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

Doctors punished for helping pregnant women


Terri Kelleher - On Line Opinion

Dr Mark Hobart, a Melbourne GP, is being investigated by the Medical Board of Victoria for allegedly refusing to refer a couple for an abortion of their healthy 19-week unborn baby, simply because she was a girl. This case highlights the likelihood of coercion of doctors under Section 8 of Victoria’s controversial Abortion Law Reform Act 2008. Under its provisions Dr Hobart could face suspension or even be deregistered.


Let’s just call it ‘justifiable femicide’

Philippa Martyr - Quadrant

No one should be in the least surprised when sex-selective abortions become completely acceptable. This is how it works: the police refuse to prosecute, test cases are heard, and finally the formerly unthinkable becomes legal.


Mother of four justifies her abortion: “I don’t want this child”

Dave Andrusko - Life News

Last week NRL News Today ran a series of stories that illustrate (yet again) the capacity of pro-abortionists to shamelessly say anything. As I re-read the stories this morning, they reminded me of a 776-word-long op-ed that appeared a while back in the New York Times written by Susan Heath. In it we see Heath pining for the “good old days.” Which were in 1978–five years after Roe v. Wade was decided!–a time when she was 38. Heath already had four sons and (she tells us) she’s “about two and a half months pregnant.” Five words summarize where she was at: “I don’t want this child.”


Classification

Facebook allows beheading videos again after ban in May


Miles Godfrey - AAP

Facebook is allowing horrific decapitation videos on its site again. But Facebook wants people to condemn the gory clips rather than celebrate or encourage them.


Education

Why the work of great teachers is hard to quantify


Ned Manning - ABC

Teaching is not an Olympic event where judges hold up score cards for performance. We must find new ways of appreciating and understanding what it is that good teachers do, argues Ned Manning.


Health

Australia’s HIV infection rates at 20-year high


Jackson-Webb - The Conversation

The rate of newly diagnosed HIV infections in Australia has risen by 10% in 12 months – the largest increase in 20 years, a new report shows. Last year, 1,253 cases of HIV were diagnosed, with unprotected sex among men the most common mode of transmission. The number of new diagnoses has been gradually increasing over the past 14 years, from 719 cases in 1999.


Human Services faces sickie struggle

Noel Towell - The Canberra Times

The federal government's biggest department is losing the battle against sickies with Human Services bureaucrats notching up three weeks of no-shows in the past financial year. The department's annual report published on Tuesday shows an average of 16 days ''unscheduled absence'' for each full-time public servant in 2012-13, much of it in sick leave.


Human Rights

US: Couple sued over gay wedding refusal take action


The Christian Institute

A US couple who are being sued for refusing to rent out their venue for a gay wedding are launching their own legal case to protect their rights. Dick and Betty Odgaard have filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in response to a complaint by a gay couple who wanted to use their art gallery for a same-sex wedding earlier this year.


Marriage

ACT passes same sex marriage bill


Peter Jean and Lisa Cox - The Canberra Times

The ACT has been declared the “rainbow territory’’ after the Legislative Assembly passed a bill to establish Australia’s first same-sex marriage scheme. To thunderous applause from the public gallery, the single-chamber Parliament voted to approve a marriage equality law by eight votes to seven on Tuesday.


Dream comes true for gay couple as ACT passes same-sex marriage laws

Penny McLintock - ABC

William Taylor and Michael Bishop are in love and dream to marry. The Queensland couple have been in a relationship for 12 years and have two sons, Harry, 3, and one-year-old Louie. But because they are gay, they have not been able to marry in Australia - before now.


Abbott government to challenge ACT same-sex marriage law

Lauren Wilson - The Australian

The Abbott government has vowed to press ahead with a High Court challenge to same-sex marriage in the ACT, despite last minute amendments to the bill. The territory's Marriage Equality (Same-Sex) Bill 2013 passed the ACT Assembly today with the support of Labor and the Greens.


