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.




Judge: Bishops must refer sex-trafficking victims for abortion

Steven Ertelt - LifeNews

A federal judge has issued a ruling concerning a grant the nation’s Catholic bishops received from the federal government and said the bishops can’t accept the funds because they do not refer victims of sex-trafficking for abortions. The Obama administration, last year, revoked the grant to the bishops because they would not victimize women a second time with abortions.

Charities & NFP

Salvos launch 2012 Red Shield Appeal with $81.5 million target

Christian Post

The Salvation Army will today launch its 2012 Red Shield Appeal, and with a national fundraising target of $81.5 million, The Salvation Army will be looking to the Australian community and business sector once again for support. In the first of several national launch events leading up to the doorknock on 19 - 20 May, today’s event will kick off the Red Shield Appeal with a luncheon at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel. The event is expected to be attended by around 500 of Sydney’s business leaders, with Coca Cola Amatil’s Director of Media and Public Affairs, Sally Loane, conducting a special interview for guests with Mr Leigh Clifford, AO, Chairman of Qantas Airways.

Children & Family

So a lack of smacks WAS behind the attacks

Anthony Sharwood - The Punch

In the midst of the UK riots last year, The Punch was one of many Australian media outlets which offered a series of thoughtful pieces as to why the riots occurred. No one was big-headed or stupid enough to offer a single definitive cause, for the very good reason that there wasn’t one. But we added what analysis we could into the great public melting pot of opinion. At the time, our efforts attracted scorn from the ABC’s self-appointed media guardian Jonathan Holmes. “It’s all so clear from the other side of the world,” he harrumphed on Media Watch. Not to gloat or anything, but it turns out the media was right and Holmes was wrong. A report handed down by an independent government-appointed panel overnight in Britain entitled The Verdict on the UK Riots, shows that many of the causes posited by Australian journalists and commenters were spot on.


News Ltd website breached race law

Ben Butler - The Age

News Limited breached racial discrimination laws by publishing on its Perthnow website ''utterly offensive'' reader comments that attacked four Aboriginal boys killed after crashing a stolen car, a court has found. It is the second time in six months that the embattled media giant has been found in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act over material it has published about Aborigines.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

We can't keep them in the dark

Clem Newton-Brown - SMH

Donor-conceived children must have the right to know who they are and where they came from. If you are a child conceived with donor sperm in Victoria, your right to access information about your biological father depends on the date of your conception. If you were born any time since 1998 you have no problems, as your donor was required to consent to identifying information being released to you.


Will Quebec legalize euthanasia?


A report from a legislative committee in Quebec reads like a pro-euthanasia manifesto, not an unbiased study. Before society responds affirmatively to the call for legalized euthanasia, we will need to provide the public with a more full and open explanation of the case against it. The recent Quebec National Assembly committee report Dying with Dignity fails to do that. Like the previous report of the expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada on this same subject, the Quebec report is not balanced and reads rather like a pro-euthanasia manifesto. The fact that it strongly recommends palliative care does not negate that characterization. The Quebec report takes a purely utilitarian approach to the euthanasia question. In the committee’s estimation, legalizing euthanasia will do more good than harm -- and that justifies allowing it.


Tas Greens in bid to tone down pokies


Greens MP Kim Booth wants poker machines stripped of their colourful exterior, in a bid to curb gambling. His call comes as a new study reveals a drop in gambling rates. Mr Booth told Parliament the Victorian Government had started implementing the strategy which he said was a similar notion to plain packaging for cigarettes.


Report paints depressing picture of homelessness’ impact

Pro Bono

A new report which compares the lives of 1.1 million Australians who have experienced homelessness with the general population paints a stark and depressing picture, according to leading homeless organisation Mission Australia. The report – the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Australian Social Trends (March Quarter 2012) – makes comparisons between the two groups across a range of indicators including: health, employment, lifestyle and financial situation.

Human Rights

Human rights bid for ACT education

Louis Andrews - SMH

The ACT government wants to enshrine education as a human right, taking a ''first step'' towards the radical expansion of the territory's rights regime. Lawmakers will now consider whether to broaden the scope further to include some of the most vexing public policy issues facing governments, such as health and housing. But, under the proposed amendment, Canberrans will not be able to sue public bodies for failing to make sure children can access quality schooling.


Catholic Church mounts national campaign against gay marriage

Lauren Novak - The Advertiser

South Australia's 300,000 Catholics will be asked to join millions around the country in a national church campaign against gay marriage. South Australian Catholic Archbishop, Philip Wilson told The Advertiser last night that he was "in the process of writing to parishioners, encouraging them to send in submissions expressing their concerns".

Catholic church declares war on gay marriage

Matt Johnston - Herald Sun

Victoria's million-plus Catholics will be urged to campaign against gay marriage. Church leaders driving the push say it would undermine family life and damage society.

Bishops agree on sexuality protocol

Sydney Anglicans

The annual meeting of Australian bishops has agreed to a set of protocols on human sexuality, which conforms to the landmark 1998 Lambeth resolutions. Australian bishops, including all Sydney bishops, met in Melbourne this month, several weeks after it was revealed that the Bishop of Gippsland had appointed a male priest living with a partner of the same sex to a ministry position in that diocese.

What makes NC different in gay marriage debate?

