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.



Athiest Richard Dawkins suggests unborn children are 'less human' than pigs

Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post

"With respect to those meanings of 'human' that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig," Dawkins, who is an evolutionary biologist, posted on March 13. In response to Tweets questioning his reasoning, the author of The God Delusion tried to explain that he wasn't arguing that pigs have human DNA, but that this point concerned solely the morality of abortion: "Of course potential to be human is among fetus' qualities. But my pig comparison was careful to specify 'relevant to morality of abortion.'"

Children & Family

Baby bonus cuts attract little concern

Patricia Karvelas - The Australian

A Senate committee looking at the cuts to the baby bonus has been underwhelmed by concern, with only three organisations putting in submissions in all, and only one opposing the change. When submissions closed on Friday, The Australian saw that only one organisation had lodged a submission.

Parents in the dark about problem childcare centres

Fiona Hudson - Herald Sun

More than 60 Victorian childcare centres are on a secret watch list over fears youngsters could be at risk - but parents are not allowed to know which ones. A Herald Sun investigation has found two pre-schools, 40 long day care, 12 after-hours care, and 10 family day care services are subject to extra monitoring over quality concerns. Officials are also probing at least 11 "high priority" incidents that occurred at childcare centres in recent months.

Fear FIFO dollar signs masking mental stress

Rick Morton - The Australian

A boom-time for fly-in, fly-out workers in the resources economy has led to concerns about the mental wellbeing of transitory workers, prompting some of Australia's largest companies to expand support services for struggling workers and their families. The Australian revealed yesterday about 100,000 workers fly or drive long distances for work in the resource and resource-allied sectors, but the true effect on workers had become clear at the highest levels of business only in the past three years.

Drugs & Alcohol

Paying through the nose for cocaine

Kate Hagan - SMH

Cocaine is a ''luxury'' product in Australia, with users paying as much as four times for the drug as those in Britain, a global drug survey finds. The survey, conducted in Australia this year in partnership with Fairfax Media, found that about 20 per cent of the 6600 Australian respondents had used cocaine in the past year, and 45 per cent had taken it in their lifetime.


Sky fall: gender ideology comes to the schoolhouse

Adam J. MacLeod and Andrew Beckwith - Mercator Net

Since redefining marriage requires us to deny sexual differences, even school children now have to conform to that principle at the risk of punishment. In our discussions with advocates of redefining marriage, we often hear that defenders of marriage and sexual difference are overreacting to cultural and legal changes. “You run around yelling that the sky is falling,” we’re told. “We’ve had same-sex marriage for a decade now in Massachusetts, and guess what: The sky is not falling.” This is not an argument, of course, but an attempt to end any discussion of what it would mean to remove sexual distinctions from the law.


NSW govt scores 'F' on conservation: group


The NSW government has scored an "F" for national parks and wildlife conservation in a report card by the state's leading environmental groups. The report card draws on an analysis of the state's ecosystem protection efforts over the past two years, led by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC). NSW was marked two out of 10, equivalent to an "F", largely because of controversial decisions by Premier Barry O'Farrell government, including allowing hunting in national parks and funding cuts to nature resource management.


Exit forum heads to Hobart

Helen Kempton - The Mercury

New ways of ensuring a peaceful death will be on show in Hobart this weekend as debate over euthanasia laws continues in Tasmania. Exit International director Philip Nitschke wants Tasmania to have Australia's first mobile medically assisted suicide clinic if the state's euthanasia laws are changed. Dr Nitschke says a new nitrogen euthanasia system will also be launched at the Glenorchy workshop on Saturday

Euthanasia bill divides doctors


A move to introduce voluntary euthanasia in Tasmania is causing a split among doctors. A GP who supports the move says the state president of the Australian Medical Association is speaking for himself when he describes it as state-sanctioned murder. AMA head Dr John Davis also says he does not think any Tasmanian doctors would be willing to assist a terminally ill patient die.


'Alarming' levels of gambling ads during NRL games


Former Knights player and gambling researcher Ashley Gordon says he is alarmed at the amount of gambling being advertised during television coverage of NRL games. Before, during and after the televised matches, viewers are provided with the odds for a variety of different ways to place a bet. Last year Mr Gordon also raised concerns about the level of gambling among players and called on the NRL to do more to address the issue.

Tom Waterhouse believed to have been offered $500m for bookmaking business

Ray Thomas - The Daily Telegraph

Betting's "everywhere man" Tom Waterhouse is believed to have been offered at least $500 million to sell his thriving bookmaking business. A leading UK-based betting operator is rumoured to have made the substantial offer to buy out the nation's biggest individual bookmaker. But Waterhouse, 30, is remaining tight-lipped about the industry speculation and his spokesman gave only a firm "no comment" when asked by News Limited about the takeover bid.

