Abortion

California forces churches to directly fund abortions, churches refuse to comply


Cheryl Sullenger - Life News



To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical abortions immediately. Even churches are not exempt from funding abortions. Operation Rescue opposes this policy that forces men and women who deeply oppose abortion on religious grounds to fund surgical abortion in violation of their faith, and encourages others to oppose it as well.




Children & Family

Encouraging young philanthropists online


Pro Bono Australia



A new online giving portal hopes to empower children to support the needs of disadvantaged children and families with the aim of developing a philanthropic culture in young Australians.




Donor Conception & Surrogacy

A godawful mess: The surrogate mom who changed her mind


Life Site News



What a mess. What a God-awful mess the new reproductive technologies in general—and commercial surrogacy, in particular—are making of family life. What a legal, emotional, and moral mess. The Center for Bioethics and Culture asked me to sort out one such circumstance from Tennessee that went all the way to the state Supreme Court–and it still isn’t resolved. From, “A Case of Surrogacy’s Gordion Knot:”




Officials don't believe MP advocated on behalf of Australian couple who abandoned surrogate baby in India

ABC



Foreign affairs officials say they do not believe any federal politicians advocated on behalf of an Australian couple who abandoned one of their surrogate babies in India. Earlier this month, the ABC revealed an Australian couple who had twins via a surrogate mother in India decided to leave one of the children behind.




Education

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli accused of insulting religious schools by suggesting they turn their backs on needy children


Amy McNeilage - SMH



The head of Christian Schools Australia has berated NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli for insulting religious schools by suggesting some turn their back on needy students despite their wealth. Mr Piccoli outraged Stephen O'Doherty, a former state Liberal education spokesman, by reigniting the debate about the responsibilities private schools have to support students with behavioural problems or disabilities.




Gambling

GPs’ plan to assist Victoria’s 30,000 problem gamblers


Samantha Landy - Herald Sun



Victorian GPs would be trained to recognise the symptoms of problem gambling and direct addicts to help services under a plan by the state’s responsible gambling body to increase treatment rates. Figures show more than 90 per cent of the state’s 30,000 problem gamblers do not seek formal counselling, but visit their GPs more often than non-addicts.




Marriage

In passionate ruling, federal judge upholds Puerto Rico’s marriage protection law


Life Site News



In a rare court victory for supporters of true marriage, a U.S. District Judge this week upheld the legality of Puerto Rico’s marriage protection law, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.




Refugees

Christian lobby: 'double refugee intake'


Lyle Shelton - The Age



Christians are now the most persecuted people in the world, according to the Australian Christian Lobby, and Australia should take more as refugees.




Surviving winter after surviving ISIS: A testimony by a Yazidi refugee

Saad al-Avdal - 972 Mag



Since the beginning of August, an estimated 350,000 Yazidi internally displaced persons have been living in villages, towns and various refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria and Turkey.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Religious freedom deteriorating, but don’t despair, official says


CNA Daily News



Although religious freedom conditions around the globe are worsening, Americans should see this fact as a cause for motivation rather than despair, said a leading scholar on the issue. “I wish that I could say there has been some improvement in the conditions of religious freedom in the world, but I’m afraid the opposite is true: it’s deteriorated,” said Robert P. George, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.




'I was tortured by the men who sentenced my Christian mother to death for blasphemy': Daughter of Asia Bibi on death row in Pakistan reveals her hell at hands of religious fanatics

Daily Mail



Two young daughters of a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for 'blasphemy' today told how they were tortured by a mob of religious fanatics because of their mother's alleged comments. Asia Bibi has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after she was accused of making disparaging remarks about the prophet Mohammed during an argument.




Other

Returning to Jesus Christ: How the Gospel addresses a culture that has forgotten how to love


Archbishop-elect Anthony Fisher OP - ABC



G.K. Chesterton relates the story of "a large and heavy and quiet boy, and phenomenally silent" who one day surprised his tutor by suddenly asking "in an explosive manner": "What is God?" The schoolmaster was probably as much surprised by the animation displayed in this unobtrusive sluggard as by the precociousness of the inquiry, but the boy's family were well used to young Tommy's excitement about such questions.