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

Report: Number of women dying from legal abortions doubles


Steven Ertelt - LifeNews





The Centers for Disease Control released new national abortion figures this week and the mainstream media has essentially ignored the fact that the number of women dying from legal abortions has doubled. Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called the news of a historic 5% drop in the abortion rate, released by the Centers for Disease Control on the eve of Thanksgiving, “a real cause for giving thanks.” Nevertheless, the pro-life leader noted that reporting on the new data has not included a more somber data-point: the number of abortion-related maternal fatalities doubled in 2008, the most recent year data is available.
















Bioethics

UN group seeks ban on 'Baby Boxes'


Neal Colgrass - Newser





Mothers across Europe can abandon newborn babies in a so-called "baby box"—incubators located discreetly outside some hospitals. But one UN committee is lobbying to overturn the practice, saying the boxes ultimately hurt children and avoid dealing with the deeper causes of child abandonment, the AP reports. "They are a bad message for society," says Maria Herczog, a psychologist on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child—which is pressing the European Parliament to ban the boxes.


















Classification

Two and a Half Men actor slams show as 'Filth'


Neal Colgrass - Newser





Boy, has little Angus Jones grown up. The "half" actor on Two and Half Men has condemned the show as "filth" and urged people to stop watching it in a testimony video for his Forerunner Christian Church, the Atlantic reports. "God is great, like, it's just one of those things that's, that's—I like that," Jones says. "Jake from Two and a Half Men is nothing. He is [a] non-existent character. ... If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching Two and a Half Men. I'm on Two and a Half Men, and I don't want to be on it. ... Please stop filling your head with filth, please. People say it's just entertainment. ... [But] do some research of the effects of television on your brain. ... It's bad news, it's bad news."




















Drugs & Alcohol

Young surf lifesavers facing drugs and assault accusations


Adelaide Now





Six members of Australia's under-20 surf lifesaving team are under suspension after allegations of drug use and assault during the Rescue 2012 World Surf Life Saving Championships in Adelaide. The event was held from November 4-18, with the accused athletes provisionally suspended by Surf Life Saving Australia last Thursday.










Drug crime on the rise - again

Nino Bucci - The Age





Crime figures to be released later this week will show a 21 per cent increase in drug offences, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay says. Mr Lay told ABC Radio this morning that 12-month crime figures from September last year would also reveal a 58 per cent increase in amphetamine use and possession.














Euthanasia

TV to die for: Assisted-suicide comedy coming


Bob Unrue - WND





The BBC, which has advocated legalization of assisted suicide and last year televised a controversial documentary on the subject, is taking the issue to a new level with a sitcom focusing on the practice. According to a report from the U.K.’s Christian Institute, the “plot involves a group of friends who set up an assisted suicide business to help a terminally ill neighbor, and to pay off gambling debts.” The program, described as a “controversial comedy,” will be called “Way To Go” and will air next year.




















Health

Aust poor on delivering mental health care


Andrew Frampton - AAP





Mental health services are failing to help patients early enough, a report has found, with a "disturbingly high" number of mentally ill people being restrained or secluded in hospitals. The need to eliminate such strong-arm tactics is among 10 recommendations contained in a groundbreaking study into Australia's mental health services.
















Human Rights

A 'sad statement' of parents rights


Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow





Parents in Ontario, Canada apparently have no right to learn what their children are being taught about homosexuality. A situation occurred in Hamilton, Ontario during a recent assembly led by the Gay-Straight Alliance -- an event which is required in the schools. Laura Wolfson, who identified herself as a lesbian and youth worship leader at a synagogue, was the guest speaker. "This lady came into the school and spoke against Catholic teaching and spoke against Judeo-Christian beliefs around the issue of homosexuality," reports Dave Quist of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. "The very surprising thing is even though she was in a public school, taxpayer funded, when requests were made to see her speech, all efforts to do that were rebuffed."
















Indigenous

Rivers of money flow into the sand


Helen Hughes & Mark Hughes - Quadrant





Every year, $100,000 of our taxes is spent for each remote indigenous Australian. In 2008-09 Australian government indigenous expenditure reached $22 billion. If these funds were ending the shameful dereliction of remote communities, they would be money well spent. But high spending has barely reduced extremes of dysfunction. On balance, it is perpetuating indigenous disadvantage.
















