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

White House: Aborting a baby because she's a girl part of 'A very personal and private decision'


Fred Lucas - CNS News





The White House is opposed to a bill that was proposed in the House that would ban sex-selection abortions. In defending President Obama's opposition to the bill, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it would force abortionists into the position of trying to determine the "motivations" behind a "very personal" decision. During the White House press briefing Wednesday, Fox News reporter Ed Henry asked, “since the president has been outspoken about being against gender-based discrimination, how can you allow gender-based abortion?”










US: Bill banning ‘sex-selective abortions’ fails in the House

Ed O'Keefe - Washington Post





A measure to ban abortions based on the sex of a child failed Thursday to earn enough support in the House, and abortion opponents said they plan to use the vote to paint Democrats as disingenuously supporting women’s rights because they voted against a bill protecting unborn baby girls. Lawmakers voted 246 to 168 on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which would punish doctors with up to five years in prison for performing abortions because the parents are seeking a child of the other sex. But the bill failed to pass as House Republicans brought it up under a suspension of normal rules that required it to earn a two-thirds majority vote.










What is there to hide?

Mercator Net





Two current abortion-in-the-public-square situations in Canada show abortion is much more than a pro-life versus pro-choice conflict, it’s a pro-democracy versus anti-democracy one. The furor over Stephen Woodward’s private member’s motion in Parliament to discuss whether the unborn child is a human being has been front and centre in the media. Politicians, including the prime minister, and pro-choice advocates have attacked the motion by insisting either there’s nothing to discuss or debate must be silenced. But these are anti-democratic stances taken in our primary democratic institution, in relation to a foundational societal value — that of respect for human life.


















Classification

Protecting children online


Mercator Net





How serious is the problem of pornography on the internet? Important enough to be the central issue in a rally drawing more than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews to a New York baseball stadium two weekends ago. The men (it was too difficult to segregate the women, as Haredi laws require), all dressed in black suits and white shirts, filled the benches to hear pep talks about the dangers and temptations of the internet, with exhortations to use it sparingly, and then, only with effective filters. “We’ve been retreating for years—enough! Tonight we draw a line of demarcation in the sand, tonight we begin to fight back!”
















Donor Conception & Surrogacy

An unknown unknown for gay marriage supporters


Mercator Net





No one has any idea how big the demand for gay surrogacy market. There are good reasons for that. Commercial surrogacy is illegal in many countries and where it is legal, it can be shameful. But we do have some idea of the supply of gay surrogacy. Thanks to the internet, surrogacy brokers are springing up all over the world – wherever there is poverty and sympathetic government regulation. The United States has a number of surrogacy agencies, but the growth market seems to in the developing world where it is far cheaper.
















Gambling

Nine breached code in NRL pokies commentary


ABC





The broadcasting regulator has sanctioned the Nine Network for claiming criticisms of proposed poker machine laws by commentators during an NRL game were not scripted. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) launched its investigation after Phil Gould and Ray Warren criticised proposed mandatory pre-commitment laws for pokies during an NRL semi-final in September last year. The authority has found no rules were broken because no money or favours were offered to Nine for its pro-pokies stance.




Marriage

Putting Pandora back in the marriage equality box

Jim Wallace - Online Opinion





Slogans such as ‘marriage equality’ and ‘equal love’ have dominated the gay marriage debate so far. But as the federal parliament inches closer to dealing with the three ‘marriage equality’ bills that are before it, we are finally beginning to see their consequences. During the recent Senate Hearings into one of the bills, the Green’s Marriage Equality Amendment Bill, former High Court Justice Michael Kirby was asked what logical reason could be given for not extending ‘marriage equality’ to other configurations of love such as consenting polygamous and polyamorous ones. “The question that is before the parliament at the moment is the question of equality for homosexual people,” he told the Senate.“There may be, in some future time, some other question.













Politics

Slipper's expenses out of the bag but rest likely to stay secret


Linton Besser, Matthew Moore - SMH





Peter Slipper's new coat and tails cost taxpayers $1248. His total travel bill in his first six months as Speaker of the Parliament was more than $18,000. He has spent more than $8500 on catering. It will be the first - and probably only - time the Parliament discloses what perks it pays federal politicians. Mr Slipper's spending figures were obtained by the Herald under freedom of information in what is believed to be the first successful application in the Parliament's history.






What's democracy done for me lately, asks Generation Y

The Australian





Winston Churchill probably said it best: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." The great statesman knew a thing or two about the value of political freedom, having fought for it on occasion. But it seems the lessons of the past are fast being forgotten, with a new Lowy Institute survey showing that many Australians, particularly the younger generation, do not believe democracy is paramount.






Relativism eroding faith in democracy

The Australian





Why are young Australians - few of whom join political parties, or other community groups - so indifferent about democracy? Why are our Indonesian neighbours now prouder democrats?




Rudd won't take reins if bloodbath on cards, say backers

Philip Coorey - SMH





Supporters of Kevin Rudd are warning that he is not prepared to inherit the leadership if Labor's electoral prospects at the time are hopeless. With yesterday's Herald/Nielsen poll showing Labor's all-important primary vote at a record low of 26 per cent, the sense of frustration is growing among those who do not believe the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, can win the next election.




















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Expert adds to sex debate


Jennifer Crawley - The Mercury





Controversial anti-prostitution campaigner Professor Sheila Jeffreys has visited Hobart as State Parliament gets ready to debate legalisation of the sex industry. Prof Jeffreys spoke at the University of Tasmania law school and a public forum in Hobart yesterday as the Justice Department prepares to give its Sex Industry Review recommendations to Attorney-General Brian Wightman.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Blast wreaks bloodshed on two churches in Bauchi, Nigeria


Compass Direct





A suicide bomber crashed the gate of a church compound in this northern Nigerian city this morning, killing himself and at least 10 others and leaving more than 30 injured, according to eyewitnesses and officials. The Islamic extremist Boko Haram group was suspected of detonating the bomb at the gate of Living Faith church as members were leaving an early morning worship service; the explosion also brought down a wall of the adjacent Harvest Field church, an eyewitness told Compass.














Refugees

People smugglers found living in Australia


Four Corners ABC





The ABC can reveal that people smugglers connected with a deadly disaster at sea are now residing in Australia under refugee visas. A Four Corners investigation has uncovered evidence that at least six experienced people smugglers came to Australia by boat, won refugee status and were released from detention to cities across Australia. At least some of them went on to set up lucrative people-smuggling deals from inside Australia. The man behind establishing people smugglers in Australia, Abu Ali al Kuwaiti, is also linked to an asylum boat that disappeared on its way to Australia. In November 2010, 97 men, women and children boarded a fishing boat in North Jakarta, but disappeared on the ocean, never to be heard from again.
















Sexualisation of Society

Victoria calls inquiry into 'sexting'


Joseph Thomsen - ABC





'Sexting' is the euphemistic name we've given to the phenomenon of using a mobile phone to share naked pictures with someone else. When minors take naked pictures of themselves and send them to others, the law at present treats these images as child pornography, which can result in the recipient being placed on the sex-offenders' registry for up to eight years.






















Other

Archbishop sees Jubilee as chance to take stock


Christian Today





The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his hope for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to stir people into thinking more about the things they take for granted. Speaking on BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought programme today, Dr Rowan Williams said the Jubilee was an opportunity to "stop and focus on that background we take for granted and don't really notice". "The Queen’s part of that background – part of what makes us a stable society, a society that takes pride in its history without being crippled by it, that values fairness and trustworthiness."