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.



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Abortion

Another ABC controversy


Babette Francis - On Line Opinion





No, this is not about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation though possibly it will figure in the discussion at some stage because the ABC's views on controversial issues such as abortion are biased: commitment to pro-choice policies and no ABC staffer keen to present a pro-life perspective. However the ABC in the title of this Opinion piece relates to another controversy, the increased risk of breast cancer caused by induced abortion - this is known as the Abortion Breast Cancer (ABC) link.












US: Abortion rates fall to their lowest points in over 30 years

Steven Ertelt - Life News





The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded on its figures it released last week showing that abortions dropped another three percent in 2010 and are down 8 percent over the last two years. The new report shows the abortion rate has fallen to its lowest point in over 30 years.










US: Christian-owned auto dealership granted injunction against Obamacare abortion pill mandate

Heather Clark - Christian News





A Christian-owned automotive dealership in Missouri has been granted an injunction against the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare.






The ACLU sues to silence religions

Seth Lipsky - NY Post







Maybe the American “Civil Liberties” Union should sue the pope. It certainly is the logic of the astounding case it just filed in federal court in Michigan against the US Conference of Catholic Bishops — for steering a Catholic hospital away from abortions. Welcome to the next front in the war against religion. The target is members of the clergy themselves, for hewing to their religion. If the ACLU gets its way in Michigan, not only priests could be in legal jeopardy. Also rabbis, pastors and imams.












Children & Family

ACCC flags crackdown on misleading ‘free’ mobile apps


Paul Smith - AFR





The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has flagged new guidelines to cover the growing mobile application industry after it identified three quarters of supposedly free games failed to disclose that in-app purchases would be required. The ACCC said it had conducted a sweep of over 340 app games in the Google Play and Apple App Store, and fewer than 25 per cent of the child-friendly game apps mentioned that real world money could be used to make purchases within the games.






Don't have children unless you are ready to marry, says judge

John Bingham - The Telegraph







Couples should not have children if their relationship is not stable enough to merit getting married, a senior High Court judge said. Sir Paul Coleridge said those couples whose relationship was stable enough to cope with the rigours of child rearing should marry. But the judge, who is retiring from the bench next year after decades as a family lawyer and judge, said those who did not feel ready for children should not have them.












Classification

Sarah Hanson-Young wins opening skirmish in action against Zoo Weekly


Paul Bibby - SMH







Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has won a preliminary fight in her defamation battle with men's magazine Zoo Weekly, which published a picture of her head photoshopped on to a bikini model's body.






If Hanson-Young has a case, Chris Kenny sure does

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun







The ABC said it was perfectly entitled to televise a doctored picture of a conservative critic having sex with a dog, under the banner “Chris Kenny, dog f...er”. But a judge has ruled it’s probably off merely to photoshop the face of a Greens MP onto the body of a bikini model.












Gambling

Poker machine reforms: MPs accused of lacking Mandela's moral leadership

Daniel Hurst - The Guardian







Church groups and crossbench parliamentarians have accused Australia’s major parties of walking away from poker machine reforms because of industry pressure. The chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, Tim Costello, went as far as saying it was no good for politicians to praise Nelson Mandela’s moral leadership “when on such morally clear issues of leadership [they] fail”.










Human Rights

Anti-abuse laws pose no real threat to freedom of speech


Daniel Meyerowitz - The Australian





It would be difficult to have missed the recent campaign in these pages and elsewhere against section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes conduct unlawful where it is done because of someone's race/ethnicity and is reasonably likely to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" them.














Marriage

Senator John Madigan seeks gay marriage referendum

Ben Packham - The Australian





Gay marriage opponent John Madigan wants a referendum to be held to confirm the powers of the commonwealth in relation to marriage. As couples take advantage of the ACT's new same-sex marriage laws, Senator Madigan will ask the Senate to issue a reference on the proposed referendum to its Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee










Polyamory: The end of marriage?

ABC News





Some married couples are opting for live-in lovers to spice up their love lives.












Overseas Aid

Aid agencies 'paid Somalia's al-Shabab' during famine


BBC





Aid agencies paid Somalia's al-Shabab militants for access to areas under their control in the 2011 famine, according to a joint report by two think tanks. In many cases al-Shabab insisted on distributing the aid and kept much of it for itself, the report says.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Queensland paedophile Peter Truong gets 30 years in US


Peter Mitchell - The Age





Queensland paedophile Peter Truong, who bought a newborn boy for $US8000 ($8784) and then allowed men around the world to be abuse the child, has been sentenced in a US court to 30 years' jail. Truong, 36, faced a maximum 40-year sentence, while the plea deal he struck with prosecutors could have allowed a minimum of 24 years. US District Court judge Sarah Evans Barker, in announcing the sentence on Monday in Indianapolis, took note of Truong's willingness to work with authorities to lead them to other paedophiles and his own history as a childhood abuse victim. Truong's domestic partner, Mark Newton, 42, also from Queensland, was jailed in June for 40 years.






Refugees

Three asylum seekers, including toddler, die on way to Christmas Island


Michael Bachelard - The Age





Three would-be asylum seekers, including a toddler, were killed off the coast of Java on Monday when their wooden fishing vessel sank on the way to Christmas Island. A spokesman for the Indonesian search and rescue agency said 27 others survived after their wooden boat was hit by big waves and broke up on the beach.












Sexualisation of Society

10 reasons why you should quit watching porn


Scott Christian - GQ









With the ubiquity and easy access of porn these days, it shouldn't come as a surprise that people are beginning to study the effects of it on our sex lives. According to a website called projectknow.com, 420 million web pages are dedicated to porn, meaning the non-porn Internet roughly consists of..well, Wikipedia. Scientists at Cambridge University recently studied the brain scans of porn addicts and found that they looked exactly like those of drug addicts.














Other

US: Ohio lawmakers introduce State Religious Freedom Restoration Act


Heather Clark - Christian News





Two Ohio lawmakers introduced a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act this week, complementing the federal law that is already the standard across the nation.












UK: ‘Serious’ flaws within C of E gay report, warn evangelicals

The Christian Institute





Evangelicals have spoken out against a report that recommends Church of England churches mark gay unions, saying it shows evidence of ‘deep and serious’ flaws. Responding to the report, which claimed the services would not be “blessings” or part of “liturgy”, the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) called on evangelicals to “renew their commitment to biblical teaching”. CEEC also called on Christians to “pray that the Church of England as a whole will do the same”.














Work burnout rampant among clergy

Verity Edwards - The Australian





Up to 75 per cent of ministers, pastors and priests suffer from stress-related issues, says a psychologist researching clergy concerns, and up to 25 per cent have taken stress leave or suffered serious burnout. Grant Bickerton said burnout rates were elevated in religious orders because of round-the-clock working conditions, having to deal with death and relationship breakdowns, pressures to have the perfect family and life, and few people to talk to about their own problems.