Same-sex marriage is an oxymoron

Monsigner John Woods - Canberra Times

Marriage is based on difference, not sameness. Two people of the opposite sex become one because of their difference, and that gives them the potential to create new life. The Marriage Act affirms this.


ACT marriage bill “excludes” intersex people

Serkan Ozturk - Star Observer

The ACT Government has come under fire after making last-minute amendments that will exclude transgender and intersex people from gaining the right to marry to a proposed marriage equality bill only a day before it is due to become law.


NSW same sex union debate up next week

Sean Nicholls, Heath Aston - SMH

Same sex marriage laws will be debated in the NSW Parliament next week after a group of MPs pushing for the reform received expert advice their bill can survive a challenge in the High Court. Labor MP Penny Sharpe - a member of the cross-party working group advocating for the laws - will introduce the bill in the upper house on October 31.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Court is not a moral tribunal, jury told


Mark Russell - The Age

A jury in a murder trial after a man was killed outside a South Melbourne brothel when searching for his prostitute girlfriend – who he believed was being held as a sex slave – has been warned that the Victorian Supreme Court is not a "court of morals". Defence barrister George Georgiou told the jury the fact that part of the case involved brothels should not play any part in their deliberations when deciding the fate of De Jun "Kevin" Zheng.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Are Christian Arabs an endangered species?


SMH

From the onset of the Arab Spring in Syria, I was advocating a third way: unarmed dialogue, rather than the status quo advocated by the pro-Assad rallies or the forced regime change advocated by the armed rebels. The more I listened to stories from those living in Syria, the more I suspected that the Arab Spring foliage was hiding some foreign seeds and foreign weeds. There was a disconnect between the factual testimonies and the fictitious tale. Many minorities, especially Christians, feared that a crude form of democracy would prevail: majority rules with no constitutional protection for the most vulnerable citizens.


Murdered Christian pastor in Kenya found with Bible on lap, preparing Sunday service

Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post

Two Christian pastors were murdered in separate attacks in Kenya on Sunday, officials shared, with one found with a Bible on his lap sitting in a chair, preparing for Sunday morning service. "We found him with blood oozing from the head," choir member Morris Ali said of Pastor Charles Matole, leader of Mombasa's Vikwatani Redeemed Gospel Church, according to Sapa-AFP.


Sexualisation of Society

Charlotte Church: Young stars forced to be ‘hypersexualised’

The Christian Institute

The singer Charlotte Church has spoken out against the pressure on young female popstars to sell themselves as sex objects, in a lecture for BBC 6 Music. She talked about her own experience of being pushed into wearing inappropriate clothes as a young artist by industry bosses.


Chris Lilley to keep pushing boundaries after Ja'mie King

Rosie Lewis - The Australian

At almost 40, Chris Lilley admits it can be a little ?weird? playing a narcissistic schoolgirl, but if the comedian gets his way he'll be pushing the boundaries even further as he enters middle age.


Other

In many US elementary schools, it's time to dial back Halloween


The Leaf Chronicle

What’s actually pushing public schools to re-think Halloween is the recognition that growing numbers of Christian, Muslim and other religious parents are opting their kids out of Halloween celebrations at school. A judge may not see Halloween as “religious,” but many parents see activities involving images of witches, demons and ghosts as offensive to their faith.


Bikie gangs akin to the mafia: Bleijie

News Ltd

Criminal bikie gangs are Australia's answer to the mafia, Queensland's attorney-general says. Jarrod Bleijie says he has no self-doubt about his crackdown on outlaw bikie gangs, despite savage criticism from civil libertarians and lawyers who represent bikies.


I’m a Christian and my house just burned down

Joel Hollier - Eternity Newspaper

My house just burned down. There was nothing that anyone could have done to put a halt to the marching wall of flame which devoured so much of the street in which I grew up. The tireless devotion of the ‘firies’ and the unwavering dedication of a legion of volunteers was simply no match for the onslaught which took so many of us off guard and has shaken the very fabric of our community. Beneath the darkening, ash laden skies, my faithful home filled with all of its treasures breathed one last sigh and resigned itself to the flames.