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

Father's desperate abortion fear


The Daily Telegraph

A man has failed to win an injunction to stop his pregnant teenage ex-girlfriend from having an abortion. The man, who cannot be named, had asked the Family Court of Australia to direct the 16-year-old girl to inform him when she went into labour and for him to be given full responsibility for the child once it was born.


Drugs & Alcohol

Prohibition still best way to beat drugs


Henry Ergas - The Australian

That drugs destroy lives hardly needs to be said. The question is how we should deal with them. In a recently released report, Australia21, a policy think tank, calls our prohibition-based approach an exercise in "failure and futility". Australia21's claims are exaggerated and in important respects incorrect. But that doesn't mean our policies should stay as they are. What is uncontested is the harm illicit drugs do. Psychoactive substances alter perception, mood, awareness and action. They are attractive because their doses dwarf any naturally occurring counterparts in the nervous system and instantaneously provide experiences that cannot be replicated by non-drug options.


Homelessness

New face of homelessness is likely to be old and female


Brisbane Times

At 60, Mary Green, a former magazine designer, faces poverty. She owes more than $800,000 on her Dee Why house, which she estimates is worth about $900,000. Life as a freelance renovation design consultant has been tough, and when she engaged a builder to create a separate flat in the four-bedroom family home, hoping for rental income, the costs blew out to $400,000. The work was never completed and now she cooks on a hotplate in the laundry.


Marriage

'I now pronounce you partner 1 and partner 2': why gay marriage is bad for us all


Brendan O'Neill - The Australian

Who could possibly oppose gay marriage? These days only cranky men of the cloth come out in hives at the mention of it. Everyone else, liberal to conservative, thinks it is a fabulous idea. In Britain, Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has become an active agitator for gay marriage. In Australia, despite Julia Gillard's opposition to it, the Labor Party has embraced gay marriage in a "conscience vote". Across the Western world, backing gay marriage has become a way of advertising your moral decency and modernness. As one British columnist put it, only those in the grip of the "sickening plague of bigotry" could oppose it. Well, at the risk of putting myself on the side of evil in this culture war, I must say I'm concerned about the drive for gay marriage, not for religious reasons (I'm an atheist).


Politics

A statement by the President of the Global Parliament


Kevin Andrews - The Punch

Fellow Earthians, I formally declare open the inaugural Global Parliament. Before turning to matters of procedure, I will chant the prayer: “Almighty Gaia, we who exist as mere parts of your living organism, humbly pray to the great spirits of the universe to direct and prosper our deliberations for the welfare and wellbeing of this living planet.” Let me indicate at the outset that henceforth all representatives are expected to be present and chant the opening prayer with me each session. Conscientious religious objection is abolished and only that great green spiritual leader will be able to articulate Her will and Her will be done on post-anthropogenic earth as it was on pre-anthropogenic earth.


Foul stench from snouts in HSU trough

Graham Richardson - The Australian

Until a few years ago, few people outside the union movement had ever heard of a Health Services Union. Formerly known as the Health and Research Employees Association, this union had been a quiet backwater of the labour movement for decades. As a young party official in the 1970s and early 80s, I often sought advice from the union's leadership. The union secretaries of those days were men of substance, solid citizens who brought nothing but credit to themselves, the union and the Labor Party.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Bang, bang, bang at Bada Bing


Daily Telegraph

Strippers and customers dived for cover as a man was shot inside a packed nightclub after an argument erupted on the dance floor. About five men were involved in the row, at Bada Bing in the heart of the Kings Cross nightclub district. It led to pushing and shoving before one of the men produced a gun, police told AAP.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Ex imam convert to Catholicism almost killed


Maria Gomes - Asia News

"I believe in Christ. I welcomed him" for "he is my saviour," said Vincent (not his real name for security reasons), a former Bangladeshi imam who is now Catholic and for this reason has endured persecution for a long time in his native community. His journey towards conversion began abroad, far from Bangladesh. It led him first to baptism in the Presbyterian Church. After that, he fell in love with a Catholic woman, married her and then converted to her faith. Once they were back in Bangladesh, Vincent and his wife were welcomed by threats and violence. Members of his community beat him almost to death. Islam in the state religion in Bangladesh but the constitution does not recognise Sharia and guarantees freedom of worship. This makes it one of the most open Muslim states, where conversions can occur in an atmosphere of general tolerance.