Tom Breen - Associated Press

From Texas to Virginia, the South has spoken with almost one voice on same-sex marriage, amending state constitutions to ban the practice in hopes of blocking court decisions that would allow gays and lesbians to marry. It's "almost" one voice because there's a discordant note in the Southern choir. North Carolina, which likes to distinguish itself as a "vale of humility" surrounded by more bombastic neighbors, is the last state in the region without such an amendment. That fact is repeated constantly in the debate over a May 8 referendum when voters will have a chance to change the situation. But while it's bandied about by both sides, it's less clear what the distinction means.


Young gun goes Green

Star Observer

ACT real estate agent, student and drag queen Johnathan Davis describes himself as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. But at just 20, the openly gay Canberran has become the youngest person to be endorsed as a candidate for the ACT Greens.

Tony Abbott given a dressing down

Jessica Marszalek - Herald Sun

Tony Abbott has been accused of demeaning women after he was caught on camera criticising Julia Gillard's wardrobe. Feminist Germaine Greer caused a stir when she told a television panel last week that the Prime Minister wore ill-fitting jackets and had a "big a---". In footage that surfaced yesterday, Mr Abbott said Ms Greer's fashion critique was "right".

Abbott's spoonful of sugar stirs the pot

Jessica Irvine - SMH

There are a lot of very confused feminists out there right now. Tony Abbott, long seen by the sisterhood as Australia's foremost manifestation that we're all just monkeys in clothing - some more hirsute, and scantily-clad, than others- now wants to help women get back to work after childbirth.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

UK: Christian doctor 'sacked for emailing a prayer to hospital colleagues to raise their spirits'

Andy Dolan - Daily Mail

A Christian doctor went to an employment tribunal yesterday claiming he was sacked because he emailed a prayer to his colleagues. David Drew, 64, qualified 40 years ago and rose to become clinical director at the hospital where he worked. But he said he was dismissed after failing to accept an order to ‘refrain from using religious references in his professional communications, verbal or written’.

Sexualisation of Society

Sex, kids and advertising

Clare Kermond - Melton Weekly

Spread before you in a page-length photo is a pretty girl of uncertain age seated on the floor, her legs apart under a pastel party dress, a large flower-shaped bottle held close to her crotch. In another advertisement is a jumble of kids, fully dressed, mucking about and happily eating ice-cream. Which of these advertisements was banned? The second - for Paddle Pop ice-creams.

Nude tours of the Museum of Contemporary Art on offer

Kate Schneider - Daily Telegraph

Have you ever toured an art gallery and had the sudden desire to get closer to the works on display by putting yourself on display - in all your glory? Well now you can. But no cheeky business please! In a move hoped to literally strip the barriers between the artist and audience, an Australian museum is offering nude tours next month as part of an exhibition designed for exhibitionists. Melbourne artist Stuart Ringholt will lead the tour of his new exhibition at the useum of Contemporary Art in Sydney by getting naked - and all those who wish to join the tour must be in the buff.

Studio snaps up film rights to Fifty Shades

Brisbane Times

Universal Pictures and its Focus Features division have purchased the film rights to Fifty Shades of Grey, an erotic e-book that has become a literary sensation, and its two sequels. Centering on an the relationship between a chaste recent college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a 27-year-old billionaire named Christian Grey, E.L. James' Fifty Shades has become a New York Times bestseller exclusively on electronic book platforms, with the novel being read and discussed among circles of women.


Bad habits expose FIFO workers: disease risk from sex drugs and tattoos

Vanessa Mills and Ben Collins - ABC

The fly-in fly-out (FIFO) worker inquiry will hear a submission from the Order of Perpetual Indulgence that FIFO workers are at risk from blood-borne diseases being transmitted by unsafe sex, drug use and Asian tattoo parlours. Les is a FIFO worker who commutes from Perth to Port Hedland. He's also a member of the 'Order of Perpetual Indulgence', an organisation that promotes the prevention of blood borne diseases such as HIV. Les has made a submission to the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into the impact of a fly-in fly-out workforce.

Special Religious Education celebrated at Parliament House, Sydney

Bible Society News

Special Religious Education (SRE) or “Scripture” teachers were celebrated Thursday afternoon in a special gathering at Parliament House in Sydney. The gathering is the first of an annual celebration of SRE promised by the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli. “It is important to ensure quality time for these classes,” Piccoli told the SRE teachers in the strangers’ dining room. He described himself as an “active advocate for SRE in public schools”.

A Catholic third way: Pope Benedict and the crisis of global capitalism

Adrian Pabst - ABC Religion

The year 2011 witnessed a new wave of protest movements and unprecedented popular outrage across the globe. From the protests in North Africa and the Middle East to the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States to the camps outside St Paul's Cathedral in London and Moscow, demonstrators have expressed a deep-seated anger at global finance that is shared by many. Worldwide, there is an implicit, inchoate awareness that big government and big business have colluded at the expense of the people. Both central bureaucratic states and unbridled markets are disembedded from the mediating institutions of civil society, and civil society is subjugated to the global secular "market-state."

Don't hurry the baby: study

Jordanna Schriever - Herald Sun

Inducing the birth of a baby when it was not medically necessary increased the risk of complications for both mother and child, a new study shows. The Australian research found women who had inductions were more likely to require caesarean sections and their babies were more likely to need medical care. It comes as the rate of induction has increased in Australia, from 19.5 per cent in 1991 to about 25 per cent.