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

The loss that may not speak its name

Dale O'Leary - MercatorNet

Children are not as able to adapt to "family diversity" as easily as gay activists claim. Same-sex parenting has intrinsic flaws and deficits that exacerbate the risks intrinsic to adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate parenting, and foster care. Each child acquired by a same-sex couple is either fatherless or motherless because of adult decisions. All the “tolerance of diversity” in the world cannot change the facts on the ground.

Divorced people 'are poorer'


Divorce is bad for your bank account, particularly for those who stay single, new research shows. With divorced single men having $762,000 less in assets at age 55 than those who have stayed married, and divorced single women having about $645,000 less than women who have stayed married, the research shows a bleak financial outlook for divorcees. The joint research conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Australian National University and the University of Queensland involved almost 7700 households from 2001 to 2010.


Believers among Colorado shooting victims and Christian media expert weighs in on causes of violence

Michael Ireland - Assist News

Christian media scholar and family values advocate Dr. Ted Baehr responded to the news of the shooting massacre. “The shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises will be blamed on many things,” said Dr. Baehr. “One reporter who called me this morning blamed it on violence in movies. Certainly, violence in movies, television, and video games has had a tremendous impact on society. Over 500,000 studies, capped by the latest Dartmouth University study, show that violence in the media influences susceptible youths to commit violence.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Gay parents deny children birthright


A Queensland group says laws permitting same-sex couples to have children through surrogacy deny children the right to be raised by both a mother and a father. The Family Council of Children was responding to the launch of a lobby group protesting moves to ban same-sex couples from having children through surrogacy. The Liberal National Party (LNP) government has announced its intention to ban gay couples, singles and new de facto couples from having children through altruistic surrogacy.


NSW ups the ante on school funding

Andrew Stevenson - SMH

The NSW government has stolen a march on the Commonwealth, outlining a new education financing model before federal cabinet can agree on a formal response to the Gonski review of school funding. In term four this year NSW will implement a resource allocation model in 229 schools, providing a base allocation for every school and loadings for those with indigenous students, those with disabilities, low proficiency in English or from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Federal legislators promote abstinence education

Karla Dial - Citizen Link

A subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a spending bill for the 2013 fiscal year that increases funding for abstinence education and decreases it for contraceptive-based sex education — which would put the two on equal footing for the first time since President Obama took office. Under the bill passed by the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations subcommittee, both models would be allocated $20 million in FY13. Previously, sexual risk avoidance (SRA) abstinence models received only $5 million, while programs emphasizing contraception received $100 million.


Tasmanian Forestry negotiators ask for deadline extension


Negotiators in the Tasmanian forest dispute have failed to reach an agreement and have asked for a two-week extension to finalise a deal to reduce native forest logging in the state. For almost two years conservation groups and the industry have been trying to find common ground. Today was the deadline imposed by the State and Federal governments to reach agreement on what areas would be protected.


Addicts link anti-depression drug to gambling habit

Guy Stayner - ABC

Problem gamblers - including one who stole $800,000 to feed her pokies habit - say an anti-depressant drug may have a connection to their habit. Efexor is a drug used to prevent and treat a relapse of depression. As yet, there is no clinical proof linking gambling addiction to Efexor.


Outer-suburban Labor MPs lean against gay marriage

Ean Higgins - The Australian

Labor advocates of same-sex marriage point to opinion polls that show most Australians support it and, in the trendy inner-city seats of Grayndler, held by Anthony Albanese, and Sydney, held by Tanya Plibersek -- both of which have high Greens votes -- as well as the comfortable eastern beaches seat of Kingsford-Smith held by Peter Garrett, the local members have come out in support. Outside these seats, however, it's a very different story.

Rights, religion and entitlements to law

Jocelynne Scutt - On Line Opinion

Yet again, women are forced to take up the struggle against the imposition of religion and the notion that women are and should be subject to male authority. The male authority here in issue is that of the husband and, in defence of male right through the husband, religion. In this case, the mosque and sharia law. On 11 July 2012 The Age reported that a Melbourne mosque published on its Facebook website advice that polygamy ‘is better’ than divorce: ‘If your husband is telling you that he wants to take another wife and you are not doing the right thing by him, then know that he is thinking straight and using a weapon that doesn’t have severe consequences.’

Overseas Aid

Sierra Leone battles cholera outbreak

Dan Wooding - ASSIST News

A one-time Australian rock star who is now a missionary in Sierra Leone, has told the ASSIST News Service that Sierra Leone’s health ministry on Wednesday has announced that an outbreak of cholera in the West African country has killed 62 people in less than a month. He is Fr. Dr. Themi Adams, who told ANS that he western area, including the capital Freetown, and three towns in the northern and southern parts of the country have now been declared cholera outbreak areas.

Hunger: Hope shines despite West Africa food crisis

Gabrielle Brophy - Sight Magazine

West Africa is in the grip of a crippling drought. About 18.7 million people across the Sahel region are affected by a serious food and nutrition crisis. More than one million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. The United Nations report that it will cost about $1.6 billion to deal with the crisis in West Africa, but to date only 49 per cent of that amount has been raised. Niger is one of the worst affected countries with 6.4 million people at risk of hunger. World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello has just returned from Niger where despite the suffering he saw many people carrying a sense of hope. Hope that the rains would bring new crops and that they would not suffer the number of deaths seen in East Africa.


