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.



Dear MSNBC: Do a series on Human Life 101

Sheila Liaugminas - Mercator Net

I was considering making that a question as a header. But there’s no question. Not when things like this still turn up in what some people still consider ‘mainstream media.’ During a recent MSNBC show on abortion, [host] Melissa Harris-Perry made a comment that will surely make people wonder whether she has any grasp on the science behind fetal development. Harris-Perry talked about how much it costs “to have this thing turn into a human” when referring to an unborn baby. During the rest of her talk she “accidentally” breaks a model of a fertilized egg, claims there is no science supporting the notion that unborn children are human beings, and dismissively refers to babies.

Children & Family

Removing the gloss from the 'retro wife'

Amy Gray - The Drum ABC

The "retro wife" trend is a fiction that fails to recognise why it is that mothers often choose to stay at home with their children, writes Amy Gray. "Feminism has fizzled, its promise only half-fulfilled." It's a rather provocative statement that sits at the core of New York magazine's latest cover story, "The Retro Wife" by Lisa Miller. According to Miller, there is a new trend of women embracing the retro wife archetype because they believe women are better parents and because the labour involved in working and raising a family is too hard to manage.

Kim Carr savages single-mum cuts

Patricia Karvelas - The Australian

Former human services minister Kim Carr has declared Labor's controversial cuts forcing single mothers on to the dole a mistake, saying efforts to save $700 million had triggered a debate about the inadequacy of Newstart that could potentially cost the budget billions. Writing for The Australian today, Senator Carr questions the fairness of cutting single mothers off their higher income-support payments, putting tens of thousands on to the lower Newstart allowance.

Childlessness hits men the hardest

Perth Now

Researchers found men are almost as likely as women to want children, and if they don't have them they feel more isolated, depressed, angry and sad. Cultural and family expectations were among the main influences on men's wish to have children. For childless women it was personal desire and biological urge.


Stop calling dads incompetent

Kasey Edwards - Daily Life

If we want men to step up and take responsibility for childcare and domestic work then we need to stop telling them that they can't, or reducing them to the butt of jokes when they try. Advertising and media that depict men as clueless insult those who are involved and active fathers. It also creates a gendered escape route for the men who want to shirk childcare and domestic responsibilities, by perpetuating the notion that it's a woman's domain.

Drugs & Alcohol

Synthetic drugs: Legal is one thing, safe another

Haley Sheridan - Hunter Valley News

Rehabilitation centres in the Hunter Valley and Central Coast are reporting an increase in cases of synthetic drug addiction. The Glen – a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Rothbury and on the Central Coast- has experienced up to a 25 per cent increase in admissions to the clinics for synthetic drug addiction treatment in the past year.

Binge drinkers face liver transplants

Cathy O'Leary - The West Australian

WA's top liver doctors are warning of a looming disaster from the State's binge-drinking culture, as more people face the prospect of premature liver damage and the need for a transplant. They say the short-term damage from drunken behaviour such as injuries and assaults is well-publicised but the longer term health impact is being largely ignored.


Legal bid to halt Tarkine mine

Helen Kempton - The Mercury

A fresh shot has been fired in the war between conservationists and miners in Tasmania's Tarkine region. The Tarkine National Coalition has lodged a case in the Federal Court seeking a judicial review of Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke's decision to grant environmental approval to Shree Minerals proposed iron ore mine at Temma.

Abbott to 'shoot messenger' on climate

Ben Cubby - The Age

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he ''suspects'' Tim Flannery, the head of Australia's Climate Commission, would be made redundant if Mr Abbott becomes prime minister. Mr Abbott has pledged to abolish the Climate Commission - the federal government's agency for explaining climate science to the public - if elected, along with repealing the carbon price. ''When the carbon tax goes, all of those bureaucracies will go and I suspect we might find that the particular position you refer to goes with them,'' Mr Abbott told Macquarie Radio on Wednesday.


Doctor provides guide to illicit drug website to assist suicide

Daniel Piotrowski – The Daily Telegraph

It's called Silk Road and it's one of the internet's most secretive destinations. It is an online black market for illicit drugs like ecstasy and cocaine that is the scourge of law enforcement and Customs. Silk Road is a shadowy website with an often shadowy clientele. But Dr Philip Nitschke, a prominent euthanasia advocate who is one of Australia's most controversial doctors and often referred to as "Doctor Death", has found an unusual audience for the service – the elderly.


Belly up? No, that's just the punters doing their dough

Peter FitzSimons - SMH

If it please the court! Yes, Your Honour, over here. If it please the court, despite being sued for defamation by Tom Waterhouse, I should like to say a few delicate and hopefully well-chosen words in response to the plaintiff's mother's extraordinary outburst at the weekend. I table an article carried in the News Limited press, on Sunday, headlined ''LEAVE MY BOY ALONE!'' where the famous horse-racing trainer did what mothers do - at least when their children are still in primary school and can't speak for themselves - which is to robustly and publicly defend her child against the flood of criticism he has endured lately.

