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.


Children & Family

Abbott's paid parental leave at mercy of right-wing lobby

Tanja Kovac - SMH

Writing in his post-2007 election manifesto, Battlelines, Tony Abbott revealed with disarming frankness the full extent of conflict within Coalition ranks on the provision of financial support for working mothers. According to Abbott, two factions prohibited the Coalition party room from enacting a paid parental leave during the 11 years of the Howard government.

A boy's best friend

Man Scape - SMH

Most of us like to think that our fathers mould us, make us the men we are. Teach us how to shave and smoke and treat women well. But I'm pleased and proud that, in my case, my mother was the one who pointed me the way to go, the one who taught me how to dress and act and, most importantly, how to clean grubby faces with a hankie and some spit.

Dad's heartwarming letter to daughter about Mr Right

When daddy blogger and clinical psychologist Kelly Flanagan posted a letter to his young daughter about picking Mr Right, he was bowled over by the public response. Entitled A Daddy's Letter To His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband), Dr Flanagan's letter has received thousands of Facebook likes since appearing on a popular blog called The Good Men Project. The site and its Facebook page were set up to "have a conversation about what it means to be a good man".


Lib discontent grows

Jonathan Swan - SMH

Tony Abbott is facing growing discontent among his colleagues about his $3.2 billion Direct Action plan to combat climate change. Liberal MPs Mal Washer and Dennis Jensen say the Coalition should review or consider abandoning parts of the policy in the light of "dire economic circumstances".


Global debate over euthanasia is spreading

Timothy Fowler - Ecumenical News

Euthanasia seems lost today amidst ethical debates over issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. However, it has come to the forefront in the last several months. The practice of intentionally causing the death of a person in order to benefit them or prevent further suffering was once a major issue for Christians in the United States in the 1990s when Dr. Jack Kervorkian was prosecuted for his assisted suicides. Now it is back in the headlines.

Support palliative care not euthanasia, urges NSW Council of Churches

NSW Council of Churches

The NSW Council of Churches today called on all members of the NSW Legislative Council to vote against a private member’s bill that would legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in NSW. “This is a dangerous bill. If enacted, the bill will redefine the value of the lives of some people as not worth living. Our challenge as a society is to transform the experience of people who are disabled or dying, not to intervene to end their lives,” the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said.

Medical students concerned about NSW euthanasia bill

The Catholic Weekly

Christy Azzi, a third year student studying a double degree in medicine and surgery, disputes claims by the Greens that the bill includes safeguards to protect against abuse. “Safeguards that were implemented in other countries which have legalised euthanasia have failed to protect the most vulnerable patients, so this may be a lesson for us in Australia,” she says. “As students, we are taught first and foremost not to harm our patient. Euthanasia would directly go against this first principle.”


Gambling with the game

Colin Kruger and David Sygall - SMH

Rugby league viewers may be kicking up a fuss about the way sports betting operators are weaving themselves into the fabric of their favourite sport, but it has not put them off their game. The Nine Network has reported that their Friday night audience is up on last year across all key demographics in Sydney and Brisbane. The same is being reported for Nine's NRL broadcast partner, Fox Sports, which said viewership is tracking well, with audiences up 2 per cent on last year.

Publican gambles on pokies purchase and loses

David Braithwaite - Gippsland Times

A gamble by the proprietor of Yarram’s Commercial Hotel for 10 gaming machines has not paid off. In rejecting a motion to exempt the hotel from a policy not to allow new gaming venues on shopping strips, Wellington Shire Council has shown its clearest indication it doesn’t want more gaming machines in the shire. Hotel proprietor Bernie Plummer bought 10 machines, despite council’s gaming policy, which is in line with state government legislation to make venues less accessible to vulnerable people.

Human Rights

Sterilisation - whose decision?

Jodie Stephens - The Examiner

Sandra's daughter was 11 when she first tried to have her sterilised. It might seem a drastic decision, but the Northern Tasmania mother said she was anxious and afraid at the thought of her daughter Mary, now in her early 20s, having a child of her own. She still is.


