Moder­a­tor: Thatcher’s ‘ser­mon’ not pos­si­ble to­day

The Herald - - NEWS -

MAR­GARET Thatcher’s fa­mous 30-year-old “Ser­mon on the Mound” could not be made by politi­cians to­day, ac­cord­ing to the Moder­a­tor of the Church of Scot­land.

The then prime min­is­ter de­liv­ered the speech to the Church of Scot­land’s Gen­eral Assem­bly in 1988, caus­ing con­tro­versy among some over its the­o­log­i­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for cap­i­tal­ism and the mar­ket econ­omy.

But it is the reli­gious open­ness in the ad­dress that the Right Rev­erend Dr Derek Brown­ing be­lieves would make it dif­fi­cult for a politi­cian to recre­ate to­day.

Speak­ing ahead of the Gen­eral Assem­bly, and in a per­sonal ca­pac­ity, he said: “I don’t know if (the speech) could be made the same way to­day. What was re­ally in­ter­est­ing was that Mar­garet Thatcher was a woman of faith and so she was speak­ing from her faith perspective.

“I think politi­cians are some­times ner­vous about talk­ing about faith-re­lated mat­ters.”

In her ad­dress, Mrs Thatcher cited that “Chris­tian­ity is about spir­i­tual re­demp­tion, not so­cial re­form”.af­ter the speech, the then Moder­a­tor Pro­fes­sor James Whyte gave Mrs Thatcher church re­ports on poverty, hous­ing and a fair so­cial ben­e­fit sys­tem.

Aged 25, it was the first time in the hall as a min­is­ter for Dr Brown­ing. He said: “Mar­garet Thatcher was a con­tro­ver­sial in­di­vid­ual – she could have been giv­ing a cookery recipe and peo­ple would have found it con­tro­ver­sial.

“We knew that by hav­ing her with us peo­ple would be watch­ing and lis­ten­ing in­tently to what she had to say.”

The Gen­eral Assem­bly will be­gin to­mor­row when Dr Brown­ing­will stand down as Moder­a­tor and Rev Su­san Brown take up the po­si­tion.

„ Mar­garet Thatcher at the Gen­eral Assem­bly.

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