98 Australians, 56 per cent were at risk of homelessness, 44 per cent were already homeless and 11 per cent were sleeping without shelter or in improvised or inadequate shelter when they first began receiving support.
















Indigenous

The Lowitja Institute is at risk of closure


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian





The Lowitja Institute, Australia's only national research body committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, is at risk of closure. Despite the Gillard government's commitment to close the gap in health by 2030, it has not yet committed to fund the institute beyond June 30, 2014, putting at risk its research program.












Marriage

Kath joins him and him to push the case for same-sex marriage


Steve Dow - SMH





Many gay people would consider Kath and Kim's Jane Turner ''super awesome'': in an early episode of the TV comedy, her character Kath tried to encourage her daughter Kim's suspected lesbianism and even danced with drag queens at a gay club. Then, in 2010, Turner turned up on stage in London's West End, playing several characters, including the mother of real-life late playwright Timothy Conigrave in the theatrical adaptation of his autobiography Holding the Man.












Gay rights campaigners protest at Vatican

AAP





Gay rights campaigners have held a small protest near St Peter's Square during the Pope's weekly prayers after he said legalising gay marriage threatened the institution of marriage. About 15 activists held up colourful paper hearts with slogans written on them including "Gay Marriage", "Love Has No Barriers", "Talk About Love", "Homophobia = Death" and "Marry Peace".












Politics

Minority rule makes fools of both sides of the house


Gerard Henderson - SMH





The Australian body politic is clearly afflicted by the minority obsession - which has been around since Julia Gillard's formation of a minority government in September 2010. It seems likely to remain extant until the 2013 federal election, which is due around August.




What does it profit a man? Between Tony's faith and Abbott's ambition

Chris Uhlmann - ABC





The Tony Abbott who emerges from David Marr's recent Quarterly Essay, Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott, is a far more elusive figure than most of the discussion of the essay would suggest. In the months since Marr's essay was published, enormous effort has gone into ensuring Abbott is reduced to one disputed paragraph: a dangerously angry young man who throws a punch at a wall near a woman's head. That impression of Abbott as an aggressive misogynist has been carved in stone by the Prime Minister's declaration of gender war.














Overseas Aid

Aid to be diverted for asylum seeker costs


Network Ten





The federal government plans to divert about $400 million of foreign aid money to pay for food and housing for asylum seekers in Australia. Network Ten has cited a Treasury source saying Labor intends to bury the announcement - which has already attracted a fierce backlash from charities - over the Christmas break. But confronted with the leak, Foreign Minister Bob Carr confirmed plans to divert $375 million from the aid program to pay for the upkeep of asylum seekers being processed in Australia.


















Refugees

Navy 'at risk of being overwhelmed by 30,000 asylum seekers'


Simon Cullen - ABC





More asylum seekers will die and the Navy risks being overwhelmed by boats in distress because of a rapid increase in the number of people trying to make it Australia, according to refugee advocate Paris Aristotle. Mr Aristotle, who was a part of the three-member expert panel on asylum seekers, told a parliamentary committee that on the current rate of arrivals, Australia could expect more than 30,000 people to attempt the dangerous journey next year.










Bowen defends refugee sponsorship fee

SBS





Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has defended the price-tag of the country's first private sponsorship program for refugees, with visa application fees ranging from $20,000 to $30,000. Under the pilot program, to begin next year, community groups will be able to sponsor refugees with family and support networks in Australia.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Islamists claim victory on Egypt constitution vote


Stacy Harp - Persecution Blog





This year has been a horrible year for Coptic Christians in Egypt. Unfortunately, there is a move to implement Sharia Law inside Egypt that will definitely put Coptic Christians, minorities and women in peril.














Sexualisation of Society

50 Shades of Grey spin offs for teens


Melinda Tankard Reist





Does teen ‘erotic fiction’ help develop respect-based relationships? This morning I appeared on Channel 7’s Morning Show with Dr Nikki Goldstein to discuss the rise in ‘erotic fiction’ for young people.










Paedophile ring 'lent out boys'

Barney Zwartz - The Age





Bayswater Boys' Home was a paedophiles' paradise, with several unexplained deaths and missing boys, and others lent to outside paedophiles, a leading abuse lawyer said on Monday. Angela Sdrinis - whose firm has represented more than 1000 wards of state, including 137 from Bayswater - said systemic abuse by Salvation Army staff was so severe that in some cases boys were killed or allowed to die from their injuries.










Other

US: Rampage shootings: It's the moral decay of society, not guns

Rachel Alexander - TownHall





It should come as no surprise that the rate of mass shootings at schools and in other public places is increasing. The surge has nothing to do with guns, which have been widely available in the U.S. for years. Gun control laws have been increasing. Instead, there is a direct correlation between the increase in violence and the gradual degradation of morals, ethics and parenting. We are cultivating mental illness in our society. Parents are allowing television and video games to increasingly babysit their children, even though both have become full of gratuitous violence.














Pope: True peace in the world requires end of abortion and gay 'marriage'

John-Henry Westen - LifeSiteNews





“Peacemakers are those who love, defend and promote life in its fullness,” said Pope Benedict XVI in his Message for World Day of Peace 2013. In the message, which was released today, the pope noted that “serious harm to justice and peace” comes from denying the true principles of respect for life and promotion of the “natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” Pope Benedict XVI, boldly stressed that pro-lifers are the ‘true peacemakers’ and that those who would support aborti n promote a “false peace.”