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

Byron Bay is now officially the heartbreak capital of NSW

The Daily Telegraph

Byron Bay, the most easterly point of Australia and home to great beaches and alternative lifestyles, is now also officially the heartbreak capital of NSW. Analysis of new Census data reveals that almost one in five Byron residents over 15 are divorced or separated -- more than anywhere else in the state. Byron has long been considered the spiritual home of Australia's hippie movement, but it seems the free love lifestyle comes at a cost: 18.2 per cent of adults experiencing marriage breakup or separation.


Violent video games incite kids to crime, says Scipione

Andrew Clannell - The Daily Telegraph

Knife crime is soaring among youngsters because brutal video games that reward players for murder, rape and theft have made violence seem acceptable, the state's top cop said yesterday. Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione believes young people are being desensitised by spending hours acting out deadly scenarios on their computer screens. "The thing that's concerning me is the prevalence of people who are at this stage not just prepared to carry a knife, but prepared to use it," Mr Scipione said.


Children given insight into another world

Julia Medew - The Age

While most boys are playing football during lunch time, Robert tends to walk around the perimeter of his school yard thinking about one of his favourite things. The electronics fanatic also wears a beanie a lot, so he can pull it down around his eyes and ears to block out light and noise when it bothers him. Robert, 9, has Asperger's syndrome - a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum that affects how his brain processes information. The condition means he lacks some social skills and finds it hard to read people's facial expressions. He also has a heightened sense of sight and sound and focuses on particular things obsessively. Like many unique children, Robert has been teased at school and left out of group activities because children don't understand him.


Chaplains to patrol gambling rooms in clubs across NSW

Linda Silmalis - The Sunday Telegraph

Chaplains will patrol gambling rooms in clubs across the state under a controversial trial aimed at silencing the anti-pokies lobby. As the federal government fights opposition to its proposed watered-down gambling reforms, the powerful clubs industry has enlisted the Salvation Army to help combat problem gambling.


Refer also ACL’s comments in media on Tasmanian’s decision to introduce gay marriage

Gay marriage bid exposes Labor's division

Lauren Wilson - The Australian

Tasmania's bid to legalise same-sex marriage has exposed Labor to a re-emergence of internal party divisions and threats of attack from the Australian Christian Lobby. Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings's decision to press ahead with legislating for same-sex marriage sparked outrage from Labor's Right faction yesterday and warnings from constitutional experts if the state laws passed the parliament they would almost certainly end up in the High Court.

Gay vows down to four

Michelle Paine - The Mercury

Just four votes could determine whether Tasmania becomes the same-sex marriage centre of Australia. With Labor and the Greens set to pass historic same-sex marriage legislation, the real battle will be held in the Upper House, with lobbying of those MPs beginning in earnest yesterday.

Tasmania goes it alone on gay marriage

The Daily Telegraph

Tasmania is set to go it alone on gay marriage after the state's ALP conference voted to introduce laws that could have wedding bells ringing by the end of the year. Premier Lara Giddings received a standing ovation at the party's state conference after she spoke passionately in favour of a motion to introduce the country's first state-based gender-neutral marriage act.

Gay unions attack on family: lobby

Alex Fair - The Examiner

The Australian Christian Lobby believes Labor's decision to vote for the legalisation in Tasmania of same-sex marriage is an attack on the institutions of marriage and family.

Gay marriage hurdles

Jackson Vernon - ABC

It would be an Australian first, but the Tasmanian Government is set to face serious hurdles if it is to legislate for gay marriage.

Viral video of man picking on Chick-fil-A worker gets him fired

People on both sides of the Chick-fil-A debate seemed to agree that a Tucson man who made a viral video belittling a patient restaurant worker acted like a sanctimonious jerk, even his boss – make that ex-boss. Adam Smith, who posted an online video of himself going through a Chick-fil-A drive-thru and ordering only the free water, was canned from his gig as chief financial officer of Vante, a Tucson medical manufacturing company, after the video made the rounds. “Chick-fil-A is a hateful company,” Smith tells the employee. "I don’t know how you sleep at night,” Smith adds at another point. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values.” After the employee, who never loses her composure, wishes Smith a nice day, he responds “I will. I just did something really good. I feel purposeful.”

Free speech under siege

Colleen Carroll Campbell - Mercator Net

Today's gay-marriage movement seems far more eager to silence its critics than debate them. Remember "live and let live" — or, as the gay-rights variation goes, "live and let love?" Remember that heady time not so long ago when Americans concerned about the unintended consequences of same-sex marriage were told that we had nothing to fear because the redefinition of marriage to accommodate gays and lesbians would not affect our families or our freedoms? You and your churches and businesses can go on believing what you want about marriage, we were told; just let us do our thing and we'll let you do yours. How times have changed.

Reflections on “Chicago values”

Cardinal George - ArchDiocese of Chicago

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”


NT poll a judgment on intervention from the people most affected

Misha Schubert - The Age

In the indigenous heart of the country, a democratic tussle is in the making. The Northern Territory heads to the polls on August 25. When it does, the desert people from Yuendemu to Kalkarindji, from Lajamanu to Barunga, could get a choice of four indigenous candidates in the seat of Stuart - a lifetime on from the era when they were few and far between in politics. Labor's Karl Hampton faces a challenge from Maurie Japarta Ryan, founder of the fledgling First Nations party. But also sizing up a run are two indigenous women - Bess Price for the Country Liberal Party and Barb Shaw for the Greens - the public face of the cases for and against the emergency intervention into remote indigenous communities five years ago.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

How Amazon profited from selling child rape guide

Melinda Tankard Reist blog

Why did it take almost a year to remove child prostitution tourism book? On Thursday, after a protest initiated through Amazon removed the Age of Consent: A sex Tourists Guide! This is how it was promoted on the global book seller, before it was pulled. The self-published by Peter F. Friedmann – available for free in the Kindle Lending Library.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Attacks on Egypt's Christians are rising: bishop


A senior Egyptian Coptic bishop said on Friday attacks on Christians are on the rise and criticised the inclusion of only one Copt in Islamist President Mohamed Morsi's government. "The general climate is turning against Christians," said Bishop Morcos. "Assaults on Christians have increased. It's not just a matter of having one ministry," he told AFP. On Wednesday, Muslims attacked a church and Christian homes in a village outside Cairo, leading to clashes that injured 16 people after a Muslim man died of wounds from a fight with a Christian. A day later, President Morsi, who had pledged to include Coptic representatives in his government, swore in a new cabinet with only one Christian, the scientific research minister from the outgoing government.

Saudi Arabia deports 35 Ethiopian Christians for practicing their faith

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on August 1, Saudi Arabia deported the last of the 35 Ethiopian Christians who were detained for holding an all-night prayer vigil. Saudi security officials assaulted, harassed and pressured the Christians to convert to Islam during their incarceration. "We have arrived home safe. We believe that we are released as the result of the pressure exerted by ICC and others,” said one of the prisoners speaking to ICC. He also said, “The Saudi officials don’t tolerate any other religions other than Islam".

Unsubstantiated charges raised against five detained Christians in Iran prison


It is six months now that five Christian converts are being held in Adel-Abad prison in Shiraz. Security and judicial authorities are making efforts to raise and magnify unsubstantiated charges against these Christians in order to impose more pressure on them. By doing this, they are also seeking to intimidate and terrorize other Christian groups.


Social media pages are 'ads'

Julian Lee - The Age

A ruling that Facebook is an advertising medium - and not just a way to communicate - will force companies to vet comments posted by the public to ensure they are not sexist, racist or factually inaccurate. In a move that could change the nature of the social networking site forever, companies could be fined or publicly shamed for the comments that appear on their Facebook ''brand'' pages.

We must find, then define, the line on online abuse

Elizabeth Flux - The Punch

Making homophobic slurs is not ok, whether it be in real life, on twitter, or even arguably amongst friends. It says something about you as a person; that you’re bigoted, fearful, or just damned ignorant. However, it is also not really ok to contravene someone’s right to freedom of speech either. Conundrum. In her article The Online World Doesn’t Need Real-World Police, Tory Maguire discussed this in the context of a 17 year old boy who had his door bashed down in the night by the police in response to a homophobic tweet he posted about Olympian Tom Daley. She argues that this approach is ham-fisted and excessive – I agree.