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

Children need a reality check

Herald Sun

Has "soft love" bred a generation of school bullies so full of themselves they have little regard for anyone else? It is the startling conclusion of research into bullying behaviour. RMIT professor Helen McGrath says a world-first study shows kids with inflated self-esteem are likely to be the ringleaders in school bullying. The professor's comments will spark a debate over how parents are bringing up their children.

Drugs & Alcohol

Big Tobacco uses smoke and mirrors to hook the young

Paul Grogan - The Punch

Today is World No Tobacco Day, observed each year on 31 May to help reduce a global tobacco death toll that will hit 5 million in 2012 and 8 million by 2030. Four in five of these deaths will occur in developing countries where many of those affected will die in agony because they can’t access morphine. If you are ambivalent about these incomprehensible numbers because you think smoking is a choice, please read on.


Ethics classes to stay in NSW: Piccoli


Ethics classes are here to stay in NSW, with a parliamentary committee's recommending that alternatives to scripture continue in primary schools, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says. The NSW government flagged axing ethics classes last year in a bid to woo the support of Christian Democrat MPs in the upper house, even though Premier Barry O'Farrell promised to keep them at the election.


Shooters win power in national parks deal

Alicia Wood and Andrew Clennell - The Daily Telegraph

Shooters will be allowed to hunt in national parks under a deal between the government and Shooters Party to allow the sale of NSW's electricity generators. The deal to pass legislation in the upper house - reaping $3 billion to $4 billion - will mean much-needed funds will be used to pay for a major road such as the M5 duplication. Premier Barry O'Farrell has also promised the Shooters and Christian Democrats that he will investigate lifting their electoral funding and promised he will consider allowing shooters to kill more game birds on private property.


Online gambling 'to open flood gates'


Anti-gambling campaigners are concerned the flood gates will open if new forms of online gambling are legalised. The government has released a departmental interim report into the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which aims at reducing harm to problem gamblers. The report suggests 30 changes, including banning micro-betting on sporting events, such as ball-by-ball bets in cricket or point-by-point bets in tennis, across all platforms.


'If I hadn't found support I would not be here'

Reid Sexton - The Age

David Montgomery believes he is living proof, in the most literal sense, that homelessness cannot be survived without support. Without intervention he would have died, he says, the trauma of life without a permanent home combined with poor health eventually grinding him down. But the support that saved him came only through relentless searching and chance, he said, with many others not so lucky.


Rate of indigenous child sex abuse exaggerated, Jay Weatherill insists

Michael Owen - The Australian

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has claimed the rate of child abuse in an Aboriginal community, as revealed by a senior federal government adviser, is "exaggerated". For the second day in a row yesterday, the Premier sought to play down the extent of child abuse in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, in the state's far north, after concerns were publicly raised on Friday by Brian Gleeson, the commonwealth's Co-ordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services.


Same-sex supporters march on Parliament to protest health funding cut

Petrina Berry - Courier Mail

Thousands of same-sex supporters have marched on Queensland's Parliament house chanting, "Campbell Newman and LNP, we want equality." The gay, bisexual and transgender community have accused the Queensland government of discrimination after the state government pulled funding for a not-for-profit health service that focuses on supporting gay men with HIV. They are also angry with Premier Campbell Newman who is expected to follow through on an election promise to repeal same-sex civil union laws passed by the ousted Bligh government.

Anglican church's position on same sex marriage

Jacquie Mackay - ABC

A lot of discussion continues around the topic of same sex marriage, with proposals to change the Federal Marriage Act to allow that to happen. However one group that says that such a change would be very difficult for all concerned is the Anglican Church. Bishop Godfrey Fryar the Anglican Bishop of Central Queensland says in his view the Anglican church will stand against any such change to the Marriage Act.

No room for polygamy

Alex Greenwich – The Australian

People such as David van Gend don't trust Australians to have the common sense to distinguish between a same-sex marriage and polygamous or incestuous relationships ("Will incestuous couples want marriage rights?", 30/5).

Abbott's conscientious objection will deliver Greens more power

Alex Greenwich – The Daily Telegraph

Today, a number of NSW Coalition MPs will vote in favour of a motion from Greens' MP Cate Faehrmann that supports gay marriage. They will do this because, as conservatives, they believe in marriage.


Mad dash shows deplorable state of political debate

Tony Wright - SMH

Whole families lie slaughtered in Syria, rape and pillage continues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 5.5 million have died, the world averting its face since a war began in 1998, millions are suddenly unemployed in Europe, manufacturing jobs are collapsing in Australia … and what has us riveted in our Federal Parliament? The Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues all but fall over themselves in a risible rush to escape voting in the House of Representatives.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Prostitution barred from school zones in legislation backflip

Greg Kelton - Adelaide Now

Legal brothels must be more than 50m from schools, kindergartens or churches in the city - and 200m in the suburbs - under compromises to proposed legislation to decriminalise prostitution. The legislation, which previously had no restrictions on brothel locations, will also make it illegal to employ minors for sex work or to force people into prostitution. Sex workers will be given access to worker's compensation laws.

Child prostitution ring arrests

Lisa Herbertson - Liverpool Leader

Six people were charged last week in relation to an alleged child prostitution ring in the Warwick Farm area. Strike Force Woodvale, comprising Liverpool detectives, was set up in February to investigate alleged child prostitution in the area. About 7am on Thursday, detectives went to a Warwick Farm address and arrested two sisters, aged 22 and 19.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christians Should "Convert, Pay Tribute, or Leave," Says Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Candidate?

Raymond Ibrahim - Gatestone Institute

According to the popular Egyptian website, El Bashayer, Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, just declared that he will "achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya," the additional Islamic tax, or financial tribute, required of non-Muslims, or financial tribute. In a brief report written by Samuel al-Ashay and published by El Bashayer on May 27, Morsi allegedly made these comments while speaking with a journalist at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, adding "We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq [his contending presidential candidate] or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt."


Politics no answer for Anglican malaise

James Grant - Brisbane Times

Following his Easter Media statement Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier was widely criticized for an unsophisticated attack on the Australian Banking System. Certainly, over the last five years or so, many observers have noticed an increasing tendency by Anglicans to comment on political and economic issues with very little in-depth knowledge or insight. To an informed outsider, this appears foolhardy and irresponsible. It provides grounds for the public at large to discount the Church’s voice and lowers whatever respect may exist for Anglicanism.

Mitt Romney’s nomination marks milestone for Mormon faith

Sandhya Somashekhar and Jason Horowitz - Wahington Post

America quietly observed a major milestone in its history Tuesday when Mitt Romney became the first Mormon presidential nominee of a major political party. The achievement comes four years after a spate of firsts, culminating with the election of the first African American president. This one has been greeted with little fanfare. And that is just how Romney and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints want it. But whether they want to call attention to it or not, Romney’s achievement is historic. Nearly 200 years after the founding of Mormonism by Joseph Smith, who himself ran for president to call attention to his flock’s persecution, Romney’s nomination signals how far his faith, and the country’s acceptance of it, has come.