Obituaries are flooding the Internet following the death today of Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s first female prime minister—and one of the most controversial yet influential to ever hold the post. But overlooked is how her Christian faith inspired the Iron Lady’s politics.
“Few obituaries are likely to mention her devout Christian faith, which was the foundation of her political programme and the bedrock of her conviction for less government, lower taxes, more freedom and greater personal responsibility,” notes Cranmer, a British blog on religion and politics. It rounds up the many statements that Thatcher made on faith and politics over her career, including a 1988 speech given at the “zenith of her power” (in Cranmer’s estimation). “We must not profess the Christian faith and go to Church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour,” Thatcher told the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1988, “but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ.”