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

Skype video calling used in Family Court ruling on lesbian mothers' custody battle

Ainsley Pavey - The Courier-Mail

Two lesbian mothers fighting over the relocation of their twin four-year-old sons have been awarded joint parenting rights. Federal Magistrate Margaret Cassidy granted the separating couple's request for "equal shared parental responsibility" after she found both children had a "close and attached" relationship with the women.


Mother of four-year-old girl raped by boy, 14, blasts judge who freed him because he had been corrupted by internet porn for 'cheap sentence'

Daily Mail

The mother of a four-year-old girl raped by a teenage babysitter has revealed the pain that has haunted her since the horrific ordeal. The woman said there are days when she 'can't stop crying' after discovering her daughter had been assaulted by the 14-year-old son of a family friend. The boy told police who were interviewing that he had regularly accessed porn on the internet at his parents’ home without their knowledge. Tory MP Claire Perry, leader of an all-party group of MPs campaigning against open access to porn, said the rape case proved the ‘serious negative impacts’ such images can have on children’s lives. 'I believe an “opt-in” model, along with better education and awareness, would provide the best tools for parents to protect their children online,’ she said.


Australia to oppose Korean whaling plan

Australia's top diplomat in Seoul will tell the South Korean government that Australia opposes its plan to resume whaling, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says. The plan revealed at the International Whaling Commission talks in Panama has raised the ire of animal welfare groups and prompted calls by the Australian Greens and the coalition for swift diplomatic action.


Poker sites are flush with Aussie players

Richard Willingham - SMH

Nearly 130,000 Australians are playing illegal internet poker games, with US operators raking in $68 million in one year, according to research. Online casino games, including poker, are illegal in Australia. But in May the federal government released an interim review of interactive gaming laws which recommended legalising internet poker games as part of an overall liberalising of the industry. Other casino games would remain banned and poker would be trialled over several years. Despite being illegal, foreign websites offering poker are freely available to Australian punters.

Woolies, GetUp! pokies fight goes to court

Kylie Williams and Lauren Farrow -

A poker machine stoush between Woolworths and left-wing activist group GetUp! has ended up in court. More than 250 Woolworths shareholders led by GetUp! have called for the retailer to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to vote on amending the company's constitution to prevent it from owning or operating poker machines with more than a $1 maximum bet. The resolution sought by GetUp! would impose revenue limits of $120 an hour and prevent the use of gaming machines for more than 18 hours, from 2016. But Woolworths has filed an application with the Federal Court in Sydney to delay the EGM until its annual general meeting (AGM) on November 22.


Gay marriage on the way

The Age

Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and adopt children from next year, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced. ''In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination,'' he told Parliament, confirming an election promise by Socialist President Francois Hollande. ''Society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing,'' he said. ''The government will respond to that.''


Swan dances around carbon floor price

Julian Drape - AAP

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan has failed to dampen talk Labor may scrap a proposed carbon floor price for the emissions trading scheme set to replace the carbon tax in mid-2015. There's speculation Labor could lower the $15-a-tonne floor price, which is yet to be regulated. Quizzed about the reports, Mr Swan said on Thursday there were discussions "at all levels from time to time".


Coalition's talking points sound all too familiar

Jacqueline Maley – SMH

To say it makes interesting reading would be a gross and horrible lie. The Coalition's ''Speaker's Notes'', leaked to the website Crikey yesterday, read like, well, exactly the kind of anodyne blather we have come to expect of our politicians. ''Speaking points'' are documents disseminated to politicians on both sides which tell them what their views should be on everything from the carbon tax and boat people to agriculture and whaling.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

God and Queen are no longer a guide for girls

Lisa Power - The Daily Telegraph

They have honoured and celebrated her for more than 50 years but the Girl Guides have now voted to cut ties with the Queen -- and God. Promising to serve God and the Queen and pledging obedience have been ruled old-fashioned and out of step with modern Australian life by junior and senior guides. Australia's 28,000 guides will now vow to serve community and country and "live with courage and strength". The change to the Guiding Promise and Guide Law begins in units across the country from today.

US: Without religious freedom ...

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow

With today being the 236th anniversary of the nation's Declaration of Independence, in which America declared its freedom, one legal expert warns that Americans' first freedom is "under attack like we have never seen." Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute says the Founding Fathers listed religious freedom first in the Constitution because without it, all the other freedoms would fall away. "The fact that our religious freedoms are under attack like we have never seen in this country is really a wake-up call as we enter Fourth of July for Americans who really want to focus on the future of this country in making sure that this country remains free," Shackelford comments.

Christian group goes to court over cancelled marriage conference

Christian Today

Christian Concern is taking the Law Society and a government-owned conference centre and to court after they cancelled the group's marriage conference. The conference was organised by Christian Concern and the World Congress of Families to debate the nature and role of marriage in light of the Government's consultation on legalising same-sex marriage. The Law Society cancelled Christian Concern's conference booking on the grounds that it breached their equalities policy.


'Nothing new' about asylum distress call tactics

Simon Cullen and Alexandra Kirk - ABC

The Federal Government says there is nothing new about an "NRMA" tactic used by people smugglers in which they tell crews on asylum boats to call for help soon after setting out from Indonesia. Authorities yesterday responded to an early-morning distress call from a boat carrying 162 asylum seekers off the coast of Indonesia. Despite being told to return to shore, the boat continued to head towards Christmas Island before eventually being boarded by the Navy because of concerns about its seaworthiness.

Indonesia rejects Abbott 'tow back boats' vow

Phillip Coorey, Tony Wright, Daniel Flitton, Michael Bachelard – SMH

The Indonesian government has confirmed that it would not accept the towing back of asylum seeker boats to its shores, sources say. The policy puts an incoming Coalition government in Canberra on a collision course with Indonesia after the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, reiterated the stance yesterday. And, as the Australian Navy brought 160 asylum seekers to safety on Christmas Island on Wednesday, there are increasing reports that passengers on such boats are refusing to deal with Indonesian authorities for fear of being sent back.

Sexualisation of Society

Porn king's empire aroused by the Grey effect

Jenna Clarke - SMH

Fifty Shades of Grey is turning Australia's porn king Malcolm Day into a real life Christian Grey. According to the director, EL James' erotic paperback is turning profit margins a dark shade of black for the adult industry retailer. "Our sales have increased almost 40 per cent since the book was introduced to the market. We have more and more new customers coming into our stores every day referencing this racy read as their source of inspiration," Mr Day said.


Wikipedia's credibility is compromised

John Miller - Online Opinion

Contrasting Wikipedia entries on The Greens and the Australian Christian Lobby proves the bias of the site.

Andy Griffith's widow takes comfort in his Christian faith

Actor Andy Griffith's widow says her husband was "a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord." The beloved star of "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock" died Tuesday at his home in North Carolina at the age of 86. In a statement, Cindi Griffith said she can't imagine life without her husband, but takes "comfort and strength in God's Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God."

UK: Hotel offers guests electronic Bibles

Oliver Smith - Telegraph Media

A hotel in Newcastle has replaced its copies of the traditional Gideon’s Bible in favour of an electronic version of the text. From today, all 148 rooms at the Hotel Indigo will contain a Kindle e-reader pre-loaded with a copy of the Bible. The hotel is claiming to be the first in Britain to offer such a service. Guests are also permitted to download a copy of any other religious text – to the value of £5 or less – during their stay. Regular fiction books can also be purchased, with the costs added to guests’ bills.