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

Abortion-pill agony topic of new online drama


World Net Daily





The latest episode powerfully portrays dilemma of '16 and pregnant' girl. One of today's most divisive and emotional issues, the abortion pill is the focus of a popular online drama "Red Elephants Café" – a topic made all the more urgent by the Food and Drug Administration's recent attempts to make the "morning-after" abortion pill available to girls of any age – over the counter and without a prescription.










Bioethics

Testing the ethics of genetic testing in sports


CMAJ





Some people worry that fanatical parents will push their children too hard to excel in a particular sport based on the results of genetic tests for athleticism. Some critics have also raised another concern: Is it ethical to test people, particularly children, for athletic potential?










Children & Family

Lavish presents ruining Christmas, warns childhood tsar Reg Bailey


John Bingham - UK Telegraph





Reg Bailey urged families not to give in to “pester power” and resist the temptation to get into debt by buying lavish gifts. Mr Bailey, who is the chief executive of Mothers’ Union, a Christian charity, was the author of a landmark Government-backed review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood earlier this year. His recommendations included calls for age restrictions on sexually explicit music videos, a ban on sighting lingerie advertisements near schools and curbs on “adult” clothing for children.










Shared custody a mistake for the under-2s, say guidelines

Michelle Griffin - SMH





Separated parents should not share custody of babies or toddlers under two, according to guidelines released this week by a national infant welfare group. ''Prior to the age of two years, overnight time away from the primary care-giver should be avoided, unless necessary'' according to the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health's ''guidelines for protecting the very young child's sense of comfort and security''.










Classification

ABC Stephen Conroy f-word check to take months


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





The potty-mouthed gaffe by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy on live television, when he used the f-word shortly before a children's show aired, has drawn 15 complaints. But investigating the complaints from angry viewers of the ABC could take more than two months.










Euthanasia

Euthanasia: There is always a “next step”


Wesley J. Smith - First Things





Euthanasia is not just a lethal act, but a deadly ideological appetite–one that is never satiated. Once killing is unleashed as a solution to suffering, activists will always want more. Always. As I have written before, they remind me of the man killing plant in Little Shop of Horrors, growing ever larger and constantly yelling, “Feed me!”










Gambling

Vic police move to stop sport corruption


Kellee Nolan - SMH





A growing threat from illegal offshore gambling has prompted Victoria Police and sporting bodies to prepare their defences against match fixing creeping into Australian sport. Police and officials from 13 sporting codes met in Melbourne on Wednesday to address the threat of organised crime infiltrating Australian sports.










Xenophon targets Riley over pokies stand

Phillip Coorey - SMH





The independent senator, Nick Xenophon, has demanded that the board of Youth Off The Streets distance itself from the decision by the organisation's founder, Father Chris Riley, to support the poker-machine lobby.










Homelessness

Churches 'essential' to fighting child homelessness, expert says


Michael Gryboski - Christian Post





Dr. Ellen L. Bassuk, president and founder of the National Center on Family Homelessness, said that churches serve an important role to combating poverty "at the grassroots level." “It’s important that they continue to play that role,” said Bassuk, a medical doctor.










Indigenous

Indigenous anti-smoking campaign lights up


Bridget Brennan - ABC





Indigenous leader Tom Calma says more resources than ever before are going towards tackling high rates of smoking in aboriginal communities. Healthy lifestyle teams are being employed in 21 regions around Australia to deliver anti-smoking programs.










Politics

Gay marriage the least of Labor woes


Paul Sheehan - SMH





All the noise and moral outrage on the subject of gay marriage generated by sections of the media, the academy, the human rights industry and the gay rights lobby, has created the impression of a wider ferment that just does not exist in much of the marriage and mortgage belts where the next federal election will be decided.










Disorder in the house but PM says hold the pop psychology

Phillip Coorey - SMH





The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has brushed off questions about her poisonous personal relationship with Kevin Rudd by stressing the important thing was that they worked together professionally. With tensions between the pair as high as ever, exacerbated in part by this week's ministerial reshuffle, Ms Gillard said she was growing tired of the constant questions about her relationship with the Foreign Affairs Minister.










Labor MP excels at the cut and paste of world travel

Philip Dorling - SMH





The federal Labor MP Craig Thomson took a $24,000 taxpayer-funded overseas study trip to Europe and the US; and then plagiarised much of his report to the Australian government and Parliament - presenting speeches by overseas officials and outdated Wikipedia articles as his own work.










Abbott digs in on unions

The Catholic Leader – Paul Dobbyn





Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has called for a united Coalition front to defeat a push for a redefinition of the Marriage Act to include same-sex unions. Mr Abbott said in an interview on a national media program last weekend, the Opposition should honour its party policy that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

For Malaysian Christians, an anxious holiday season


Liz Gooch - New York Times





Beneath windows framed with forest-green wreaths studded with red and gold baubles, worshipers at St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Malaysia. But their voices masked the unease many Christians in Malaysia are feeling this season, following accusations that they are trying to “Christianize” this Muslim-majority country by converting Muslims, which is illegal.










Refugees

Boy refugees' treatment under fire in courts


Kirsty Needham - SMH





The federal government has come under renewed judicial attack over the way it treats unaccompanied teenage asylum seekers. A 17-year-old boy, who was hospitalised in Darwin after trying to hang himself from a double bunk bed, is at the centre of a challenge in the Federal Court to the prolonged detention of recognised refugees waiting for ASIO security clearance.










Other

Christmas 2011

Ian Plimer- Quadrant





The pick of my 2011 reading was A Short History of Christianity (Penguin) by Geoffrey Blainey. I recommend this book to atheists, leftists, post-modernists and progressives as a mechanism of understanding the foundations of Western civilisation, democracy and capitalism. We are free because of the Reformation, Enlightenment and industrialisation. Our thinking and language is driven by two millennia of Christianity. Every aspect of our lives is underpinned by ever-evolving Christianity.










The cardinal down under

George Weigel - First Things





I recently spent several days with the cardinal archbishop of Sydney on his home turf, where I was giving a series of lectures in support of Campion College, a new Aussie adventure in Catholic liberal arts education of which Cardinal Pell has been a strong supporter. Seeing my old friend up close and personal, in venues ranging from solemn high Mass in his beautifully restored cathedral to a wildlife preserve featuring all the strange and wondrous fauna of Australia (the cardinal, inspecting a particularly ungainly wombat: “I wonder what the Creator had in mind here?”) gave me an opportunity to ponder just how great Cardinal Pell’s accomplishment has been.