Marriage

Brits concerned about marriage breakdown


Christian Today





Most Brits feel that marriage's fall from grace has not been good for society, a new survey has found. In a poll of over 1,700 adults by the Centre for Social Justice, 60% agreed that marriage has become less important and that this is a "bad thing" for Britain. Over half (55%) said there was at least one area close to where they lived that was affected by serious social problems like broken families, poor schools and crime. Most of those surveyed (85%) felt that family and parenting were key to mending broken society.










Emboldened gay-marriage supporters now want more

Cheryl Wetzstein - The Washington Times





Bolstered by their recent wins at the ballot box, gay-marriage activists say they are looking to build on their newfound momentum at the ballot box and in the courtroom. Having broken a long losing string at the polls Nov. 6, gay marriage backers already have targeted several states for statewide voting drives, even as they await an imminent announcement from the Supreme Court that could reignite the battle over same-sex marriage in California.










Supreme Court decides this week whether to rule on gay marriage

David G. Savage - LA Times





After two decades in which gay rights moved from the margin to capture the support of most Americans, the Supreme Court justices will go behind closed doors this week to decide whether now is the time to rule on whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.


















Overseas

Backbench revolt forces PM to drop Israel support


Phillip Coorey - SMH





Julia Gillard has been forced to withdraw Australia's support for Israel in an upcoming United Nations vote after being opposed by the vast majority of her cabinet and warned she would be rolled by the caucus. As a result, Australia will abstain from a vote in the United Nations General Assembly on a resolution to give Palestine observer status in the UN, rather than join the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution as Ms Gillard had wanted.
















Politics

The polls mislead - people living in suburbia will decide next federal election


Gerard Henderson - SMH





President Barack Obama's convincing victory this month reinforced the truism that, in the United States, what matters is the support received by the Democrats and the Republicans in the swing states. It's the same in Australia, except that the focus is on marginal seats. The early indications are that next year's election will be decided in western Sydney, northern NSW, Queensland and, perhaps, Tasmania. Julia Gillard and Labor seem to be holding up relatively well in Victoria and South Australia while the Coalition remains dominant in Western Australia.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Real story is about pain


Linda Watson - Adelaide Now





Fran Meaker believes that prostitutes working in Kalgoorlie have a great job and are paying off their mortgages "with the full support of their husbands". Like Fran, I, too, worked in Kalgoorlie years ago as a madam, and I saw the Hay Street brothels from the inside. Sex workers have to look happy. They have to appear "turned on" by every customer, no matter how boorish. Putting on this act night after night, doing whatever the customer orders, causes great mental and physical pain.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Attackers in India’s most violent state follow Christians to hospitals


Jeremy Reynalds - ASSIST News Service





Christians in India's most religiously intolerant state have witnessed heightened violence in the past several weeks, including Hindu extremists attempting to slit the throat of a pastor as he lay hospitalized from a previous attack, sources said. Hindu extremists threatened Pastor Samuel Kim of Jerusalem Prayer House in Kannur village, Karnataka.
















Other

Christians get behind activism to end gender-based violence


Christian Today





Christians around the world are taking part in 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The UN campaign got underway on Sunday and aims to raise awareness of violence against women and girls around the world. The campaign is being supported by organisations like Tearfund and the World Council of Churches.










Lee Strobel: Science points toward existence of a Creator

Alex Murashko - Christian Post





Contrary to what many scientists believe, science points toward a creator of the universe instead of away from God, says best-selling author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel. Speaking at a two-day Christian apologetics event at Saddleback Church in Southern California, Strobel kicked-off the series of weekend messages given by five different apologists by talking about The Case for a Creator. "There are some scientists that will tell you that the evidence of science points away from a Creator. That it disproves the existence of a Creator," said the atheist-turned-Christian and former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune.










2012 'Naughty & Nice' list shows more companies now say 'Christmas'

A ugrah Kumar - Christian Post





"Nice" companies that acknowledge Christmas far outnumber the ones that censor it, according to Christian legal group Liberty Counsel's 10th annual "Naughty & Nice" checklist. Those on the "Naughty" side include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., and Banana Republic. "Be sure to thank retailers that acknowledge Christmas and give your respectful opinion to retailers that pretend it doesn't exist," the group says in its report released in time for the 2012 Christmas shopping season and as part of its tenth annual "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign."