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

Best intentions out the window as new parents face up to stark reality

Neil Keene - The Daily Telegraph

From no smacking to putting a ban on all lollies and chocolates for the first few years of life, millions of mums- and dads-to-be make parenting promises before their baby is born, only to go back on their word when the reality sets in. The huge amount of advice available on the internet and via self-help books could be to blame, according to experts, with new parents frequently setting unrealistically high standards for themselves based on what they read.

Incresing numbers of children are staying in care for longer

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian

The number of children taken from their parents and placed in out-of-home care has surpassed the adult prison population, as the child-protection crisis grows. There were 37,648 children in out-of-home care in the latest national figures -- an increase of 12,194 in five years - while there were 29,106 prisoners in custody at June 30 last year. The trend has accelerated since the number of child "wards of the state" overtook adult prisoners in 2007, and the number of foster children has jumped by a third.

Young man says foster care is a good system but it can be rigid

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian

When Isaac was taken into foster care at the age of 12 he had a warm bed, three meals a day and clean clothes - but emotionally he was left on his own. The Queensland boy was taken from his parents two weeks before Christmas in 2004 and placed in foster care for the next five years. But after a series of disagreements about where he would finish senior high school - and a feeling that he was less valued than other children in his first foster family - he eventually chose to strike out on his own.


Firms caught napping on social media

Leon Gettler - Business Spectator

Many publications have been running pieces about why business needs to get into social media. One suspects it’s being spruiked for the wrong reasons. Many businesses treat it purely as cheap and easy marketing for sending out quick press releases to the world and promoting their products and services at minimal cost. The recent ruling from the Advertising Standards Board about comments posted on the Facebook page of Smirnoff vodka put paid to that. Days later, the ACCC ruled that companies failing to remove false and misleading comments from their brands' Facebook pages within 24 hours face potential court action.


Schools won't lost funding under Gonski review shakeup, PM promises

Jessica Marszalek - News Limited Network

Julia Gillard says she'll take a razor to the Budget, slashing spending as she promises no school will lose funding under a shakeup triggered by the Gonski review. But the Coalition says the Prime Minister has delayed her response to the review - which recommended an extra $5 billion in spending - because she can't find the cash. The Government had been expected to release its long-awaited response this week, but now won't for several weeks.

School departure age increase wins praise


Tasmanian parents have welcomed a proposal to extend the compulsory school leaving age to 18. The Education Minister Nick McKim yesterday told State School Parents and Friends it is time for a serious look at the issue. Addressing their annual state conference he called for feedback on a discussion paper, which also looks at extending high schools to Year 12 in regional areas.


Gay marriage debate is more complex than “free love”

Lyle Shelton - The Punch

Ubiquitous media commentary on same-sex marriage assumes the moral debate is won, it is inevitable and those opposing it are on the wrong side of history. MPs know that despite the hype, gay marriage is a low-order issue in their electorates. Proponents assume no harm can come of it and that mindless bigotry is all that is preventing it becoming law. So why then is it likely to be resoundingly defeated on the floor of Parliament?

Overseas Aid

Those who help others deserve global support today and every day

Valerie Amos - SMH

Today is World Humanitarian Day, the day we honour those who have lost their lives working to help others and remember the essential contribution that humanitarian workers are making around the world. Attacks on aid workers are a horrific reality in a world where more and more people need help as a result of natural disasters, and where ongoing and new conflicts affect the lives of tens of millions of people.


Social policy lesson for Labor

Jim Wallace - The Mercury

It seems Labor's resolve to distance itself from the Greens has been short lived, with Tasmania's Lara Giddings determined to repeat the mistakes of Anna Bligh in grasping at a gay constituency whose lack of effect on the Queensland election proved its hollowness. Bligh rushed through marriage-mimicking civil unions on the eve of the Queensland election, in the vain hope of securing at least the inner city seat of Andrew Fraser, only to be reduced to the now famous seven-seat-Tarago-sized party.

