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.







 



 





Drugs & Alcohol

Australian warship seizes 240kg of drugs


Herald Sun





The crew of an Australian warship has seized and destroyed more than 240 kilograms of heroin and amphetamines found aboard a ship that was intercepted in the North Arabian Sea. Defence said these drugs had a street value of $US5 million ($4.67 million). Anzac frigate HMAS Parramatta was operating as part of the Combined Task Force 150 which directed the interception of the suspect vessel on Friday.














Education

Bring back old-school learning to class


Sheradyn Holderhead - The Advertiser





School education will undergo a radical change if the Coalition makes it into government. Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne said it would reinstate a body of knowledge as the central focus. "I believe that education at school level should be about building knowledge and preparing children for a lifetime of learning," he told The Advertiser. "An emphasis on skills rather than knowledge is a limitation.
















Euthanasia

Legal euthanasia leads to pro suicide


Wesley J. Smith - First Things





Once, we looked to those who saved suicidal people from dying as the humane and compassionate heroes. After all, they valued the lives of everyone, even those unable to value their own. My how times change. Today, suicide promoters are the heroes. Case in point: In the Netherlands, despite a liberal euthanasia license, how-to-commit-suicide gurus are extolled.










Threat to Nitschke's career after bid to import nembutal

Geesche Jacobsen - SMH





Controversial euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke could be barred from practising as a doctor as a result of an inquiry into his application to import the sedative nembutal to use as a sleeping pill for a terminally ill patient. The inquiry by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, which registers and regulates doctors, started in late November, even though Dr Nitschke's application had not been decided.










Archbishop of Canterbury decries possible legalization of euthanasia in UK

Clara Morris - Christian Post





Archbishop Rowan Williams has spoken out against assisted suicide saying it is un-Christian and dangerous for society. To make his point heard, the spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion drew comparisons between the legalization of abortion and the possible legalization of euthanasia. According to The Telegraph, Williams told the General Synod earlier this week, "The default position on abortion has shifted quite clearly over the past 40 years" and he lamented the impact that has had.












Gambling

Committee calls for research and education into online gambling risks


AAP





Online sports betting should be more tightly controlled, a federal parliamentary committee says. The committee's recommendations include a ban on promoting live odds at sporting venues and during event broadcasts. The joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform report, which was chaired by Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie, was tabled yesterday.










History books will show the folly of being slaves to the pokie lobby

Tim Costello - SMH





William Wilberforce's fight to end slavery was morally unambiguous. There is no serving politician who believes they would have been on the wrong side of that debate. But they are wrong. Like the end of apartheid, when it was impossible to find a white person who was ever in favour of the policy, slavery now seems a clear-cut issue. Yet there were many political leaders who opposed Wilberforce's abolition bill from 1787 to 1807, even though all believed slavery to be distasteful. Sane arguments defeated Wilbe rforce's nonetheless moral reforms for 20 years. While there is no moral equivalence between slavery and pokies, the same arguments are being used by the pokies lobby and bought by our politicians today. Like slavery in the time of Wilberforce, there is no politician that likes pokies. Indeed, most politicians on both sides tell me they hate them.


















Homelessness

Struggling family forced to live in a tent


Yahoo!7





A brief camping trip might bring a lot of enjoyment for most children, but sleeping rough in a tent has become the only option for one homeless family of five. Kylie, Darron Henkel and their three children could no longer afford to pay the high rent at their Wollert home in Melbourne's north after Darron lost his job as a truck driver. The family bought a tent and pitched it at a friend's house at Kinglake, determined to stay in their local area.


















Human Rights

Calls for Vanuatu unions to train seasonal workers on rights


Radio Australia





A Vanuatu employment agency has backed calls for unions to help educate Pacific seasonal workers about their legal rights. The issue arose after about 30 ni-Vanuatu workers quit their jobs in the Australian state of Victoria over a dispute over their pay and performance. The dispute is being investigated by Australia's Fair Work Ombudsman.
















Marriage

Christophobes march on


George Christensen MP - APH





The sentiments behind the push to exempt churches from having to perform same sex marriages, if they are legalised, may be welcomed by some but it is clear from the global experience that any such sentiments, legislated, codified or otherwise, will not withstand the ongoing march of Christophobia that is occurring throughout the West.












