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

Before welfare there was family

John Birmingham - SMH

Emergency accommodation, aged care, child minding, educational support, rehabilitation… you think of a welfare service paid for by taxes, and once upon a time it wasn’t. It was siblings, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins who stepped up. Maybe it’s just not possible to do that any more, not just because of the mobility and turbulence of modern life, but because families are much smaller than they used to be, and of course they break apart increasingly regularly too.


Parents Television Council issues warning re: MTV's 'Pants'

Bill Bumpas - OneNewsNow

"MTV has a new show called 'I Just Want My Pants Back' -- and as you might imagine it's a show that's absolutely replete with both sexual content and sexual dialogue," he says. "And it's one that's been mis-appropriately rated as appropriate for a 14-year-old child -- and MTV is on the record as having targeted a demographic beginning with children as young as 12." Coming to Australia on Seven.

Drugs & Alcohol

Movies featuring alcohol induce teens to start drinking

Medical Net

Young teens who watch a lot of movies featuring alcohol are twice as likely to start drinking compared to peers who watch relatively few such films, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open. And these teens are significantly more likely to progress to binge drinking, the study shows.


Ross Clifford calls for NSW gambling inquiry

NSW Council of Churches

The President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr Ross Clifford, has called on the O’Farrell Government to hold a wide-ranging inquiry into the gambling industry. Dr Clifford, who was elected President of the Council on February 7, said the inquiry should examine the social impact of poker machines, telephone betting and online betting.

Human Rights

OK to be racist, says axed candidate

Bridie Jabour, Daniel Hurst - SMH

The dumped Queensland state Labor candidate Peter Watson was making neo-Nazi comments on the internet as recently as last month, and yesterday said he stood by his racist remarks. Mr Watson, who was to stand in the state election, was expelled from the ALP yesterday after admitting to a series of online rants, including anti-homosexual views, which he claimed were several years old and did not reflect his current view.


Fred Nile calls for State to stop funding Mardi Gras

Christian Today

The Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC, Leader of the Christian Democratic Party, has called on the NSW Government to end State-funded apartheid based on sexual orientation and invest funds that would otherwise have been spent supporting the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival into infrastructure and services for the benefit of all.

Gay pairs chew on marriage

Jessica Marszalek - Daily Telegraph

Julia Gillard last night swapped leadership talk for a grilling on gay marriage when she welcomed three homosexual couples to dinner. The Prime Minister entertained two lesbian couples and a male couple who won the chance in an auction that raised $31,000 for charity paid by social campaigner GetUp.

PM says same-sex marriage certain to happen, diners say

Jessica Wright - SMH

The same-sex couples who dined with Julia Gillard at the Lodge last night claim the Prime Minister said legislative changes that would allow them to marry are inevitable, although she was careful to add her own position on same-sex marriage was unchanged.

Get in the Q

Tommy Berne - Gay News Network

While a decision prohibiting a local polyamory group to march in Mardi Gras Parade was eventually overturned, that their exclusion was even considered raises questions about how we view the LGBTIQ community, writes Tommy Berne.


MPs consider a Crean break amid leadership war

Matthew Franklin and Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

Labor veteran Simon Crean is being touted by colleagues as a possible compromise candidate in the leadership battle, amid fears Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd's ongoing war could leave both fatally damaged. The Prime Minister's supporters have continued to press her to call a leadership ballot for next week, expressing confidence she would crush the Foreign Minister and be free to throw him out of cabinet.

PM hounded by Rudd leadership speculation

Alexandra Kirk - ABC

And now to federal politics, where the Prime Minister is saying, surprise, surprise, she's getting on with her job. Julia Gillard wants to lead a national debate about school funding, following yesterday's release of the Gonski report. But wherever she goes she's plagued by questions about Kevin Rudd and her leadership.

Republic 'not at the moment': Gillard


Australia's republican debate is not of current concern, says Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who spoke highly of the royal family on British television. While the federal Labor leader admits Australia should again hold a referendum on its constitutional status, she added it should not happen "at the moment".

Stephen Conroy aide Ben Carroll up for Melbourne by-election

John Ferguson - The Australian

A prominent federal Labor adviser was last night endorsed as the party's candidate to fight the Victorian by-election created by the resignation of former deputy premier Rob Hulls. Ben Carroll, an adviser to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, was overwhelmingly endorsed by the right-wing Labor Unity faction to contest the northwestern Melbourne seat of Niddrie.

Curse of Kardashian: now O'Farrell under fire for 'whining puppy' crack

Josephine Tovey - Hume Weekly

The NSW opposition has called on Premier Barry O'Farrell to apologise for likening a female politician to a whining puppy in question time today. During a response to a question from Labor asking him to apologise for comments made by his Health Minister Jillian Skinner about businessman Roger Corbett last week, the Premier made a joke about the former deputy premier, Labor member for Marrickville, Carmel Tebbutt.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran: Christian arrests indicate renewed crackdown is underway

Aidan Clay - ASSIST News Service

In Iran’s 1979 revolution, many Iranians believed that an Islamic-based government would offer the reforms and freedoms they had long sought under the Shah. Thirty-three years later, however, Iranians have grown disillusioned as their government has plunged them into economic stagnation and has isolated them from the international community. Though massive protests have thus far failed to grant Iranians the freedoms they desire, idleness and hardship have led many Iranians to seek answers outside of Islam. Thousands are now finding hope in the Christian faith, but not without great cost.

Sexualisation of Society

Students plied with booze, X-rated movies

Aja Styles - SMH

A sexual assault victim of convicted paedophile Dennis McKenna has told a special inquiry about the mockery boys suffered while being forced to go naked before McKenna and other boys at a state-run hostel.


Billy Graham: Pastor to Presidents


Billy Graham has often said, "Whether the story of Christ is told in a huge stadium, across the desk of a powerful leader or shared with a golfing companion, it satisfies a common hunger. All over the world, whenever I meet people face-to-face, I am made aware of this personal need among the famous and successful, as well as the lonely and obscure." Every U.S. President since World War II through Barack Obama has met with Billy Graham. Here are short snippets of their stories:

Losing your religion has link with disorders

Tanveer Ahmed - SMH

A draft of the new classification system for psychiatry is now public. Rarely has a set of dry guidelines from Washington DC caused such consternation. Outlets from The New York Times to the Hindustan Times heralded its arrival. You would think it was the work of the World Bank or International Monetary Fund, not a bunch of shrinks. Already there is a howl of protest about the unending loosening of mental illness. There are fears mental illness will become the new normal.