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

Abortion pushed to the fore in poll


Dennis Shanahan - The Australian





DLP senator John Madigan, who could hold the balance of power in the Senate next year, is putting abortion at the centre of the political debate in an election year. The Democratic Labor Party senator from Victoria is vowing not to shy away from the issue, which has jammed Tony Abbott between anti-abortion conservatives in the Coalition and Labor abortion supporters. Julia Gillard used the Opposition Leader's stance against abortion as evidence of her claim he was a misogynist and had a "problem with women".














US: Monday hearing determines if parents can force teen’s abortion

Steven Ertelt - LifeNews





A judge will hold a hearing Monday to determine if a teen from Texas can be pressured by her parents to have an abortion. The judge issued a temporary retaining order this week in the case, which continues in the courtroom next week, following the teen’s decision to sue her parents. Attorneys with The Center for Defense of Life have filed suit on behalf of the 16-year-old expectant mom who says her parents are trying to force her to have an abortion of a baby she wants to keep. The teenager is two months pregnant and asking a judge to stop her parents from making her have an abortion by coercing her with verbal and physical threats and by harassment.














NY Gov. aims to allow more late-term abortions

Neal Colgrass - Newser





Bucking a nationwide trend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is polishing a bill to allow late-term abortions even when a woman's life is not at risk, the New York Times reports. But her health would still have to be in danger or the fetus not viable for any abortion after 24 weeks. The law is also designed to resist any possible collapse of Roe v Wade, and would shift abortion from state penal law to health law to further ease doctors' concerns over late-term abortions.




















Bioethics

Gene patenting: Australian court rules BRCA1 patent is legal


Bill Madden - The Conversation





“The issue that arises in this case is of considerable importance. It relates to the patentability of genes, or gene sequences, and the practice of gene patenting”. So began the reasons for judgement of the Federal Court of Australia in Cancer Voices Australia v Myriad Genetics Inc, published on Friday. This is the first Australian court decision on the patentability of isolated DNA or RNA sequences. Myriad Genetics, claiming a patent related to the BRCA1 gene, won the case and the challenge to their patent was dismissed.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol consumption linked to cancer and death


Boston University - The Conversation





Alcohol accounts for approximately 20,000 cancer deaths in the US each year, new research has found. Studies have shown alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and female breast. Higher levels of alcohol consumption led to a higher cancer risk, with the consumption of 1.5 drinks a day accounting for 30% of all alcohol attributable deaths.
















Education

Future of school scripture


Graham McDonald and David Zyngier - Open House Community





The great debate over school scripture with new moves to ban it altogether. A new petition has been launched by the Fairness in Religion in Schools group aimed at ceasing special religious instruction. We hear both sides of the argument with Graham McDonald from Children of the World and Dr. David Zyngier from Monash University in Melbourne.






Human Rights

Human rights concerns with aspects of anti-discrimination bill

Milanda Rout – The Australian





A Labor-dominated parliamentary committee on human rights has raised concerns about the Gillard government's proposed anti-discrimination reforms, warning some sections - such as a broad exemption for religious organisations - may breach international obligations. In a submission to the Senate inquiry into the controversial bill, the committee has also slapped Labor on the wrist for failing to include an assessment of the legislation's impact on the seven core UN human rights treaties to which Australia is a signatory.














Politics

Beware knives of March


Mark Kenny - SMH





Labor MPs say a showdown between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd is inevitable and could come as early as three weeks from now as rattled Labor MPs digest the latest, devastating poll for the government. Faith in the Prime Minister's 2013 re-election strategy has evaporated after the primary vote slipped back to 30 per cent in the latest Herald-Nielsen poll, erasing recent gains and widening the lead of the Coalition to 17 points.












Julia Gillard's support base is softly slipping away as polls and political disasters pave way for Kevin Rudd challenge

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph





Julia Gillard's key backers are bracing for another possible challenge to her leadership, conceding dire polls and a string of political disasters had made another showdown almost inevitable. And in the first sign the Prime Minister's camp was genuinely concerned, they have admitted some MPs previously counted on to stand in the way of a rush of numbers to Kevin Rudd, had "softened".
















Other

Is your church bowing to the green dragon


Taylor Rose - WND





Christianity, warns author Dr. Calvin Beisner, is facing a new and growing challenge that threatens to infiltrate the church and degrade its gospel message from within. Beisner, national spokesman for the biblical environmental stewardship group Cornwall Alliance, spoke to WND about the danger of the radical environmentalist worldview encroaching upon the church’s message and the church’s growing capitulation to environmentalist thought.












Neurosurgeon Ben Carson: Politically incorrect speech was me diagnosing problems

Napp Nazworth - Christian Post





Dr. Ben Carson said he has no intention to run for president, but he will "leave that up to God," in a Sunday interview on ABC's "This Week." Carson gained national attention for his Feb. 7 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in which he condemned political correctness and called for a flat tax and a more decentralized health care system. "Before I gave that talk I prayed and asked God to give me wisdom, what do say, what would resonate, what would be important," Carson said when asked about all the attention his speech has received.
















The metaphysical muddle of Lawrence Krauss: Why science can't get rid of God

Neil Ormerod - ABC Religion and Ethics





There is a certain desperation apparent in the attempts of various authors to eliminate God from an account of the origins of the universe. For, at bottom, what motivates such attempts is the desire to overcome the very incompleteness of the scientific project itself - I call it anxiety over contingency. This anxiety is perhaps nowhere better exemplified than in the recent work of Lawrence Krauss, who is attempting to do for cosmology what Darwin did for biology: remove the need for God as an explanatory cause. The muddle that Krauss' most recent work illustrates will help bring us to a fuller account of the need to recover the significance of intelligence and reason in relation to reality.












John Dickson defending Christianity

John Dickson - ABC Q&A





John Dickson, Co-Director of the Centre for Public Christianity, debating Lawrence Krauss. (Starting 27:19)