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
Nuclear family in nuclear meltdown

Elissa Doherty - Herald Sun

The number of traditional family households is set to shrink to less than a quarter by 2026, with childless homes to become the new norm. AustraliaSCAN projections, provided exclusively to the Herald Sun, show the number of households with nuclear families is forecast to plunge from 33 per cent in 2006 to just 22 per cent in the next 15 years.

Pregnancy advice is about facts, not values
Barry Walters – The Sydney Morning Herald

The practice of medicine leads us down some dark paths. Though it is a great privilege to be a doctor, at times tragedies afflict one's patients - in my case mothers and babies, as I am an obstetric physician and deal with medically complicated pregnancies.

Archbishop backs 'moral' changes to pokie laws

Leesha McKenny, Phillip Coorey - SMH

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has come out in strong support of the proposed poker machine reforms, warning that the penetration of gambling culture into sport and media ''bodes ill for the future of sport in this country''.

Harm, problem gambling and the pro-pokie lobby
Charles Livingstone - The Drum ABC

The pro-pokies lobby headed by Clubs NSW has so far argued that the Gillard Government's proposed poker machine harm minimisation reforms, notably pre-commitment (i.e., allowing people to decide in advance how much they wish to spend on gambling), won't work and are unproven. After a damaging own-goal over the weekend - when a report prepared by an organisation closely associated with clubs in Queensland estimated, quite reasonably, that losses from pre-commitment and low-impact pokies would be in the range of 10 per cent to 20 per cent of net pokie revenue - they've now proposed a jurisdiction-wide trial.

Human Rights
Vile law should be abolished

David Kemp - On Line Opinon

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is contrary to the principle of freedom of speech that underpins our democracy, and we cannot afford to allow it to stand if we wish to preserve our freedom. This is not simply a matter of facts being wrong. If it were, the case would have been conducted under defamation law.

Indigenous issues
Australia's child rights record under UN scrutiny


Australia is failing to properly protect the rights of Aboriginal and asylum seeker children, campaigners will tell the United Nations. A delegation of Australian child's rights advocates and experts will brief the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on Australia's performance in Geneva overnight.

Abbott prevents conscience vote on same-sex marriage

Matthew Franklin and Christian Kerr - The Australian

The Greens push to legalise same-sex marriage is doomed, with Tony Abbott confirming he will deny Liberal Party MPs a conscience vote on the issue, even if Labor grants its MPs a free vote. The Opposition Leader's position, confirmed yesterday, means there is no chance that the present parliament could amend the Marriage Act, even if most Labor MPs support the change.

Family Court rules couple's pre-nuptial is invalid
Shelley Hadfield - Herald Sun

An estranged wife who says her "threatening" husband pressured her into signing a pre-nup has seen it overturned - because he neglected to sign it himself. The husband only signed the pre-nuptial agreement three days after the marriage, the Family Court heard. As a result, he was trapped in a legal Catch-22. The document referred to Section 90B of the Family Law Act, relating to financial agreements by people "contemplating ... marriage".

Labor anxiety as leadership talk increases

Paul Osborne - AAP

A senior Labor strategist says there is much anxiety in the federal party over its falling stocks, while the opposition has pointed to "palpable hostility" between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. With Mr Rudd due to return to parliament on Tuesday after a heart operation in August and taking a high profile in coming to the aid of the teenager arrested in Bali, speculation of a Labor leadership challenge continues.

Strife for Thomson on the cards
Steve Lewis and Andrew Clennell – The Daily Telegraph

A police strike force investigating accusations embattled Labor MP Craig Thomson took secret commissions has been informed the MP was given a credit card by a union supplier.

Sex Slavery

Sally Neighbour - Four Corners ABC

Around Australia there are hundreds of legal brothels. Thousands of women sell their bodies for profit. Now, in a joint Four Corners/The Age special investigation, reporter Sally Neighbour exposes the brutal illegal off-shoot of the sex industry: sex slavery. In a report that exposes the worst excesses of human trafficking she reveals how networks of criminal gangs are luring women to Australia, where they are forced to work as sex slaves. If they refuse they are beaten and their families are threatened.

Sex traffickers exploiting women, and law, as state fails to act
Kelly Hinton - The Age

The sex industry in Victoria has been legal (in some forms) for about 25 years, by legislation brought in to address issues arising in the 1980s. Yet, as The Age has uncovered this year, legalisation has not ended crime in the sex industry. Discussions continue, with the same issues being raised again and again - trafficking, illegal brothels, organised crime, and violence.

Religious persecution
Expel envoys, urges Coptic leader

Rowan Callick - The Australian

The head of Australia's 70,000 Coptic Christians, Bishop Suriel, yesterday urged Canberra to expel the Egyptian ambassador following the massacre of 24 Copts in Cairo. The leader of 50 Australian churches said the bright hopes for the Arab Spring had turned sour as the 12 million-strong Coptic community in Egypt suffered increasing attacks. "On Sunday, peaceful demonstrators were crushed by the tanks of the army that is supposed to protect them," he said in Melbourne, flanked by 15 priests.

Egypt clashes with Copts leave at least 24 dead
Mariam Fam - Bloomberg

Egyptian security forces deployed outside government buildings in central Cairo after a night of clashes between Coptic Christian protesters and security forces that left at least 24 dead. The violence began when several hundred Egyptian Christians protesting a recent attack on a church came under assault by people in plain clothes and were later confronted by security forces. Protests continued late into the night with the military imposing a curfew until 7 a.m. in the center of the capital.

Changing one’s faith not a crime
Bob Ripley - ifpress

Good news, as they say, is for sharing. If you discover something that brings comfort and clarity to life, then telling someone else is almost a moral obligation — like one beggar telling another beggar where to find food. Christian priests, ministers or pastors do that a lot. I have a barrelful of 35 years of weekly monologues proclaiming and promoting what I considered at the time to be good news. In Iran’s understanding of Sharia law, the penalty for apostasy is death. Pastor Nadarkhani has been sentenced to be executed by hanging.

Sexualisation of Society
Pornography: The harm of discrimination
Helen Pringle - On Line Opinon

A very common use of pornography is as sexual discrimination, itself a well-recognised form of harm in our society. And the evidence of pornography’s harm in this respect stares us in the face as we go about our everyday lives. Take your car to be serviced at a garage. Ask a lifesaver for his help in the clubroom. Call in at a fire station. Check out an army camp’s walls. Accompany Tony Abbott on a visit to the factory at Digga Manufacturing.