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

Anti-abortion fight likened to bid to end slavery


Katherine Feeney - Brsibane Times

The Brisbane arm of a Texas-born anti-abortion group is preparing to spend the 40 days of Lent protesting outside a Bowen Hills abortion clinic, likening their fight to the battle to abolish slavery. '40 Days for Life' bills itself as the "last line of pro-life defence"; its roster of participants aim to man stations outside clinics on every day of the pre-Easter Christian period of prayer and fasting.


The politics of birth control

Kathleen Parker - The Australian

Most Americans can hardly believe we're having a national debate about birth control in the 21st century - more than 50 years after The Pill became available and decades after condoms became as commonplace as, well, balloons. The reason for the incredulity is because we're actually not having a debate about birth control. To repeat: The debate is about freedom of conscience. It ain't about The Pill.


Children & Family



Claims modern families 'damage' kids

Sunrise (features Lyle Shelton)

Perth's Catholic Archbishop, Barry Hickey, has sparked fresh debate about raising children in non-traditional families.




Hickey fears for New Age children


Angela Pownall - The West Australian

Perth Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey says child abuse and neglect are on the rise because more children are being brought up by parents in "unstable" de facto or same-sex relationships. Archbishop Hickey, who expects to step down by Easter after resigning last April, warned against "damaging alternatives" to traditional marriage, such as same-sex unions and single people who use in-vitro fertilisation to have babies. But WA's main welfare group said the causes of child abuse and neglect were more complex than whether parents were married and no one form of relationship provided a more safe, nurturing environment than another


Goward resolute on DOCS staff freeze

Josephine Tovey - SMH

The NSW Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, says her department does not need more caseworkers despite staff fears about the impending loss of workers on short contracts and a temporary freeze on external appointments.


Gay couple loses son over child sex fears

David Marr - SMH

An Australian gay couple have had their six-year-old son taken from them by child protection authorities in Los Angeles while the FBI and Queensland Police investigate allegations that they are members of an international paedophile ring. The men, who insist on their innocence, have told the Herald: "It looks really bad."


Classification

Stop expecting Facebook to be your friend


Anthony Sharwood - The Punch

Well, what did anyone expect? Facebook removes harmless pics of Aussie mums breastfeeding, and what, we’re surprised? Gee, who’d a thunk that a massive corporation that exists to profit from banner ads wouldn’t share our values? Facebook’s moral universe is admittedly rather haphazard. Its automatic boob-detecting software got onto those breastfeeding Mums much quicker than the site had on other occasions removed pages dedicated to hate and vilification, or pages that cruelly mocked the innocent dead.


Drugs & Alcohol

Methamphetamine-smoking mother admits killing son with toxic breastmilk


The Age



A US woman accused of killing her infant son by breastfeeding him after she used methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The Times-Standard of Eureka reports that Maggie Jean Wortman, 27, entered her plea on Monday as part of a deal with Californian prosecutors. An autopsy on six-week-old Michael Acosta III found that the infant died of ‘‘methamphetamine toxicity’’ on November 21, 2010. He had been found not breathing earlier that day and had been taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


First arrest made in alcohol-free home

Nicholas Perpitch - The Australian

A Wyndham man has become the first West Australian to be charged under new laws allowing residents to declare their homes alcohol-free. Ten homes across the state, mainly in the northern Kimberley and Pilbara, have been declared "restricted premises" by their occupants since the law was introduced last year as part of the Liquor Control Act. Wyndham police Sergeant Brad Warburton said three homes in the East Kimberley town had opted to be alcohol-free.


Gambling

Poker machine regulator barely more than a rubber stamp


Anna Howard and Jessica Howard - The Age

The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation's decision last week to approve a new 65-poker machine venue in Castlemaine, despite unprecedented local opposition, exposed a political and legislative regime configured to deliver more pokies into the community, no matter the social cost.


Marriage

Senate establishes “winnable way forward” for marriage equality campaign


Australian Marriage Equality

Equality advocates have welcomed the Senate’s support for what they believe is a “winnable way forward” for same-sex marriage. The Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee was established “on the voices” without opposition from either major party. Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, said he has spent the first week since the return of parliament meeting predominantly with Coalition MPs and the response has been encouraging.


Politics

LNP leader pitches for Christian vote


Miranda Forster - SMH

The Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman has played up his religious beliefs during an address to Christian church leaders in Brisbane. Mr Newman also spoke out against "sexualised" billboards and reaffirmed his party's opposition to civil partnerships between gay couples during an election pitch at an Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) forum on Wednesday. Mr Newman told the forum that he was not a good churchgoer but he believed in God and said grace every night.


Poll Call: February 8

Brisbane Times

LNP leader Campbell Newman says he's honoured to be addressing the ACL event. "I'm going to talk a lot about family and we must talk about values; we must talk about shared values," he says. "Particularly we're talking about the need to strengthen our community and help those in need, the disadvantaged of our community."


Bligh declines to vie for Christian votes

Nine News

Queensland Labor has denied it snubbed a Christian lobby group's forum, saying a Labor minister had been rejected by the group for political reasons. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) claims Ms Bligh and Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser snubbed Christians by declining to attend Wednesday's event at the University of Queensland.


