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Friday Five: Remembering Margaret Thatcher, How the Church Is to Blame for the Welfare State, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes a remembrance of Margaret Thatcher, a discussion of welfare policy’s effect on the family, and more. 1. The Secularist’s New Clothes: In an age dominated by facts and science, Wesley Gant discusses why propositions of faith, belief and metaphysical truth are necessary for the functioning of society.

In an age when traditional views are so quickly branded as bigotry, defending such views can be frustrating and intimidating. Far too often, we assume the defensive position. It is vital that Christians speak with love and respect, but also with reason and force. Secular claims must be put under the spotlight and their hollow frames revealed. We would all be better served if we could see that ideology and bigotry go both ways.

2. Can Government Create Jobs?: Steve Horwitz, professor at St. Lawrence University, differentiates between job creation and wealth creation. 3. Crime and the Nanny State: Jonathon Witt of the Acton Institute explains how welfare programs and monetary inflation can undermine the family and increase crime.

There’s an ugly irony in all this: The welfare state eventually funds its humanitarian largesse through an invisible and legally sanctioned theft (aggressive inflation); this theft hits the poor hardest of all; and this, in turn, encourages theft among the populace — a paternalistic society that proves the old adage, like father like son.

4. Is the Church Responsible for the Welfare State?: Elise Amyx of the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics describes why the Great Reversal, the evangelical church’s retreat from the front lines of poverty alleviation, deserves credit for the creation of America’s welfare state.

Adherents of the social gospel can’t fulfill the mission of the church without including Christ’s message of redemption, and evangelicals can’t fulfill the mission of the church without caring for the physical needs of the poor. Both need each other. We see this most clearly by studying Christ’s example on earth: he made disciples and cared for the sick.

5. How Margaret Thatcher Brought Economic Freedom to Britain: Reason’s Ira Stroll remembers Margaret Thatcher, a noble warrior for free enterprise who brought prosperity to her country by courageous leadership and steadfast commitment to principle.

 And who would have thought then that, 30 years later and an ocean away, she would be inspiring those of us who believe that even after Thatcher’s (and Reagan’s) Cold War victories and tax cuts, there yet remains room for another political leader with the conviction and skill to redefine the possibilities for growth and economic freedom?