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.



 











Classification

Is porn the new opium of the masses?


Clive Hamilton - ABC





A few years ago, during the push for tighter regulation of internet porn, I asked a senior political staffer in Parliament House why one or other party did not take up the issue. Opinion polls showed very high percentages in favour of requiring Internet Service Providers to filter out porn. Support for a crack-down was even stronger among parents. It looked like a political no-brainer.










Drugs & Alcohol

Person behaves like chicken as ecstasy linked to bizarre behaviour


SMH





A bad batch of ecstasy has been linked to a series of bizarre incidents in Adelaide including one person licking the dance floor at a nightclub and another acting like a chicken in the back of a taxi.














Euthanasia

Swiss assisted suicide leader says: Almost no difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide


Alex Schadenberg - Life Site News





An article published today in Australia's Canberra Times concerns a three week fact finding mission conducted by Federal Labor MLA, Mary Porter, who visited the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland concerning the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide in those countries.




Porter puts findings on euthanasia to good use

Megan Doherty - The Canberra Times





Canberra Labor MLA Mary Porter has returned from a three-week visit to three European countries where voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide are legal to start a ''community conversation'' about end-of-life options in the ACT. She believes voluntary euthanasia will eventually be allowed to occur in the ACT but says her trip was only to gather information and there is nothing planned to try to have it introduced in the territory.












Marriage

ACT Govt should leave marriage to federal jurisdiction


International





The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the ACT Labor-Greens government to leave marriage laws to the federal jurisdiction and avoid an ad hoc approach to Australia’s marriage laws.












ACT may take lead on same-sex marriage

Michael Inman - The Canberra Times





The ACT is just months away from becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise same-sex marriage. Attorney-General Simon Corbell told Fairfax Media the Labor-Greens government plans to introduce legislation into the ACT Legislative Assembly during the spring sittings.




The ACT Government set to defy the federal government and present its own laws for gay unions

Malcolm Farr - News Ltd





The next federal government will have to decide whether to support gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory or veto what could be the first laws of their type in this country. The potential for a national same-sex breakthrough could depend on who becomes Prime Minister. Kevin Rudd supports gay marriage but Tony Abbott is against it. Whoever wins could have to take a stand soon after the federal election.




Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie rules out conscience vote on same-sex marriage

Sarah Vogler - The Courier-Mail





Moves which could see a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in the New South Wales Parliament will not be replicated in Queensland. A NSW parliamentary committee has found the Government can legislate to allow same-sex marriage after it was ordered to investigate the issue by Premier Barry O'Farrell on December 6 last year. Mr O'Farrell has previously said he would allow a conscience vote on the issue. But Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie ruled out a similar move in Queensland. "Marriage falls under the Federal Government's responsibilities," he said.










What is next on Cameron’s gay rights agenda?

Blaise Joseph - Mercator Net





David Cameron, the Conservative Party Prime Minister of the UK who pushed the agenda to redefine marriage, has more plans in this area. In a speech to his supporters, he said that he wants the team who pushed the bill to redefine marriage to go do the same throughout the world.














Overseas Aid

Peter O'Neill wins extra funding


Rowan Callick - The Australian





Australia will provide extra funding for newly prioritised projects in Papua New Guinea - on top of the existing $507 million aid program - under Kevin Rudd's asylum-seeker deal. PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill told The Australian these new projects - such as the rebuilding of the Lae hospital, whose cost has been estimated at $300m to $600m - will be co-funded on a 50-50 basis between Australia and PNG, and the costs will be met over a number of years.




Politics

Tasmanian state landslide tipped for Liberals


Rosemary Bolger - The Examiner





The Liberal Party is on track to pull off the near-impossible feat of winning four seats in the crucial electorate of Lyons at next year's state election, exclusive polling reveals. In Bass, the Liberals were the preferred choice for 55.2 per cent and 56.8 per cent in Braddon. Based on those numbers, Tasmanian polling analyst Kevin Bonham predicted a Liberal landslide victory.












Key figures face criminal charges over coalmining deal

McClymont - SMH





Three key figures who have featured in the state's most sensational corruption inquiry are likely to have criminal charges recommended against them when the Independent Commission Against Corruption's final report is handed down on Wednesday. Former mining minister Ian Macdonald, his predecessor Eddie Obeid and Mr Obeid's son Moses face referrals to the Director of Public Prosecutions for possible criminal prosecution for conspiracy to defraud.












Refugees

What would Bonhoeffer do about asylum seekers, Mr Rudd?


Andrew Dutney - ABC





Hoisted on his own petard - that phrase has kept coming to mind as I've followed the announcement, explanation and implementation of the so-called "PNG Solution." In 2006, then-Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd wrote an article for The Monthly entitled "Faith in Politics." It was about the role of churches and individual Christians in politics. His purpose was to critique the "privatised, pietised and politically compliant Christianity" of the televangelists and to challenge "those who would seek today to traduce Christianity by turning it into the political handmaiden of the conservative political establishment."








Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christians from Syria and Egypt seek refuge in the Caucasus

Global Post





Ever since ouster of Egyptian strongman President Hosni Mubarak two years ago, Adel has faced a difficult dilemma: Leave behind a relatively cushy life in Egypt or stay and risk discrimination and violence as religious and sectarian tensions rise. Visa restrictions are narrowing his options, so the successful, middle-class Coptic Christian and the father of two says he’s considering uprooting his family to start anew in an unlikely place: A small ex-Soviet country with a different language, culture and climate from his own.






Attack on Minya churches repelled by residents, security forces

Kanzy Mahmoud - Daily News Egypt







Muslim youth and security forces protected Al-Azraa and Anba Ebram churches from attacks by alleged Morsi supporters in Minya on Saturday, spokesperson of the archbishop of Mawas monastery Amgad Ezzat has told state-owned MENA agency.














Other

Pope tells young Brazilians to fight for change by offering a 'Christian response'


ABC





Pope Francis has urged young Brazilians protesting against corruption in their country to continue their efforts to change society by offering "a Christian response" and fighting apathy. The 76-year-old pontiff spoke to a crowd estimated by the Vatican to be more than 2 million people gathered on Rio's famed Copacabana beach for an evening rally where he also urged young people to shun fleeting fads and be "athletes of Christ".














We're all different and we all matter

Claire Van Ryn - The Examiner





I think we all know someone with a ``selfie'' obsession. They post photos of themselves on various social media sites in different mundane situations expecting us to like, share, favourite, retweet and even comment on humdrum proclamations.








Cutting through theological confusion: Robert Spencer’s Not Peace but a Sword distinctly divides Christianity from Islam

Andrew E. Harrod - Institute on Religion & Democracy







Any student of the world’s largest monotheistic religions must read the Bible, the Koran, and Not Peace but a Sword: The Great Chasm between Christianity and Islam by Robert Spencer.