Greens press for immediate gay marriage vote

Mark Kenny – SMH

Tony Abbott will come under renewed pressure to grant Coalition MPs a free hand on same-sex marriage with the Greens set to force a vote next month on marriage equality. The party's sole lower house MP and deputy leader, Adam Bandt, has told Fairfax Media he will seek to have his Marriage Equality Amendment Bill brought on for a vote in the House of Representatives on June 6.

Minnesota House passes gay marriage bill


The Minnesota House passed a gay marriage bill on Thursday by a vote of 75-59. The vote was seen as a critical step for the bill, which could position the state as the 12th in the country to allow gay marriage — and the first in the Midwest. The bill would allow same-sex weddings starting August 1 and is a huge shift for Minnesota, where voters turned back an effort to ban the marriages in the Minnesota Constitution just six months ago.

Overseas Aid

Red carpet welcome for Gillard in PNG

Liam Fox - Radio Australia

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has received a red carpet welcome in Papua New Guinea, complete with singing, dancing and gunfire. Colourful Huli Wigmen from PNG's Highlands beat drums, jumped and chanted as Ms Gillard stepped off the plane in Port Moresby on Thursday on her first visit to the country as Prime Minister.


Abbott unveils Coalition's workplace relations policy

Emma Griffiths - ABC

The Opposition has released its industrial relations policy, pledging no changes to unfair dismissal laws or measures to set penalty rates in the first term of a Coalition government. Instead, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Coalition will target "dodgy union officials" and focus on measures to "improve" the current Fair Work Act.

Labor prepares for a last chance budget

Barrie Cassidy - ABC

If the Gillard Government could remove a fortnight from the past 12 months, then surely it would be the last two weeks of January, this year. The polls as averaged out across the nation now demonstrate just how damaging that brief period was for the Government.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Double standards in religious free speech

Alex Perrottet - On Line Opinion

Professor Fred Hilmer must have an interesting email inbox. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales scrolled through copious complaints in late March when the student magazine Tharunka depicted a cross inserted into a vagina on the cover, with the title “Church F**ks Women”. He assured Christians and non-Christians alike that he had received a large amount of correspondence on the issue. And in response, he refused to make any public statement about the deep offense the publication gave to a great number of the university’s students, and the public at large.

Sexualisation of Society

More schools, families report cases of young people 'sexting'

Lia Harris - Adelaide Now

South Coast Police have issued a warning to parents following an increase in reported cases of "sexting" in the south. South Coast Sergeant Amanda Dawson said police had noticed an increase in reports from southern schools and families about the distribution and possession of "inappropriate images". Sgt Dawson said parents needed to educate their children about the dangers of "sexting".


Vic teens forced into marriage: inquiry

Daniel Fogarty - Herald Sun

Melbourne girls as young as 15 are being forced into marriages overseas, a parliamentary inquiry has heard. There were three examples of forced marriage in one Melbourne high school, a migrant support worker told the inquiry. Girls are being married off for money and for their husbands to obtain visas, Hiba Casablanca from the Shakti Migrant and Refugee Women's Support Group said.

Coke to curb ads to kids, push diet drinks

Mike Esterl - Wall St Journal

Coca-Cola Co. is broadening distribution of its low-calorie drinks and said it would put calorie counts on the front of its packaging around the world as it ramps up global efforts to counter criticism its sugary drinks are fueling obesity. The Atlanta-based beverage giant also promised to sponsor physical activity programs and reiterated its commitment to not market its drinks to children under 12 years old in each of the more than 200 countries and territories that it operates. It declined to give a target date for completing the global overhaul or say how much money it would spend.

Wrigley withdraws caffeinated gum


An FDA investigation into the safety of caffeine-added foods in the US prompts Wrigley to take its new caffeinated gum off the market. Wrigley said that it will temporarily halt sales and marketing of Alert caffeinated gum after discussions with the FDA. President Casey Keller said the company made the move "out of respect" for the agency, which said it would investigate the health effects of added caffeine on children and adolescents just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum has an amount of caffeine equivalent to half a cup of coffee.

Polygamy and sex in Morocco


“To have many wives is the best way I have found to reconcile my compulsions with my Muslim faith. Let’s not delude ourselves, it is not in man’s nature to be faithful to one single woman. This is how it is all over the world. Some choose to take mistresses and carry out secret relationships, while others, like me, prefer transparency and get married.” This is how Salim, 35, expressed himself.