The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.


13th July 2008 15.00 hrs

The leader of a Christian prayer and lobby group has accused politicians of being 'clueless' about stopping knife and gun crime.

The accusation comes as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith proposes to march offenders around Accident and Emergency wards. The Sunday Telegraph has revealed that 56 people were stabbed or robbed at knifepoint every day last year, with the problem accelerating as knives become 'cool' to carry and use.

Six people died in knife attacks in 24 hours last week, forcing an embarrassing message of reassurance from Scotland Yard. The head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, was summoned to Chequers over the weekend for a meeting with Gordon Brown. 42 teenagers have been murdered in Britain this year, 20 of them in London .

Politicians are urging more use of metal detectors in clubs, whilst Jacqui Smith's plan includes pushing the victims of knife crime and their relatives to meet knife thugs.

But critics of the plan have said there is no quick fix. Harry Fletcher of the National Association of Probation Officers, called the plan 'a damp squib' while broadcaster June Sarpong told Andrew Marr this morning that the problem was a lack of morality.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:

'There are some areas, and they include the human heart, which the law is powerless to reach. A lack of an internal moral compass, which stems from a lack of the fear of God, means the criminal law only comes along afterwards, when the damage has been done. But if the law does not then administer true restorative justice, no-one will fear the law either. On top of that, society and the individuals within it can be further corrupted over generations by bad social legislation.

'There are no quick fixes to solve the problem of increasing crime. Britain is becoming daily more brutal because for the last forty years, a godless elite have been destroying the Christian foundations of our society. Rebuilding that will not happen overnight, and only then if the Church rediscovers some courage in Christ's statements of righteousness.

'If we track back the roots of knife and gun crime, we have to confront the government-inspired collapse of family life, Parliament's abolition of a proportionate penalty for murder, and the coarsening of our society, for which politicians and celebrities alike share responsibility.

'The collapse of family life is down to the legalisation of divorce on demand in the 60s coupled with the state encouraging teenagers to have sex. These two anti-Christian measures taken together mean only around half of children are now growing up with their father.

'Schools are also working behind parents' backs, handing our contraceptives and arranging abortions to children for whom they would need the parents' permission to give an aspirin. Parliament has said fathers aren't even needed in families. How is a mother on her own supposed to restrain an adolescent son?

'The absence of a father in today's families is why young people look to the gang not the family for their sense of identity, as Barbara Wilding, Chief Constable of South Wales Police, said just two weeks ago. In addition, legislators have confused parents about how far they can discipline their children, while social services are only too keen to pounce and disrupt loving families if a child for some reason denounces its parents for the odd smack.

'With the abolition of the death penalty in 1965 and the Abortion Act 1967, Parliament removed the death penalty from the guilty, by the state, where it belongs, and imposed it on the innocent within the family, where it does not. With those two measures, our politicians said innocent human life, made in the image of God, had no value. Restorative justice is God's idea, but only the death penalty, for those found guilty on the evidence of eyewitnesses, can do justice for the victim of murder. Being locked up for 10 or 11 years is not justice. Our lack of compassion for the victims of crime is generating more of them.

'And the more you increase penalties for those carrying knives or guns, the more you decrease the differential between that and murder itself, if the penalty for the latter is just a spell in prison. Having draconian penalties for carrying weapons can increase the use of them. On top of that, our ban on handguns has resulted in more of them on the streets, in the hands of criminals who are only too ready to use them.

'Certainly our culture, especially in film or video games, is glorifying violence and the use of weapons. Drunkenness and the use of foul language coarsen and demean us all. Celebrities and royalty bear a huge responsibility for the growing lack of respect in our increasingly dysfunctional society. Recently, Parliament, thinking there was not quite enough disrespect already, and knowing that regard for man begins with the fear of God, abolished our laws against blasphemy.

'We live in a society where all moral boundaries have been or are being overturned. Those at the top, politicians, celebrities, even chief police officers, set lamentable standards of honesty and decency. The irony of Gordon Brown demanding action from Sir Ian Blair is that Sir Ian himself has such a low regard for innocent human life that he refused to take responsibility for the death of an innocent man shot by his force at Stockwell Tube. Gordon Brown himself was part of a government which sent our troops to die in two illegal wars and is keeping them in Basra , according to the Colonel there, so Iraqi children can play football.

'The Opposition in Parliament is part of the problem. Whilst David Cameron has argued for society to maintain standards of right and wrong, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, showed that he has no idea of right and wrong by parading at the head of the London 'Gay Pride' march of perversion last Saturday week.

'You cannot pick and mix morality. There is an American bishop arguing in Putney tonight for the full acceptance of an activity Almighty God considers an abomination. A church which sets God's law and His institution of marriage at naught has forfeited its right to uphold any other Christian principle.

'Both Church and State in our broken land must return to seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as the Lord Jesus said (Matt 6:33). Only then will everything else fall into place. We call that 'national repentance' and in Christian Voice we are praying for it to happen, by God's grace. In the absence of repentance, from top to bottom in this United Kingdom , we can expect violent crime to keep increasing and the murder count to keep notching up. In short, without Christ, our politicians are clueless.'