50 people killed in Easter Sunday bombings in Nigeria

Zee News

At least 50 people were killed when explosives concealed in two cars went off near a church during Easter Sunday services in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, eye-witnesses said. Shehu Sani, the President of Civil Rights Congress based in Kaduna, said two explosions took place at the Assemblies of God's Church near the centre of the city with a large Christian population and known as a major cultural and economic centre in Nigeria's north. "There were two explosions and the casualty figure may go up because some injuries were really critical," he said on phone.


Refugees

Rescued asylum seekers refuse to leave ship


Michael Bachelard - Brisbane Times

Indonesian officials were last night trying to talk a group of about 120 asylum seekers off the ship that rescued them as their boat sank on the way to Australia. The people, from Iran and Afghanistan, were returned to Indonesia after they were rescued from their sinking boat by a Singapore-registered tanker, Hernia. But in an incident reminiscent of the Oceanic Viking stand-off in 2009, they are refusing to leave the vessel. "The people do not want to get off the ship because they want to be in Australia," said a spokesman for Indonesia's director-general of immigration.


Ball is in Gillard's court on mandatory sentencing

Peter Reith - ABC

The weekend press reports say that our troops in Afghanistan will soon be transitioning to a mentoring role. The claim is that we will leave when the people of Afghanistan can manage for themselves and so naturally Defence Minister Stephen Smith says there have been 'substantial' improvements in security and performance of the Afghan military. But regardless of security improvements or the performance of the Afghan forces, when the US leaves, then we will leave.


Sexualisation of Society

Sex sells, but we're selling out our children


Melinda Tankard Reist - SMH

Ever feel like you're living in a giant porn theme park? Billboards dominate public space with hyper-sexualised messages. Buses are painted with semi-naked women. There are pole-dancing themes in shopfronts, porn mags next to the lollies at the petrol station counter, T-shirts in youth surf shops depicting S&M and Playboy bunnies on everything from girls' jewellery to doona covers.


Other

100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic


Alex McRae - Times Herald

On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic, acclaimed as the world’s greatest luxury liner, called “unsinkable” by those who built and sailed her, went to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on her maiden voyage from England to New York. . . . "He said he heard the Titanic’s orchestra playing “Nearer My God, to Thee” just before the ship went down. People in the lifeboat were crying. He said they heard people screaming for about 45 minutes and then it was very eerie and somber and quiet. They knew all the people in the water were dead.”


Social media bad for society: Archbishop

Nathan Paull - AAP

Online social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube could be a darkness encroaching on modern-day society, a senior church leader says. Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane Dr Phillip Aspinall made the comment during his Good Friday address, when he compared the problems of modern society to those put forth in the Bible. Archbishop Aspinall told gatherers at St John's Cathedral in central Brisbane that it "feels like darkness has engulfed the world", using social media as an example. "It turns ingenious technology with amazing potential for good into a weapon for bullying, brutality and destruction," he said. "Some of our young people are taking their own lives to escape the pain and others take a sinister delight in violence on YouTube grievously mistaking it for entertainment."


Easterfest draws huge crowd

Chris Calcino - The Chronicle

Navigating through a heaving mob of sweaty rock and roll pirates has been all in a weekend's work for Easterfest organiser Dave Schenk. As the curtains closed on the festival last night, Mr Schenk looked over the swollen crowd of costumed punters with a smile on his face. Thank God it did not rain. "It will take a couple of weeks to really crunch the figures but we've seen tens of thousands of people through the gates over the weekend," he said.


Easterfest

Twitter

Easterfest is a massive all ages festival held at Easter held every year in Toowoomba's Queens Park in Queensland, Australia.


Atheists can't see that faith complements science

Ian Harper - The Australian

This week in Melbourne the 2012 Global Atheist Convention celebrates the triumph of reason over faith, of scientific rationalism over religious dogmatism. Or at least that's how participants would portray it. These events usually single out Christians from the crowd of religious believers, perhaps because our Western heritage implies we ought to know better. That's why a Reason for Faith Festival has been organised to follow the convention to give Christian believers an opportunity to respond.


Atheism and faith

ABC Q&A

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell and British atheist, Professor Richard Dawkins


For more on the 2012 Global Atheist Convention coming to Melbourne 13 – 15 April : Refer notes bottom of this page