While others condemn her to burn in the fires of hell, I honestly believe Margaret Thatcher is probably in heaven.
Anyone who knows me well, or even a little, has probably guessed that I am not exactly a great advocate of Thatcherite politics so perhaps I need to explain myself.
Like millions of others, I do not like the legacy of self-centred egotism which Thatcher has left our country. Though I am too young to properly remember most of the eighties first-hand, I think her actions on both the national level and on the international stage were harmful and destructive. In many cases, I do not think evil is too strong a word for the views she espoused and the crimes she committed.
But I still believe she is in heaven.
I believe she is in heaven because I believe in a God who is Love and a Heaven which is the place, or state of being, that is fullness of communion with a God who is and only can be love and would not, does not, even by his very essence cannot exclude anyone from that love. I believe she is in heaven because my belief in a God of Love precludes the possibility of believing in eternal damnation.
I believe she is in heaven because it is evil which builds the walls which separate us from one another whilst love extends outstretched arms of inclusive welcome which draws us together. It is evil which turns the key to lock the gates with some kept on the outside. In the all encompassing love of heaven, there is no-one or nothing to shut the gates and turn the key. The gates of heaven are resolutely open to all who would enter.
I believe she is heaven because if she is not, and heaven is merely the exclusive club of those who think and feel as I do; where entry is about striving for personal salvation and individual gain to the detriment of others left to one side along the way then how is it any different from the Thatcherite principles I wish to condemn?
I believe she is in heaven although actually, I can well believe it may be her own personal purgatory of realisation, as she finds herself rejoicing in the socialist, perhaps even communist society of heaven; and recognises the gift of a love which drives out the fear which was the very basis on which she built her life and her political career. But while I can believe it may take some time for her to accept and fully appreciate the joys of a society built on love, justice and compassion; I don't believe that she died to find the gates of eternal paradise locked against her.
I believe she is in heaven; which is not, of course, to say that I am going to suddenly love and accept all that she did and stood for. Because I also believe that whatever may be going on in heaven, wherever that may be; back in our own real world, there is still plenty to be done challenging the insidious integration of Thatcher’s individualistic ideals into the accepted rhetoric of our society.
Perhaps it is time to leave Thatcher to God but to deal with society ourselves.