Bioethics

Adult stem cell treatments show promise


The Christian Institute



Scientists have offered hope to people who suffer from blindness and brittle bone disease, as a result of promising new techniques using adult stem cells. The progress affirms the greater effectiveness of adult stem cell research compared to controversial embryonic stem cell research, which also involves the destruction of human embryos.




Classification

Objectification of women no problem for the Advertising Standards Board


Melinda Tankard Reist blog



It’s no secret that the advertising industry’s preferred model of regulation, self-regulation, has failed. Despite various government inquiries exploring the many flaws in the current system, as well as condemnation from child health professionals and the Australian Medical Association the advertising industry has been given free reign to regulate themselves to the detriment of the community, in particular, children.




Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Vague surrogacy laws can lead to heartache


Anita Wadhwani - USA Today



A week after giving birth, a Tennessee woman who agreed to be a surrogate for an Italian couple changed her mind. She wanted to keep the baby girl.




Drugs & Alcohol

ACC staff member caught using drugs prompts call for wider tests

Phillip Thomson - SMH



The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity has called for more "high risk" public service agencies to consider drug testing after a staff member at a major corruption fighting agency was caught out.




Marriage

What Hillsong says about gays

Eternity newspaper



A Hillsong press conference in New York generated controversy on the weekend, with the conservative First Things magazine declaring “Hillsong shifts on homosexuality.”




On gay marriage and the Hillsong movement: Did Jesus call us to be relevant or biblical?

Michael Brown - Christian Post



Last week, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Pastor Brian Houston, founder of the Hillsong movement (which now has congregations in California and New York), "Can your pastors preside at same-sex marriages?" Pastor Houston replied (in part), "It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. Because many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. . . ."




Idaho ministers face fines, jail time for refusing to perform same-sex ‘marriages’

Dustin Siggins - Life Site News



Ministers in the state of Idaho are facing fines and potential jail time for refusing to perform same-sex “marriages,” even though homosexuality violates their religion.




Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Somaly Mam Foundation shutters operations

Megan O’Neil - Philanthropy



The Somaly Mam Foundation, an anti-human trafficking organization that was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after its namesake founder was accused of fabricating parts of her personal biography as a trafficking victim, has been shuttered.




Trafficking Bill: MLAs vote to make paying for sex a crime

Gareth Gordon - BBC News



The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted by 81 to 10 in favour of making it a crime to pay for sex. MLAs spent several hours on Monday debating the measures which formed part of a private member's bill on human trafficking and exploitation.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran sentences church leaders to long prison terms


Stefan J. Bos - BosNewsLife



An Iranian Islamic court has sentenced three leaders of the country's largest evangelical house church movement to six years imprisonment each on charges linked to their Christian activities, BosNewsLife learned Monday, October 20.




Other

Christian Lobby faces conference venue boycott


Matt Akersten - Same Same



Opposition leader Bill Shorten is being urged to cancel his engagement as keynote speaker at this weekend’s Australian Christian Lobby annual conference – and now even the event’s venue is under mounting pressure to break its ties to the increasingly out-on-a-limb church group.




Hyatt Hotel defends booking for Australian Christian Lobby's anti-gay marriage conference

Tom McIlroy and Ben Westcott - Canberra Times



Canberra's Hyatt Hotel says it supports gay and lesbian equality, amid growing criticism of a conference organised by controversial anti-gay marriage campaigners the Australian Christian Lobby.




Conflict or mutual enrichment? Why science and theology need to talk to each other

Alister McGrath - ABC



Most of us know that heart-stopping feeling of awed wonder at the beauty and majesty of nature. I remember well a journey I made across Iran in 1975. I was travelling on an ancient bus in the middle of the night across the desert from Shiraz to Kerman, when its ailing engine finally failed. The passengers left the coach, and wandered around, waiting hopefully for the driver to fix it. I saw the stars that night as I had never seen them before - brilliant, solemn and still, in the midst of a totally dark and silent land.