Sermon on the Mound
The Sermon on the Mound wis the name gien bi the Scots press tae an speech bi Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tae the General Assembly o the Kirk o Scotland on 21 May 1988. The name is a mocking reference to Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount an the Mound in Edinburgh, whar the Assembly hall stands, an the fact that Thatcher wis preachin tae a kirk an naition whilk rejectit her ideology forby. Thatcher hersel didnae like this play on words.
Protestantism is maistlins represented in Scotland bi the Presbyterian Scots Kirk, whilk wis established as the Scots naitional Kirk in 1707 an haes gien muckle inpit tae the naitional self-confidence o the Scots. The Kirk hae bin seen bi mony tae offer a pluralistic readin o Christianity. Acause o its openness to ither Christian denominations, religions an opinions, the Assembly is newlins a place for mony public speeches and sermons. Syne there wis no Scots Pairlament whan Thatcher spak, the General Assembly o the Scots Kirk wis the closest thing Scotland haed to a naitional political assembly.
Outthrou her leadership, Thatcher's rhetoric, amang ither things, aft uised Christian motifs more than ither British leaders wha cam afore. Her paraphrase o St. Francis o Assisi's prayer when she becam Prime Minister ("Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is discord, may we bring hope.") is yin o her maist kenspeckle quotes.
Durin her three terms as Prime Minister, she uised pairts o the Auld Testament spiritual lair in her speeches; these speeches becam Thatcher's trademark. She tuik a clear position on the kirk in general societie an aw, sayin that it shoud support the state an work for the orderly enforcement o the law.
Thatcher's third and hindermaist term wis fae 1987 til 1990. This speel wis marked bi mony political and economic changes, for ensample a reform o the Naitional Heal Service. Fest-paced economic growth causit interest rates tae double in 1988 whan Thatcher gae her speech. The ill-leukit-upon poll tax startit in Scotland an aw; industrie wis declinin; the Ravenscraig steelworks wis closit; the miners hae bin on strike, and whiles mony jobs went awa, fowk in tred unions were told in the 'sermon' tae value individualism.
Thatcher began bi tellin her audience that she wis speakin "personally as a Christian, as weel as a politician", afore gaun tae share her view that the Bible shored a "view o the universe, a proper attitude tae wirk, an principles tae shape economic an social life". In the address, she offerit a theological airgument for her ideas on individual salvation, personal responsibility caipitalism an the mercat economy. Citin a view that "Christianity is anent spiritual redemption, no social reform," she quotit St. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, "gin ony man wadna work, neither soud he eat". Thatcher claimed the Bible fordert a guid work ethic, an principles fur shapin economic an social life.
The speech wis said to hae markit the beginnin o the end o Tory rule in Scotland, as mony felt the speech's focus on individualism wis a fremmit political creed to Scotland an the Scots Kirk clockit wi'in theological an religious discurse. Thatcher wis accusat for lecturing kirk leiders on theologie an aw.
Her quotin frae the Kirk o Ingland hymn I Vow to Thee, My Country (yin o Thatcher's favorite hymns) was later criticised in 2004 by the suffragan bishop o Hulme, Stephen Lowe, for its content. He found the first stanzas to be naitionalistic, heretical an racist, whilk directit the Christian focus awa fae God an toward the state.
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