Gerson Nibbles But Flinches in Thatcher Tribute

Michael Gerson's tribute to Margaret Thatcher noted that she was no libertarian, that her commitment to free markets was tempered by her Methodism. Good for him for noting this. But, Gerson flinches before the task of wrestling with the real question here: Are the values the market requires, and which Thatcher championed, are they Christian values? Are they not specifically the kind of values - thrift, frugality, self-reliance - that one is left with if you worship the God of John Calvin? The God I have found, better to say who found me, in the Catholic Church is not stingy with His grace, not frugal in His gifts, and asks nothing in the way of self-reliance, only self-surrender.

Mind, I have been instructed by William Bole and others whom I respect that I am too harsh in my treatment of Calvin. I understand there was more to the man. But, vulgarized Calvinism has produced this seeming attachment of otherwise intelligent Christians to a set of values that I do not discover in the Scriptures.

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