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
Time to walk away from beyondblue Mr Kennett

Doug Pollard - ABC

In June 2008 Jeff Kennett told the world he would step down from the chairmanship of beyondblue at the end of 2010. Then in July that same year the ex-premier ran into a storm of criticism for comparing a bisexual football trainer to a paedophile. Since then we have heard no more about his much-longed-for retirement from the 'national depression initiative'.

Drugs & Alcohol
Join campaign not to drink

Lyn Uhlmann - Baysidebulletin

With growing community concern about alcohol and drug related violence and crime, local parent Paul Stanley is urging Redland residents to support Life Education’s Ocsober campaign. The annual campaign encourages adults to give up alcohol for the month of October, to help raise money for Life Education – the charity that, for more than 30 years and with mascot Healthy Harold the giraffe, has been teaching Australian children how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle by resisting participation in drug and alcohol abuse.

Stanhope lashes CPSU over needle exchange

Former ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope has attacked unions campaigning against a proposed needle exchange program in Canberra's prison. A report by the Public Health Association's Michael Moore recommends a syringe exchange program be established at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. The ACT Government supports the idea and is still weighing up its options, with a decision expected to be made by the end of the year.

Bad Choice, Almost Dead
Barney Zwartz - The Age

Out of England, source of so many insanities of political correctness, comes a report that the BBC’s ethics specialists have urged presenters to drop BC and AD for ''religiously neutral'' BCE and CE.

Bishop speaks, but not necessarily to Catholic clubs

Jennifer Harrison and Hendry Wan refer to the apparent silence from the churches on the poker machine issue. The Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, wrote a full-page article for the August issue of the Catholic Outlook, headed ''Don't gamble with our future''. He says: ''Sometimes gambling is far from harmless. Australian Catholic Bishops recently expressed themselves 'painfully aware' of the damage that problem gambling, especially problem poker machine gambling, causes for many people.''

AFL clubs 'win' in pokie reform
Jason Dowling - The Age

Most AFL clubs in Victoria are likely to be no worse off in terms of poker machine revenue even if Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie gets his way on a mandatory pre-commitment system, research shows.

Human Rights
Feminism's front-line killer blow

Clive Hamilton - The Age

Sending women into battle alongside men is no victory for liberation. With women to take on combat roles in the military, it is time to sound the Last Post over the rotting corpse of feminism. It's not the moulding of women's bodies into combat readiness that gives the game away, but what has to be done to their minds.

Coalition signals bid to change race laws breached by columnist Andrew Bolt
Lanai Vasek - The Australian

The Coalition has signalled it will try to amend the Racial Discrimination Act in government, branding it a "terrible statute" after News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching the law. Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis said the judgment, handed down in the Federal Court yesterday, would limit freedom of speech and political discussion. “The fact is today in Australia we are not free and journalists, commentators, ordinary citizens are not free, to make critical or unpopular remarks in the course of ordinary political exchange and I think that's a terrible thing,” Senator Brandis told Sky News.

Section 18C has no place in a society that values freedom of expression
George Brandis – The Australian

When, in 1995, the Keating government amended the Racial Discrimination Act to outlaw "racial vilification", the opposition warned that the prohibition went too far. Then Liberal Senate leader Robert Hill said the language of the amendment, "by making it unlawful for a person to do an act in public that is reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people if that act is done because of the race of the offended person or persons . . . presents an unacceptable threat to civil liberties in Australia".

Indigenous issues
Indigenous leader condemns inaction on APY

Michael Owen - The Australian

Indigenous leader Lowitja O'Donoghue yesterday expressed her frustration at inaction in remote South Australian Aboriginal communities, calling for an ombudsman to act as an "honest broker to kick the butts" of governments and ministers who were concerned only about re-election.

Marriage is one big earner

Ray Beatty - Herald Sun

If your business has been running a bit slow in its profits or growth, maybe you ought to look at marriage. No, I cast no aspersions on your current relationship - rather, the money to be made out of splicing the knot. Marriage seems to be one of the armour-plated, recession-proof products in this world and, believe it or not, Australians are marrying more than ever - with ever-increasing cost.

Overseas Aid
Kevin Rudd pledges Australian food aid to help Africa feed itself

Ben Packham - The Australian

Kevin Rudd has vowed to help Africa feed itself as he courts support on the world's poorest continent for Australia's UN Security Council bid. The Foreign Minister today pledged Australian agricultural expertise to address a worsening global food crisis, warning of potential wars and hunger-driven refugee surges unless production rose.

The make-up of modern Britain: 70% of us claim to be Christians... and only 1.5% are gay

Steve Doughty - DailyMail

Three Britons count themselves as Christian for every one non-believer, according to a major survey. And nearly seven in ten said they were Christian, even if they never go to church. Fewer than a quarter said they had no religion and only one in 12 follows another religion.

Preachers prompt speakers' corner call
Alice Higgins - City Messenger

Increasingly frequent and hostile clashes between Christian preachers and protesters in Rundle Mall have renewed calls for a speakers’ corner. Town Hall is investigating an appropriate location for a speakers’ corner and preparing a report to be presented to the council in coming months.

NSW charity highlights victims in electricity bill increase

Sydney based charity, The Exodus Foundation, has recorded a 53% rise in demand by its clients for special assistance in paying electricity bills. "In the first 3 weeks of September we handed out 66 Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) vouchers to needy families. Many of these families had received electricity bills of $1,000 or more!" Said Rev. Bill Crews, founder of The Exodus Foundation. In March just 43 EAPA vouchers were handed out.