CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Importance of Fathers

Aug 9, 2001

Thirty years ago American Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report called “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action”. In it he wrote these words: “The breakup of the black family is the single most important social fact of

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Mother Wars

Jul 3, 2001

The battle over motherhood continues unabated, with a recent controversy re-igniting a long standing debate. In the one corner are those who feel that government policies tend to penalise stay at home mums, while rewarding those who move into the

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Heated IVF Debate

Aug 15, 2000

A fiery debate about allowing IVF access to singles and lesbians was aired on the Nine Network’s Sixty Minutes on Sunday August 13. What went on behind the scenes was as interesting as what was finally aired.

When called a

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Redefining the Family Out Of Existence

Aug 11, 2000

Given the overwhelming community rejection of calls to allow singles and lesbians to have access to IVF, the supporters of such a move have resorted to statistical sleight of hand to make their case. The argument now being put forward

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Unrestricted IVF: Who Protects the Child?

Jul 23, 2000

The Infertility Treatment Authority recently put on a one-day public seminar in Melbourne entitled “The Welfare and Interests of Persons Born as a Result of Assisted Reproduction”. A number of speakers involved in or associated with the IVF industry were

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Child Care Follies

May 29, 2000

Commonsense seems to count for little these days. Instead, an army of “experts” are telling us how to best run our lives. Consider the following: Staff at day care centres do a much better job of minding young children than

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Families May Suffer Under GST

May 6, 2000

The Federal Government has admitted that some families may be worse off under the new tax system which comes into effect on July 1. Changes to eligibility rules for the parenting payment – worth up to $67 a fortnight –

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Why the Fertility Crisis?

Apr 1, 2000

Pro-family forces have long warned about declining fertility rates and the erosion of parenthood. When a woman who is known more for her commitment to feminism than for her allegiance to conservatism raises the same issues, then we need to

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And Baby Makes Five

Mar 2, 2000

A recent court case involving a baby conceived by IVF for two lesbians has reopened the issue of homosexual access to children. A Melbourne court decided in late February that two lesbians had not mislead an IVF treatment centre. Six-month-old

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Youth Suicide and Secularisation

Sep 18, 1998

Australia has one of the highest youth suicide rates among the world’s developed nations, with 27.3 out of 100,000 Australian males aged 15 to 24 expected to kill themselves. In 1996, 2367 Australians killed themselves, and perhaps a quarter of

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The Battle For Our Children

Jul 15, 1998

These are not good days for our children. Most adults can simply compare their own childhoods with those of today’s young people to see that a major shift has taken place in our society. We have gone from being a

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The Economic Costs of Divorce

Jul 1, 1998

A new Federal report has been released which puts marriage back on the public policy agenda. The report, To Have and To Hold: Strategies to Strengthen Marriage and Relationships, was released in June by the House of Representatives Standing

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The Case for Corporal Punishment

May 30, 1998

The case of the Ringwood mother who was found guilty of assault has again opened up the debate about spanking in particular and corporal punishment in general. Should spanking be made illegal? Many Scandinavian countries have already outlawed corporal punishment.

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Questions About Child Care

Apr 30, 1998

With over $1.5 billion a year spent on child care by Australian Governments, child care is big business.  And with over 600,000 children involved, it affects a lot of people. There is no denying that child care is a

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Marriage in an Age of Rights

Mar 30, 1998

While flicking through our local community newspaper recently, I came across two ads which struck my attention. Both ads were for divorce services. One ad read simply: “Divorce ‘R’ Us: low cost divorce” and gave a phone number. The second

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