Moderator: Thatcher’s ‘sermon’ not possible today
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.