Gay by choice?

Chuck Colson - Christian Post





For years we have been told that homosexuality is something people are born with - like the color of one's skin - and that it can't be changed. Gay-rights activists insist this is so, because, they say, if people don't choose to be gay, it would be wrong to discriminate against them in things like marriage, adoption, and legal benefits. And heaven help those who disagree. Just ask actress Cynthia Nixon, who in a recent New York Times Magazine article, had the gall to admit that she chose to be gay.














Vandals attack church over same-sex marriage message

Amy Edwards - Newcastle Herald





Vandals attacked Wallsend Presbyterian Church last night in response to a message criticising same-sex marriage displayed on the building’s outside notice board. The church on Nelson Street had updated its message board last week to read "Even tradies know you need both male and female joints to make a marriage". The front of the 1867 building, which recently received a $12,000 makeover, was defaced with messages such as ‘‘sexuality is not a choice’’ and ‘‘love thy neighbour not hate gays’’.












Ross Clifford elected president of NSW Council of Churches, reiterate stance on same-sex marriage, alcohol and gambling

Clayton Hinds - Christian Today





Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM has been elected President of the NSW Council of Churches http://www.nswchurches.org/ for a second non-consecutive term. Dr Clifford is noted for his astute political skills and wasted no time in declaring that the NSW Council of Churches would continue to be an important player in NSW public life. “The Council has an important role to play in NSW public life and the prophetic voice of the churches is needed more than ever before,” said Dr Clifford.










Polyamorists defend parade spot

Matt Akersten - Same Same





This year’s Sydney Mardi Gras theme is universal and infinite love – but with a politically-charged parade helping to promote marriage equality, is a group endorsing polyamorous relationships still allowed in? This week the Sydney Polyamory group was concerned that Mardi Gras had gone too conservative as Australia’s gay marriage battle heightens, and would now no longer endorse the idea that relationships involving more than two people can be natural and ethical. Polyamorists have universally supported the equal marriage issue.
















Politics

Gillard used polling to trigger coup


Peter Hartcher, Phillip Coorey - SMH





In the days before challenging Kevin Rudd for the prime ministership, Julia Gillard personally handed to her Labor colleagues copies of secret internal polling designed to undermine his leadership. Labor MPs told Fairfax that Ms Gillard used the polling as part of an effort to persuade them to support her for the prime ministership. The revelation casts fresh doubt on Ms Gillard's protestations that she was a reluctant challenger who decided to move against her leader only at the last minute - on the day she openly declared herself.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Baroness Warsi We need to defend Christianity


Alison Little - Express





Europe must be “more confident in its Christianity” and stop “suppressing” its heritage for fear of discriminating against minority religions, a Government minister will say today. Leading a historic delegation to the Vatican to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and the Holy See, Baroness Warsi, a Muslim, will warn against downgrading faith.












Refugees

Take heat out of boat arrivals debate: UN


Isabel Hayes - SMH





The debate on boat arrivals to Australia needs to be much calmer and a lot less polarised, the head of the UN's refugee agency says. Australia's intake of 6000 asylum seekers a year is not a big problem compared to the intake of other countries, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, told the Lowy Institute in Sydney on Tuesday.
















Other

Santorum, Romney in dead heat: polls


SBS





US Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a dead heat following the latter's sweep of three state nomination votes last week, according to two national polls. A Pew Research Center poll carried out February 8-12 found that Santorum, a Christian conservative and former senator, had surged to the forefront with 30 percent compared to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney at 28 percent.












Santorum, Occupy Tacoma and same sex marriage bill clash in Washington

The State Column





Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was confronted by Occupy Tacoma protesters in the state of Washington Monday, the same day that Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a same sex marriage bill into law, The Associated Press reports. The former senator has stated that he is staunchly opposed to same sex marriage laws throughout his campaign.










$3.1m Parliament House website a year late

Ben Grubb - SMH





A "major breach" of Australia's Parliament House computer network partly contributed to a $600,000 cost blowout and 12-month delay in constructing the newly designed parliament website which is due to launch to the public this Friday evening. The figure and breach was revealed in senate estimates yesterday by parliamentary librarian Roxanne Missingham and President of the Senate John Hogg, who reported that the total cost of the new aph.gov.au site, which was meant to go live February 2011, had so far come to about $3.1 million.