Same old political garbage

Shaun Carney - The Age

Based on Adam Bandt's post-byelection comments, there is one rule for the Greens and another for everyone else. The Greens member for the federal seat of Melbourne, Adam Bandt, has been a parliamentarian for less than two years but he already knows how to speak the same political garbage that voters have been hearing from the major parties for too long.

Gillard won't fall on her sword

Matthew Franklin - The Australian

Kevin Rudd's supporters keep repeating the same phrase: the clock is ticking. With Julia Gillard having promised a recovery in opinion polls from the horrific 30 per cent level after the introduction of the carbon tax at the start of this month, Rudd supporters insist that, when there is no recovery, the Prime Minister must fall on her sword "for the good of the party".

NT Labor polling shows victory in sight

Nigel Adlam - NT News

Labor is increasingly confident of winning the Territory election - despite what the bookmakers say. Two NT-based bookies, Centrebet and Sportingbet, have put the CLP at $1.60 and Labor at $2.30.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex worker appeals ban on using motel bed

Petrina Berry -

A Queensland tribunal has debated whether lawful sex workers who rent out hotel rooms are any different to travelling solicitors or accountants. Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal members made the comparison while considering a sex worker's appeal against an anti-discrimination case she lost last year. The Gold Coast woman, known as GK, had sought $30,000 in compensation against Evan and Joan Hartley, the owners of Moranbah's Drovers Rest Motel, for refusing her a room after they became aware she was bringing clients to the motel.


Six years' jail for people smuggler

Yahoo news

A 66-year-old Indonesian boat captain has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail after pleading guilty to people smuggling. The Supreme Court in Brisbane heard Niko Selu was paid about $1,200 for captaining a boat from Indonesia to Australia in February 2010. On board were 45 asylum seekers from Afghanistan and one from Iran.

New unit to police asylum seekers

Ellie Turne - NT News

Northern Territory police will nudge the starting gun on a new taskforce to help tackle immigration detention centre riots after beefing up its ranks with a large recruitment drive. Almost 100 serving NT coppers will build up the Special Operations Command, as rookies and experienced recruits - including some nabbed across the Tasman Sea - begin to graduate from training.

Sexualisation of Society

Ex-ABC host to plead guilty to child porn counts

Andrew Darby - The Age

Former ABC presenter Andrew Muirhead is to plead guilty in a long-running child pornography case, a court heard today. Muirhead, 35, was charged in 2010 with using the internet for child pornography and possessing child-exploitation material. The former host of the popular TV series The Collectors entered not guilty pleas, maintained through a series of appearances and preliminary hearings.


The issue Australian Christians and politics


Labor it seems has hung on, just, against the green tide, and the showdown was given a little extra colour with the emergence of a new contender, a party with national aspirations, calling itself Australian Christians. But just where does it fit in the mix? From Christian Democrats, to Family First and the venerable DLP, what are the lessons to be learned when Religion plays in the down and dirty world of party politics.

Churches call for global clampdown on arms

Christian Today

Four global church bodies have issued a statement calling upon government leaders to reach agreement on arms. A four-week conference got underway earlier in the month on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. The treaty would regulate the international arms trade and clamp down on the transfer of weapons to criminal and terrorist groups. The World Evangelical Alliance, World Council of Churches, Pax Christi International and Caritas urge the government representatives to take action to control the movement of weapons and ammunition.

SA Attorney-General John Rau vows to crackdown on lobbyists after an ICAC formed

Daniel Wills - AdelaideNow

Attorney-General John Rau has called for swift approval of legislation to create a corruption watchdog. And, Mr Rau says he is willing to consider a lobbyist crackdown once it is passed. Family First MP Rob Brokenshire is pushing for changes to the legislation for an independent commission against corruption (ICAC) to give "teeth" to anti-lobbying regulations.

Biblical voice wins struggling poet $80,000 inaugural prize

Susan Wyndham - SMH

As Luke Davis checked out of his Canberra hotel to attend the Prime Minister's Literary Awards yesterday, he wondered if his credit card would bounce and thought of saying, "I'm just going across the road to pick up a cheque from the Prime Minister". An hour later at the National Library, Julia Gillard handed him a cheque for $80,000 when she announced that his book Interferon Psalms was the winner of the inaugural Prime Minister's Award for Poetry - established after years of complaint and campaigning by poets.

Abbott speech laments White Australia policy

John Garnaut - Sydney Morning Herald

Tony Abbott will use his only set-piece speech in China this morning to lament the ''embarrassment'' of the White Australia policy, as he moves to reconcile his advocacy for Anglo-world values with the realities of Chinese immigration and power. The Opposition Leader, who was feted like a prime minister-in-waiting, will outline his vision for balancing what is simultaneously Australia's most important economic relationship and its most vexing security challenge.