Homelessness & Poverty

State Government's car parking tax to force St Luke's Church to cut emergency food program

Tim Williams - Adelaide Now

A city church says it would be forced to axe its emergency food relief service because of the State Government's proposed parking tax. St Luke's Church on Whitmore Square generates $72,000 a year by leasing its 60 parking spaces to city workers for $100 a month. The church says the tax, which would charge carpark owners $750 per space, would deprive it of $45,000. St Luke's office manager Shaun McGrath said without the parking revenue the church would have to close its emergency service, which last year supplied 1500 food packages to struggling families, migrants and refugees.

Marriage did it go? Summarizing the marriage trials at the Supreme Court

Christian Post

As I walked out of the Supreme Court last Tuesday, I had the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Samuel Alito in my ears. During the oral arguments in the Prop 8 case, Justice Kennedy said at one point, “We have 5 years of information [about same-sex marriage] to weigh against 2,000 years of history, or more [about marriage] … the problem with this case is that [the advocates of same-sex marriage are] really asking … for us to go into unchartered waters …” And Justice Alito similarly pointed out, “Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is very new…[s]o there isn’t a lot of data about its effects…but [the advocates of same-sex marriage] want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of [same-sex marriage] which is newer than cell phones or the Internet?”


Senate run must be more than a get-out-of-jail card for Assange

Jane Andrew - The Conversation

Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party is gathering momentum ahead of this year’s federal election. Prominent barrister and political figure Greg Barns has been announced as the party’s national campaign director, while it has secured a Melbourne-based headquarters and attracted donations of up to A$100,000. But what could a man like Julian Assange achieve within the orthodox structures of parliament?

Labor MPs dump ALP branding in campaign material

Daniel Piotrowski - News Ltd

Politicians are prowling for votes in their electorates in the lead-up to the federal election, but good luck finding the word "Labor" in the campaign material of senior Government figures. Labor party branding is conspicuously absent from double-sided pamphlet distributed by Federal Minister for Schools Peter Garrett this week. Instead, campaign material describes the former Midnight Oil frontman as a “strong voice for our community” who will fight Liberal plans to slash funding to education and the local hospital.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egyptian Muslim cleric: ‘I hate Christians and am disgusted by them’

Raymond Ibrahim - Front Page News

Dr. Abdullah Badr—an Egyptian Muslim scholar, Al Azhar graduate, and professor of Islamic exegesis, who spent ten years in prison under Mubarak, but, along with any number of Islamic terrorists and agitators, was released under Morsi—recently gave an excellent summation of the second half of the highly divisive Muslim doctrine of wala’ wa bara’ (or, “Love and Hate”)—namely, that the true Muslim should love and help fellow Muslims, while hating and being disgusted by non-Muslims.

Egypt becoming a nightmare for Muslim Brothers

Zvi Mazellast - JPost

For the Muslim Brotherhood, the long awaited dream come true is turning into a nightmare. Having survived 80 years of persecution to achieve power democratically, they suddenly find themselves the focus of widespread popular hatred. Never have Egyptians been in such dire economic traits. Such is the depth of the economic, social and political crisis that the threat of civil war appears all too real. Most commentators believe the army won’t let things go that far and will step in; however the road back to recovery and a civilian regime accepted by all will be long and arduous. Civil disobedience is rampant.


What Christianity feels like: The Chronicles of Narnia and the power of myth

Alister McGrath - ABC Religion and Ethics

Why are C.S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia" - especially their showcase opener, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - so popular, fifty years after their author's death? Many answers might be given, from the obvious fact that they are stories well told, to the suggestion that they call us back to a los childhood. But perhaps there is something deeper going on here.

No more suffering in silence for sexually abused

Janet Fife-Yeomans - The Daily Telegraph

The long-suffering victims of child sex abuse will finally be given a voice after decades of suffering in silence. It's expected more than 5000 will relive their harrowing ordeals as the royal commission into institutionalised sex abuse against children began yesterday. The six commissioners, headed by Justice Peter McClellan, said the victims - of all ages and backgrounds - would no longer be ignored and the commissioners were expecting to hear "serious and often shocking allegations".

Truth Justice and Healing Council members announced

Catholic News

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) President Archbishop Denis Hart and Catholic Religious Australia Chair Sr Annette Cunliffe RSC have announced the members of the Truth Justice and Healing Council (TJHC). The TJHC will oversee the Catholic Church's engagement with the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, an ACBC Media Release says. Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Council, welcomed the announcement saying the 13 member Council is made up of men and women with professional and other expertise, especially across child sexual abuse, paedophilia, trauma, mental illness, suicide and public policy.