The Christian lobby versus Christian compassion

The Punch

Christians do support legal assisted dying. This may come as a surprise to most readers, but it is true.  What’s more, 74 per cent of people who claim to have a religion strongly support the right of doctors to provide a lethal dose, according to a 2007 Newspoll. Newspoll - a reputable public opinion polling company, as distinct from newspaper polls that can give skewed results. Exclude religion and we find a massive 91 per cent are in favour of medically assisted dying.

Game ratings could be ceded to machines


The man leading the review into the Australian classification system says he will examine a new US model whereby computer algorithms decide content ratings based on information provided by publishers. A self-regulatory approach like this has been advocated by the federal government and former members of the Classification Board, who say the explosion in apps and other digital content, coupled with the fact that anyone can easily access any material over the internet, has broken the current classification system.

Get tough on toxiic sexy ads or risk STDs: Lib MP Sophie Mirabella's crackdown call

CHILDREN as young as four are being subjected to "toxic" sexual imagery in public places, says a Liberal MP determined to get tighter standards imposed on advertising. Sophie Mirabella, shadow minister for industry, attacked explicit billboards and magazine covers, and demanded the "Parental Guidance Recommended" classification be reviewed. She said in a speech that youngsters were being bombarded with "near-pornographic" video clips in shopping malls and "highly suggestive" promotions at sporting events.

Bill to allow euthenasia in limited circumstances looks likely to fail in Parliament

Adelaide Now

HOPE remains for a law allowing euthanasia despite Parliament dealing another model a near-mortal blow. All five MPs speaking yesterday indicated they would move to block a euthanasia plan supported by Health Minister John Hill to give doctors a legal defence for providing pain-relieving drugs that hasten death.

Julia Gillard turns to Pacific Solution in Papua New Guinea

The Australian

THE Gillard government is poised to revive one of the most controversial elements of the Howard government's Pacific Solution, with Port Moresby expected to agree to host a refugee processing centre in Papua New Guinea. As pressure mounts on Labor to deal with the asylum-seeker issue in the wake of a large influx of boats over the past three years and violent riots at detention centres in recent weeks, the Papua New Guinea cabinet is today expected to endorse a proposal submitted by Canberra for a centre to be located in the country.

'Christianity stole my childhood' - Katy Perry

KATY Perry says she left her strict religious upbringing behind after her evangelical minister parents left her without a childhood. The pop singer is on the cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine, where she revealed the differences between hers and her parents' way of thinking in an interview.

Intervention 'based on ignorance': Anderson

The Australian

THE indigenous expert who co-wrote the report that triggered the Northern Territory emergency intervention has blasted the program as "neither well-intentioned nor well-evidenced", and said it had compounded the problems facing indigenous people. Pat Anderson, one of the two authors of the Little Children are Sacred report to the NT government in 2007, told a conference in Sydney yesterday the intervention was "based on ignorance and prejudice", and ignored the report's central recommendation to consult indigenous people.

Wilkie turns up heat on Gillard over pokies pledge

The Australian

INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie has renewed his threat to withdraw his support for Julia Gillard's minority government if she fails to deliver on her promised crackdown on poker machines. But the threat came despite expectations that a parliamentary committee tasked with examining the issue will today produce a report that will stop short of backing Mr Wilkie's demand for mandatory pre-commitment technology in all poker machines.

Dark past 'to haunt Rhiannon'

The Australian

A CHILDHOOD friend of Lee Rhiannon says the controversial Greens senator-elect is incapable of admitting mistakes and won't hold a senior leadership role in the party due to increasing tensions between her and Bob Brown. Former communist Mark Aarons has launched a scathing attack on Ms Rhiannon in The Monthly magazine, saying the former NSW Greens leader had "virtually no support" within the federal Greens team - which she will join when the Senate changes over on July 1.