Throsby MP urges sports clubs to implement ban on gambling ads

Ainslie Drewitt Smith - ABC

The member for Throsby is calling on a ban of gambling advertisements during sports matches and says he'd like to see sporting codes take responsibility and implement the ban. Stephen Jones has launched an online petition outlining his concerns and says he'd like to see sporting codes voluntarily ban betting advertising during match time. "From whistle to whistle, I'd like to see no promotion of gambling.


O’Dwyer backs same-sex marriage

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun

I think she is profoundly wrong, not least by deciding something so vital on the basis of whatever is popular today, but I understand the difficulty of opposing same-sex marriage when you have family members who are gay: Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer has declared her support for same sex marriage and predicted that the Coalition’s position on the issue will ‘’evolve in step with society’s views’’. Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Ms O’Dwyer revealed members of her family were currently unable to marry.

If two lesbians, why not two sisters?

Carolyn Moynihan - Mercator Net

If marriage is all about love, commitment and stability, why can't I marry my sister? New Zealand’s Marriage Act 1955 does not define marriage; no-one then thought it necessary to define what was self-evident, anywhere. As the agitation for same-sex marriage grew, however, the United States federal government passed the Defence of Marriage Act in 1996 defining marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, a move ratified by the majority of states. In New Zealand that did not happen and marriage revisionists have seized the initiative to define marriage in a way that would accommodate same-sex couples. A bill for this purpose was introduced last August by Labour Party list MP Louisa Wall.

Overseas Aid

Australia offers Myanmar extra aid

Paul Osborne - AAP

Australia has rewarded Myanmar for its progress on human rights by extending defence ties and offering extra support for trade and investment. Human rights activists, who are holding rallies outside the Myanmar embassy and Parliament House in Canberra on Monday, say the two countries are ignoring human rights violations.

Thinking small lifts hope for Australian aid program in Afghanistan

Paul McGeough - SMH

Australian NGOs willingly fan out across the globe, taking health, education and other services to the oppressed and downtrodden, but when the Australian military rolled into Oruzgan just a single NGO followed. Save the Children [Australia] is here, spearheading a Canberra-funded $36 million aid program that already reaches into more than 700 villages.


Bob Carr denies he has lost faith in Prime Minister Julia Gillard as Labor leader

Ben Packham - The Australian

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr has denied he no longer supports Julia Gillard, saying a Fairfax article alleging he has lost confidence in the Prime Minister is incorrect. "The Prime Minister has my unqualified support," he said this morning in Washington. "I wish I'd been asked to comment on that article before it appeared. She has my support and I think the media is in a frenzy of speculation, and it's speculation that's feeding on itself." The article, which leads the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said Senator Carr had "told colleagues he lost confidence in Ms Gillard some time ago.

Print media chiefs unite against Labor changes

David Crowe - The Australian

Australia's three biggest print media bosses have combined to attack Labor's plans to oversee press standards, warning publishers face a "nuclear option" that could make journalism impossible. Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood, News Limited chief Kim Williams, and Seven West chairman Kerry Stokes blasted the media package as a Senate committee examined the reforms today. Mr Hywood warned the powers of Labor's planned public interest media advocate were too broad and would be subject to direct political influence.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Intolerance again takes its toll in Pakistan

Amanda Hodge - The Australi n

Joseph Colony has been crawling with police this past week, guarding entry points to the ruins of this closely built Christian suburb and patrolling the tent city that now houses its traumatised residents. But they were nowhere to be found when a hundreds-strong mob descended on the Lahore enclave 11 days ago with matches and bottles of flammable chemicals and burned it to the ground.

Missionary beaten in Pakistan; hundreds of Christians remain homeless

Catholic Culture

Naeem Bhadhar, a Presbyterian pastor and missionary, was several beaten by Muslim extremists after he tried to organize a protest in Kalaswala, a village 85 miles from Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city. The attack on Bhadhar came less than a week after a mob of 3,000 Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Lahore and set fire to 120 homes. The “poor Christians of the neighborhood are now living in the streets, desperate for food and other needs,” Lahore’s Daily Times reported. “Their children cannot attend school or college due to the destruction and fear.”

Sexualisation of Society

Rushing kids into adulthood

Pippa Gardner - Today Tonight

Parents believe childhood ends at 12-years-old and blame pressure from friends, celebrity culture and social media for rushing kids into adulthood. These days children are bombarded with sexual messaging in everything from cartoons, magazines, games, advertising and music videos.

An American tragedy in Steubenville

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach - Huffington Post

A significant number of American values failures came together to create the tragedy in Stuebenville, where two teenage High School football stars, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl. Foremost among them is the American tragedy of sexualizing teen girls at an age where they are not yet women. Madonna sexualized herself in her mid-twenties. Brittney Spears brought the age down to about eighteen. Not young enough for you? Miley Cyrus reduced it further to sixteen. One wonders when our culture will feel that even sixteen is not a young enough age to sexually exploit girls.