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


Immediate 9.00 hrs Friday 15th May 2007

The suggestion from a Government-funded advisory group that compulsory sex education and advertising condoms on TV will reduce teenage pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases was dismissed as 'laughable' today by a Christian prayer and lobby group.

The report, from the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, said recent government campaigns had failed to recognise the link between drink, drugs and sexual health. The document also blamed the media for glamorising celebrity excesses.

Consequently, teenagers in the UK face a "sexual health crisis" fuelled by alcohol, drugs and risky sexual behaviour. They are "defining their lifestyle" by behaviour encouraged by celebrity culture, the Advisory Group said. The increase in sexually-transmitted infections and high teenage pregnancy rates are "disturbing", it says.

Professor Mark Bellis, head of the centre for public health at Liverpool John Moores University and one of the authors of the report, called the link between alcohol, drugs and risky sexual behaviour "fuel for a sexual health crisis".

The Advisory Group, which is funded by the Department of Health, and has a membership drawn largely from the family-planning and homosexual health industry, also points out that the UK has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and sexual infections in Europe.

The UK came bottom of a table of 21 countries in a recent Unicef analysis of child wellbeing. It showed British children had the highest incidence of risk-taking behaviour. More had had sexual intercourse by 15 than in any other country, more had been drunk two or more times aged 11-15, and they were the third highest users of cannabis. Over the past 12 years, chlamydia infections had increased by 300%, gonorrhoea by 200%, HIV by 300% and syphilis by 2,000%. "In a single act of unprotected sex with an infected partner, adolescent girls have a 1% chance of acquiring HIV, a 30% chance of getting genital herpes and a 50% chance of contracting gonorrhoea," the report said.

But when it comes to recommending action, the report sways between the platitudinous and the failed-already. It urges the Government to 'reduce drug taking and alcohol consumption among young people' and calls for compulsory sex education (PSHE) in schools.

The chairman of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, Baroness Gould, currently President of the Family Planning Association (FPA), and who is a leading campaigner for ever-easier access to abortion, even suggested making condoms more readily available to young people and allowing unrestricted TV adverts for them.

In a statement the Department of Health said the issue of sexual health has been one of its 'top priorities' and recent statistics showed the lowest levels of teenage pregnancies since 1993.

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

'The Advisory Group has reported on one of the greatest problems our society faces but its recommendations are laughable. There is a shocking epidemic of teenage pregnancy and increasingly of sexually-transmitted diseases and consequent infertility. But to suggest that more and even compulsory school sex education will help reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease is like suggesting paraffin will put out a fire. The more sex education you have, the more teens want to try out the enticing bits of what they have learned. But every study shows that they are lousy at using contraceptives.

'Even if they were brilliant at putting on condoms, sexual health experts know these are nowhere near as effective as they are claimed to be by campaigners like Baroness Gould.

'As to advertising condoms on TV, that will send out precisely the sort of mixed message of which Lady Gould complains, unless the message she intends to convey is 'Get fornicating, kids; everyone else is.'

'It is facile to attack the media for reporting on celebrity tarts and drunks. If the celebs were not so irresponsible, there would be nothing to report. And the rot starts at the head. Those in line to the Throne are among the worst at encouraging drinking and irresponsible sex. If Prince William and Prince Harry behaved like Christian gentlemen, a challenging standard would be set which would be bound to filter down.

'The Department of Health's response is just complacent. Yes, the teen pregnancy stats went down in 2005, but as the Government's targets are all based on teenage pregnancy, no-one cares how many kids, girls especially, are becoming infertile through Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. And those diseases, and Herpes and HPV even more so, go right round the condoms the advertising of which Lady Gould thinks will solve the problem.

'Baroness Gould herself is Labour lobby-fodder in the House of Lords. She was a strong supporter of the Sexual Orientation Regulations, the Government's Religious Hatred Bill and its draconian terror laws. Not one of the strongest independent upholders of human rights, she also supported the introduction of ID cards. As soon as she was elevated to the House of Lords in 1993, she began voting for every homosexual rights measure she could get her hands on, including sodomy on 16-year-olds, in the armed forces, in schools and in sex education, and inevitably for civil partnerships and for homosexuals to be allowed to adopt other people's children.

'There is only one way to reduce teenage sex and that is to promote chastity. The message has to be: 'Stay a virgin; marry a virgin.' Of course the homosexual lobby won't like that as there is nothing in it for them, and nor is there any money in chastity for the contraceptive manufacturers and distributors such as the FPA who are so well represented on the Independent Advisory Group.

'On the wider social front, the ending of our culture of self-gratification, self-destruction, lying, thieving and violence will take a miracle of Godly national repentance. That is what we in Christian Voice are praying and working for. But in the meantime, hands-wringing and more of the same are exactly the sort of irresponsible and ungodly reactions we would expect from this Government-funded Independent (well, except from the Government and the teen sex industry) Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV.'