Gillard on the front foot, lurches to right, but team Rudd not beaten

Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald

Kevin Rudd's dying words as prime minister were that he would never lurch to the right on asylum seekers, as was demanded of him as a condition of keeping his job. Now that Julia Gillard has done the lurching by reopening Nauru and Manus Island, it could be argued there is one less barrier to a Rudd revival. Had Rudd triumphed in the February leadership contest, one of his immediate challenges would have been to deal with the record number of boat arrivals.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Down's Syndrome Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy


A Christian girl with Down's Syndrome has been arrested on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, accused of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Koran, police and activists said on Sunday. Police arrested Rimsha, who is recognised by a single name, on Thursday after she was reported holding in public burnt pages which had Islamic text and Koranic verses on them, a police official said. A conviction for blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.

The FRC Shooting and the vocation of a hero

Joe Carter - Action Blog

The key-card was required to get into the building and to operate the elevator, a security precaution added years earlier when protestors chained themselves together in the lobby. But when I forgot my key—and I was always forgetting my key—he never complained. He never uttered a sarcastic remark or had a passive-aggressive sigh to remind me of my absent-mindedness. He’d just leave the guard-desk and quietly help me out. I suspect Leo Johnson exhibited the same stoic friendliness today, when a young man in his late 20s—who said he was an intern at Family Research Council—asked to be let in the building. Once inside, the man pulled a gun and fired several shots, hitting Leo in the arm. According to news reports, Leo and others wrestled the man to the ground, disarmed him, and waited for police.


Timetable and cost of asylum centre repairs unclear, says Bowen

The Australian

It is not clear how long it will take or how much it will cost to recover the run-down and overgrown asylum seeker facilities on Nauru and Manus Island, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said. A scoping group of soldiers and government officials is in the process of assessing what work must be done to re-establish the centres, which are dilapidated and overgrown by jungle. “We were developing Manus Island centre ... last year, so I knew the government was acutely aware of how much work needs to be done at Manus Island and Nauru,'' Mr Bowen told reporters outside his western Sydney electorate office today.

Sexualisation of Society

When we took up women’s mags everything changed

Jessica Barlow - The Punch

It was different back in year seven when none of us really read magazines like Cleo or Cosmopolitan. The girls in my year at my all-girls college were just like me: we didn’t wear makeup, we didn’t obsess over clothes, and we didn’t judge others based on appearance so much. Most of us were just disappointed that there was no playground or school oval we could access at lunchtime. It was a year of big transitions, certainly, but it was also the year that I would miss the most during the remainder of my time at high school. All too soon we became addicted to magazines like Cleo and Cosmopolitan.


Tony Perkins press conference on Family Research Council shooting

Jared Bridges - Family Research Council Blog

A video from today’s 3:00 p.m. press conference on the 15 August shooting at FRC headquarters.

New York voters poll: Let Chick-fil-A do business

Audrey Barrick - Christian Post

Most New York City voters say Chick-fil-A should not be blocked from getting permits over its traditional stance on marriage, according to a new poll. Amid debate over Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's statement last month against same-sex marriage, 82 percent said there should be no impact on the fast-food chain's ability to get permits, a Quinnipiac University poll revealed Wednesday. Also, 83 percent said elected officials should not try to discourage people from eating at Chick-fil-A.

New playhouse to honour the Eternity man

Kaley Payne - Eternity Newspaper

An inner Sydney former Baptist church building has been transformed into a theatre and renamed Eternity Playhouse in honour of Arthur Stace, known as the ‘Eternity man’ for scrawling the word ‘Eternity’ on pavements around Sydney in from 1932 to the mid 1960s. The Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle in Darlinghurst, New South Wales, once one of Sydney’s largest Baptist churches, operating as a church from 1887 until 1996, was purchased by the City of Sydney in 2004, with plans for restoration. The building will reopen in April 2013 as a 200-seat theatre and creative arts centre.

Gillard cleared of wrongdoing by former employer

Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald

Julia Gillard's former employer Slater & Gordon has cleared the Prime Minister of wrongdoing following claims she left the law firm due to an internal investigation into legal work she did for her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, a union boss accused of corruption. The law firm released a statement yesterday saying that Ms Gillard had co-operated fully with the investigation in 1 95, denied any wrongdoing, and that this was upheld.