No more ominous sign of crisis in the United States appears than the mounting evidence that law and order are breaking down on a national scale.

Not only has the incidence of crime risen alarmingly but the actual encouragement of lawbreaking has become a factor in our national life under the guise of allegedly justifiable civil disobedience.

During recent rioting in American cities, it was reliably reported that police often stood by helplessly while acts of vandalism and looting took place before their eyes. In cases of criminal action the police often have discovered that painstaking investigative work is erased by courts which dismiss charges for the most trivial of technical reasons.

The popular charge of “police brutality” often and indiscriminately leveled, has hampered the maintenance of law and order. Civil rights groups and church bodies have advanced the theory that the necessities of “justice” in some fashion stand above the requirements of law and order. In numerous instances civil and religious leaders have shown themselves seemingly more concerned for the criminal than the victims of his crimes.

Profoundly alarmed at the breakdown in law enforcement in the United States and mindful of the Scriptural observation that because justice is not executed speedily the hearts of men are set to do evil, the National Association of Evangelicals hereby affirms its desire to stand squarely behind those courts and law enforcement agencies that labor to enforce the law firmly and fairly at every level.

We call on the Congress of the United States, as well as state and local legislative units, to devise appropriate legislation to close constitutional loopholes and eliminate legal barriers to strong and effective law enforcement. We believe that punitive as well as rehabilitative action is appropriate in the treatment of offenders against society.