Queensland Premier Anna Bligh declines to vie for Australian Christian Lobby votes before election

AAP

Queensland Labor has denied it snubbed a Christian lobby group's forum, saying a Labor minister had been rejected by the group for political reasons. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) claims Ms Bligh and Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser snubbed Christians by declining to attend today's event at the University of Queensland.


Four Corners has Labor sides on edge

Phillip Coorey - SMH

Kevin Rudd is refusing to grant an interview to the ABC's Four Corners program as both sides of the leadership divide grow increasingly paranoid about an upcoming episode about Mr Rudd and Labor. Supporters of the Prime Minster, Julia Gillard, worry the episode, due to be screened on Monday night, will serve as a launching pad for Mr Rudd's ambitions while the Rudd camp fears a hatchet job on the Foreign Affairs Minister.


Greens' big year may sour

Christian Kerr - The Australian

The bonds between the government and the Greens are strained by complexities. Some involve the relationship between the two. Others involve subterranean pressures in the party that now holds the Senate balance of power. Bob Brown leapt to Julia Gillard's defence on Monday when speculation over her leadership reached new heights as politicians gathered in Canberra for the return of parliament.


Greens leader fails in bid to stop inquiry into his connections with donor

Christian Kerr - The Australian

Greens leader Bob Brown has lost a bid to head off an inquiry into his relationship with Wotif travel giant founder Graeme Wood. Mr Wood made the biggest single donation in Australian political history when he gave $1.68 million in kind to underwrite the Greens' 2010 television advertising campaign. Senator Brown's effort to overturn a ruling by Senate president John Hogg was backed only by his party, as the government, opposition and other crossbenchers voted against.


Jenkins: let us be legislators

Michelle Grattan - The Age

Harry Jenkins - who explained quitting the Speaker's job by saying he wanted to be more involved in policy - has urged backbenchers to speak up, and criticised the executive for trying to tie them down in their electorates. He also says Parliament should sit more often.


Anna Bligh does backflip on pay-per-view politics with party fundraiser

Steven Wardill - The Courier-Mail

Anna Bligh has ditched her supposed opposition to "pay-per-view" functions by attending a fundraiser for one of Labor's most marginal members. The $200-a-head function was held at the headquarters of McInnes Wilson Lawyers, which was recently awarded a $300,000 contract by the State Government. The fundraiser was aimed at raising cash for Everton MP Murray Watt, who holds the seat in Brisbane's northern suburbs by a margin of less than 2 per cent.


Santorum stuns his rivals with contest hat-trick

SMH

Rick Santorum's clean sweep of three mid-west contests for the Republican presidential nomination has magnified doubts over frontrunner Mitt Romney's conservative credentials, while guaranteeing a long and bloody battle ahead. The former Pennsylvania senator's wins in Minnesota's primary and Missouri's caucuses reflected his appeal in states with big evangelical and Tea Party constituencies. But his upset victory in Colorado's caucuses, which Mr Romney took in a landslide four years ago, stunned party officials and added piquancy to a race that threatens to run well into the northern spring.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Assad fall will lead to Christian deaths, says UK MP


Catholic News

If the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime falls then thousands of Christians in the country may be killed, a Catholic MP in the UK has said, reports The Catholic Herald. Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, said that under the "nasty" regime Christian refugees from Iraq had found "a oasis of relative calm". But following the Arab Spring uprising, he said, suspected rebels had killed a young Christian man.


Sexualisation of Society

Vending machine sells 'morning after pill'


NewsCore

Students at a public Pennsylvania university can buy the "morning after" pill from a campus vending machine, though the school's minister is working to get the dispenser off of school grounds. The vending machine at Shippensburg University's Etter Health Center that provides Plan B emergency contraceptive pills for $25 was installed after a survey found that 85 per cent of student respondents supported it, according to Peter Gigliotti, the university's executive director for communications and marketing.


Sexual favours in exchange for taxi fares 'common'

Christiana Jones - The West Australian

A taxi driver acquitted of raping a drunk, female passenger yesterday, claims taxi drivers are routinely offered oral sex and other sexual favours as payment for fares. Prabhjit Singh Gill said the offers were commonly made and he knew of dozens of drivers who had accepted the sexual favour which were then talked about openly while drivers waited at taxi ranks.


Other

Feminism, Greer and Tankard Reist


Lyn Bender - Eureka Street

Melinda Tankard Reist has been pilloried for her stance on pornography, as a pro-life supporter and for declared Christian beliefs. There have been vociferous calls for her to surrender her feminist badge. Tankard Reist also receives daily hate emails threatening her with acts of sexual violence.


Gay church dubbed a 'cult' after schism

Barney Zwartz - The Age

Australia's first gay missionary church, with a congregation barely in double figures, is in schism with disaffected former members claiming it operates like a cult and could damage vulnerable people. David Witte says he was asked to leave Acts2Faith because the leadership found his enthusiasm and ideas threatening. His partner, James Nevein, left at the same time last November.


Community calls for women's only swimming

Meredith Hunter - ACT Greens

ACT Greens Leader, Meredith Hunter MLA, is calling on the ACT Government to provide an option for women’s only swimming in the ACT. “A number of constituents have contacted me raising the case for women’s only swimming in the ACT,” said Ms. Hunter. “Some women and families currently do not use our public pools due to religious reasons, accessibility concerns, or for body image reasons.

With a Canberra Times poll at http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/for-our-eyes-only/2449238.aspx?storypage=2