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

Giving thanks for Pro-Life victories on abortion in 2011


William Saunders and Kellie Fiedorek - LifeNews





As 2011 draws to a close, it is worthwhile to pause and reflect upon the many victories gained in the protection of all human life. It is through the accumulation of these victories that we draw ever closer to our goal: a country where every human being is welcomed in life and protected in law.












Classification

Armageddon virus: call to keep killer recipe secret


SMH





Two top scientific journals say they are deciding whether to publish details of a man-made mutant flu virus that could kill billions, after a US government's science advisory committee advised them to withhold key details. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) urged the US journal Science and the British journal Nature to withhold key details so people seeking to harm the public would not be able to manufacture the virus that could cause mass deaths.












Drugs & Alcohol

'Careless' smugglers lose $75m drug haul hidden in shipping containers


The Australian





Traffickers lost track of drugs hidden in shipping containers which were then sold to innocent businesses across NSW with the narcotics still inside. A NSW council was among almost a dozen businesses caught up in the million-dollar drug bust revealed today. Police this morning seized more than 300kg of pseudoephedrine hidden in 15 shipping containers across several sites in NSW.










Opinion pieces address federal funding ban on domestic, global health spending for needle-exchange programs

News Medical





The FY12 Appropriations Agreement recently passed by Congress includes reinstatements of bans on the domestic and international use of federal funds for needle-exchange programs, the Haiwai'i News Daily reports. The following summarizes several opinion and blog pieces on the issue.












Gambling

Greens suggest drugs for problem gamblers Pokies


news.com

The Australian Greens believe medication could be used to help curb people's addiction to gambling and the pokies. Greens gambling spokesman Richard Di Natale released a discussion paper today that suggests the anti-addiction drug naltrexone be used to help problem gamblers resist the urge to punt on poker machines.






Indigenous

Race power opens Pandora's box


Stuart Rintoul - The Australian





As an expert panel on constitutional reform wound up its business in Melbourne on December 8, the mood was upbeat. There was a strong sense of common ground having been found, a conviction that its recommendations would enhance the Constitution and move the nation towards a long-neglected recognition of Aboriginal people.












Marriage

Petition to block Qld civil union reversal


Nine News





A Brisbane-based equal rights advocate has gathered more than 600 signatures objecting to plans to repeal Queensland's same-sex civil unions legislation. Independent MP Rob Messenger on Tuesday announced he planned to launch his private member's bill after the election to repeal the Civil Partnerships Bill 2011, which allows same sex couples to engage in officially recognised civil unions.






Overseas Aid

The rebel Jesus opposed oppression, not the rich

Gary Johns - The Australian





One of my favourite Christmas carols is The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne. The backing is provided by the wonderful Irish folk band the Chieftains. It stirs the emotions.












Politics

Evangelicals' complicated relationship with Romney and Gingrich


Tobin Grant - Christianity Today





The economy remains the most prominent issue ahead of the primary season as social issues play a less prominent role. The most salient personal split has been between Mitt Romney, an executive-turned-politician who is Mormon, and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House. While Romney has his base of support, Gingrich has been taking off in the polls. Christian conservatives appear more comfortable with a thrice-married Lutheran-turned-Baptist-turned-Catholic than a Mormon candidate who has been married for over four decades.






Refugees

Labor ready to put Nauru on table, says Chris Bowen

Matthew Franklin - The Australian





Labor is prepared to accept sending asylum-seekers to Nauru as part of a deal with the Coalition to legislate its Malaysia Solution and reinstate offshore processing. Cabinet has given Immigration Minister Chris Bowen the authority to concede the Gillard government will adopt Nauru as part of its border protection regime in return for Coalition support for legislation to circumvent the High Court's ruling that wiped out Labor's plan to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Muslim Persecution of Christians: November 2011


Raymond Ibrahim- Hudson New York





Categorized by theme, November's batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed according to theme and in alphabetical order by country, not necessarily severity.






Sexualisation of Society

The marketing campaign that’s totally below the belt

Melinda Tankard Reist – The Punch





“I enjoy pussy on a night out sometimes with cucumber as they go hand in hand…” “Pussy is great by itself, but you know sharing with friends, it’s nice to experiment and I would recommend sharing pussy with friends…”












Other

Christian Demography


Marcus Roberts - MercatorNet





In the lead up to Christmas, the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life has released a report on the demographic breakdown of Christianity in the world. The report can be found here on the Pew website and comes with interactive maps and even a quiz. Some of the more interesting findings is that there are about 2.2 billion Christians in the world – nearly a third of Earth’s population.










Rejoice at Jesus' birth

Geoffery Jarrett - Catholic Leader





Jingle bells and jingling tills are the sounds that accompany the weeks of frantic end-of-year activity running up to Christmas. Yet among it all it can't be a bad thing even among the reindeers and the glitter to see scenes of Christ's birth and epiphany depicted in public places or hear some words of Christian truth and teaching carolling away in the supermarkets for two months each year. Most Australians of all religious views or none don't mind acknowledging that the Christmas celebration does have a religious origin, and don't see much sense in rebadging Christmas as "Happy Holidays" or some such.










One quarterback under God: what Tim Tebow taught an Australian about America

Lauren Rosewarne - The Conversation.





Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has polarised American audiences with his on-field displays of religious fervour. Think singing psalms on the field, thanking God in press conferences, churchy tweets, out-and-proud virginity and an appearance in an anti-abortion commercial just as a taster. Tebow’s penchant for the on-field stop-and-pray has even spawned a peculiar phenomenon known as Tebowing: a kind of planking, for Christians with cameras.