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
Blood test could aid sex-selective abortions

Holly Naylor - BPNews


A blood test recently proven to be capable of accurately determining the sex of an unborn child as early as seven weeks' gestation could result in an increase in gender-selective abortions in the United States. Observers have expressed concern in the wake of a study published online in August in the Journal of the American Medical Association that documented the precision of a test that can be performed much earlier than an ultrasound.





Bioethics
Eugenics and the Firewall

Denyse O’Leary - MercatorNet


The pop science media today strenuously market the idea that “science” is threatened by “anti-science.” But “science” has a restricted meaning in the view of many journalists. It means, for example, the truth of human-caused global warming, the necessity of human embryonic stem cell research, and the view that human mind is indistinguishable from the chimpanzee mind. “Anti-science” means, by contrast, doubt about human influence on global warming compared with the Sun’s cycles, confidence that adult stem cells (especially the patient’s own cells) work well, and doubt that chimpanzees really think like people.





Children & Family
Should hitting children be a crime?

Lucy Kippist - The Punch


Should it be a crime to hit your child? Throw that question around at your next barbeque and see how people respond. Chances are you won’t be talking about the price of real estate, religion, sex or politics anymore. But prepare to be shocked, because few questions can divide people as much as this one.


Kennett reversal on gay parenting
Melissa Fyfe - The Age


Jeff Kennett has shifted his stance on gay parenting in an apparent bid to mollify the gay and lesbian community. In a pre-recorded interview to be played on gay and lesbian radio station Joy FM today, the former premier reverses his stance articulated in a Herald Sun column last month, which said: ''Clearly the best environment in which to bring a child into the world is a stable, loving environment in which a male and female are married to each other.''






Classification
Media platforms 'censor' Christian ideas: report

Catholic News


Major internet media platforms and service providers have policies that hinder Christian evangelisation and censor speech on issues like abortion and marriage, a new report says, according to the Catholic News Agency. "Christian ideas and other religious content face a clear and present danger of censorship on web-based communication platforms," said the National Religious Broadcasters' report "True Liberty in a New Media Age."





Drugs & Alcohol
Protecting kids from sly grog

Bruce Clark - Herald Sun


On August 13, 1999, my son Leigh, aged 15, was supplied with a massive quantity of alcohol. It contributed directly to his death. Who gave permission to supply alcohol to our son? I was not asked. His mother was not asked. Someone who should have known better took it upon themselves to buy this booze for a party - a party attended by children as young as 12.





Sex Party says proposed bong ban is racist
Ashley Gardiner Herald Sun


A ban on bongs has been described as racist because it gave special exemptions to Middle Eastern communities for the hookah.





Education
Private schools say Gonski studies wrong, prejudiced

Andrew Stevenson - SMH


The private school sector has criticised the quality and assumptions of the key research projects commissioned by the Gonski review of education, while questioning the independence and accuracy of the work. In their final submissions to the review of school funding, the Independent Schools Council of Australia, the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, the NSW Parents Council and the Independent Education Union all rounded on work released last month by the Gonski review.





Teachers forced to act like police after court ruling
Janet Fife-Yeomans - The Daily Telegraph


Teachers could be forced to warn students as young as 10 about their legal rights before counselling them after a remarkable court decision. A 14-year-old boy who confessed to his teacher that he robbed a service station and stabbed the attendant with a knife, has been acquitted after the District Court refused to allow the teacher's statement into evidence because he had not "cautioned" the boy.





Gambling
Catholic club gets political for pokies

Leesha McKenny - SMH


One of Sydney's Catholic Clubs is seeking to change its constitution to aid its fight against the Federal government's proposed pokie machine reforms. Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club has notified members of a special resolution to remove a restriction on political activities when it meets for it annual general meeting on October 28.







What would Jesus do about pokie addiction?
I was intrigued to read that Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club will be asking its members to alter its constitution to allow it to fight against the proposed pokies reforms (''Catholic club to join pokie campaign'', October 5). Isn't there a much higher ''constitution'' that this Catholic-connected club should be upholding? Perhaps the Bible? Jesus in the temple with the money-changers springs to mind first up.





US Casino industry seeking new online poker bill
Oskar Garcia - SMH


The commercial casino industry wants Congress to skip proposals already on the table for regulating the estimated $6 billion online poker industry and pass new legislation that would let states decide whether to allow online gambling and would require online casino companies to be licensed.





Marriage
Desex option for passports - 'parent 1' and 'parent 2' instead of mother and father

The Daily Telegraph


Political correctness could be stamped on to Australian passports to try to be more inclusive of same-sex parents. The government is considering the option of choosing "parent 1" and "parent 2" beside mother and father when an electronic passport application system is introduced. The Department of Foreign Affairs said the proposal stemmed from problems same-sex parents had when filling out forms on behalf of children.





Gay rights group nixes CA marriage fight for now
The Associated Press


California's largest gay rights group has decided against trying to have the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex unions overturned next year. Equality California announced Wednesday that it would not lead a ballot campaign to undo Proposition 8. The constitutional amendment limited marriage to a man and a woman five months after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages.





Overseas Aid
Government to match Africa aid donations

ABC


The Federal Government has promised to match every dollar Australians donate to aid efforts in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa. The United Nations estimates without an increase in humanitarian aid 750,000 people could die in the region in the next four months.





Politics
LNP leader Campbell Newman says Queensland run by drunks, punks, desperadoes

Greg Stolz The Courier-Mail


LNP leader Campbell Newman says Queensland is being run by "drunks, punks and desperadoes" as he seeks to deflect questions about his family's business interests.





Sexualisation of Society
Porn: just a bit of harmless fun?

Meagan Tylan - ABC


Pornography is now a multi-billion-dollar industry that is gaining increasing cultural influence and, as such, that it needs to be subject to criticism in the same way that the pharmaceutical, tobacco and fast-food industries are held to account. What many pornography researchers, like myself, are calling for is a more open and honest discussion about pornography, inequality, sexism and sexual desire. These claims are more reasonable than radical.





Further
UK Prime Minister: faith has role to play in restoring morality

ChristianToday


David Cameron has called on faith groups to play a part in transforming society and mending broken Britain. Writing in the latest edition of Keep the Faith magazine, the Prime Minister said faith had a role to play in mending the "breakdown of responsibility" in Britain. "For too long in our society we have been unwilling to talk about behaviour and morality," he said.





Humanism and atheism as civil religions
Luke Bretherton - ABC Religion and Ethics


Atheism, its aim was to rid us of the need for religion. Yet in its move to remodel itself as a civil religion it has become what it claims to reject. The disdain of a Marx or Freud for religion has given way to the shrill competitiveness of the "New Athiests." The sense in which religion and by implication atheism was simply a passing stage on the way to a new rationalistic outlook freed from religious baggage seems to have dissipated. Instead, a new confessional atheism has emerged, one ready to hawk its wares in the religious marketplace and compete for the souls of children.





Swearing on TV par for the coarse
SMH
If you must swear on TV, choose a rude word about sex or a bodily function. While most Australians think those words are not generally acceptable on the small screen, they are not nearly as unpopular as swearing about race, religion or disability.