'Toughen rules on teenage mums'

The Australian

BROTHERHOOD of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson has broken ranks with the majority of the welfare lobby and not only backed the Gillard government's radical proposal to force teenage mothers to go to school and get job-ready when their child turns one, but argued the policy should go even further and place greater obligations on other single mothers on welfare. Mr Nicholson said he lamented that other groups had let "ideology get ahead of good practical outcomes" and that single mothers, who were exempted from the Howard government's welfare changes in 2006 and not made to look for work when their child turned six, should be brought into a mutual obligation scheme in Tuesday's budget.

Teacher fury over God comic

A COMIC strip that tells children who are bullied to pray, because teachers are too lazy and callous to help them unless God intervenes, was advertised as a ''resource'' by the group that teaches Christian education classes in primary schools. The cartoon has enraged teachers, who claim they have been vilified by Christian education provider Access Ministries, and reignited debate over the controversial special religious instruction program.

MP tells Labor to oppose autonomy bill

The Age

LABOR must not support a controversial bill granting greater autonomy to the ACT and Northern Territory because it will pave the way for same-sex marriage and euthanasia, an ALP senator says. Labor right-winger Steve Hutchins said a bill drafted by Greens leader Bob Brown removing the power of federal ministers to override laws made by the territories, would mean the ACT and NT would move on the divisive issues, to which he is opposed.

Betting firms told to target video gamers

The Age

SPORTS betting operators should target Generation Y computer game players and social networking sites such as Facebook to recruit more gamblers, a business breakfast has been told. Gambling industry veteran Peter Turner urged sports betting providers to make better use of new and emerging technologies such as IPTV (internet television), and electronic payment systems.

Labor senator urges major party reform

The Age

LEADING caucus left-winger Doug Cameron will today warn Labor against pandering to its opponents' base, in a call for sweeping party reform, policy changes and more caucus scrutiny of ministers. If Labor does not deliver on the bread and butter issues its supporters want, ''we can kiss goodbye to a carbon price, we can kiss goodbye to decent treatment of asylum seekers and we can kiss goodbye to government for a long time to come'', Senator Cameron says in a hard-hitting speech on Labor's future. He attacks ''orthodox free-trade policy'' and neo-liberal economic orthodoxy as alienating Labor's base.

Our kids are getting adult content instead of fairytales

The Punch

Child health experts told a Sydney conference last week that children as young as six are displaying inappropriate sexual behaviour – and that violent and sexually explicit images in advertising and popular culture were to blame. Why wasn’t this front page news?

Minister buys into debate on burqas

The Age

MUSLIM women who choose to wear the face-covering burqa should be entitled to do as they pleased, says Victoria's multicultural affairs minister. Nick Kotsiras has also praised the Sudanese community who have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of outbreaks of street brawling after a youth beauty pageant last month.

Schools can bar non-believing teachers

The Herald Sun

RELIGIOUS schools will be able to reject teachers belonging to different faiths under Baillieu Government changes to Victoria's equal opportunity laws. Christian schools will be able to ban single-parent teachers or others not fitting their beliefs. Jewish and Islamic schools will be able to hire only those teachers who uphold their values.

Representatives forget role in marriage rows

The Age

Governments are better kept in check by voters than vetoes. FEDERAL Labor is agonising over a bill that would end ministerial vetoes of laws passed by the territories. The democratic case is clear: governments elected by voters in the Northern Territory and ACT should not be subject to arbitrary powers of veto. Despite professions of concern about constitutional anomalies (what of anomalies between the rights of state and territory voters to have laws that reflect their views?), the real fear is that the bill opens the door to same-sex marriage and euthanasia legislation.

Labor fraud claims go to police

The Herald Sun

ALLEGATIONS that staff in Labor leader Daniel Andrews' office broke the law to obtain politically explosive information about Health Minister David Davis are expected to be referred to Victoria Police today. Mr Davis claimed in Parliament he was the victim of identity fraud, with somebody phoning his lawyers earlier this week to check if his almost $130,000 overdue bill had been settled.

Alzheimer’s Australia: euthanasia debate “clouded in confusion"

Christianity Today

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed an Alzheimer’s Australia report examining end-of-life planning for people suffering for dementia. The report, “Planning for the End of Life for People with Dementia Part 2”, found the current debate surrounding euthanasia has left patients and their families “clouded with confusion” and unsure of their rights.