Margaret Thatcher, Rick Warren and us

If you are a long time reader of this blog, you will know that I love people and am always looking for the good in everyone but two recent events have given me pause.

Some of you may have heard of prominent American pastor, Rick Warren. His son committed suicide last week.

And Margaret Thatcher died last week, too.

And for both there has been an outpouring of love…and hate.

Rick Warren wrote on Twitter: “Grieving is hard. Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest. Your notes sustain us.”

How can people celebrate the pain of another human being?

I disagree strongly with Rick Warren on many, many issues but does that mean I celebrate the unimaginable pain he and his family are in right now?

I was a teen during Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister, and I must confess, was wholly uninterested in politics, so I am pretty ambivalent about her policies and time in office. However, people holding street parties to celebrate her death? When news of Thatcher’s death hit the media, we were watching Q and A, where guest panelist Brooke Magnanti’s first response to the news was “Oh and here’s me without champagne.”

I was disgusted. Regardless of our views on a person, the key word here is ‘person’. To actually celebrate that someone has died is surely the basest of all human reactions. Or, in Rick Warren’s case, celebrate the fact that someone you love has died and you are in pain.

Is this what we have become? People so blinded by our own opinions and viewpoint that we fail to see the humanity in another? People so caught up with making our point and judging others that we forget that all people have feelings? That we all bleed when cut, that we all are loved and love in return, regardless of our religious or political persuasions?

It comes down to lack of respect and narrow mindedness.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, until we truly understand and believe that every other single person on the planet has the same intrinsic value that we do, we will continue to be a society full of bigotry, hatred and intolerance.


14 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher, Rick Warren and us

  1. Completely agree!, I was so disgusted to hear this week that the number one song in the UK was seriously “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”- Regardless of her politics Maggie Thatcher was a woman with strong convictions, a woman who firmly believed her actions were in the interests of the greater good, who worked incredibly hard, who achieved so much, and who paved the way for women who came after her, Above all and more importantly she was a mother, a wife, a friend … It saddened me so much to see so many people celebrate her passing, it makes me wonder how they would feel if others celebrated the passing of their mother, their wife, their friend simply because they didn’t agree with her political viewpoint. 😦


    • Yes, it seems that our humanity is overridden by our politics, our religious viewpoint and by other people’s opinion. So sad. And I didn’t know that about the number one song…now that is quite simply awful.


  2. I agree. Thank you for saying something so eloquently. Why would anyone celebrate the death of someone’s child?? Our son and his friend died when they were broadsided by a drunk driver…I wouldn’t wish the death of a child on my worst enemy. There is no comparison to the depth of agony the death of a child can bring. It crushed me completely. I can’t imagine getting hate mail because of it. Awful.


    • Rebecca, I’m so sorry for your loss. I have not experienced the death of a child but I have been close enough to it to know it is unbearable at best and sheer hell at worst. Surely these people who throw such hatred at others have never experienced such searing loss or they wouldn’t do it. At least, I hope that ignorance is the reason, otherwise I really will despair of humanity.
      Thank you for weighing in from your very real perspective.


  3. Good call Fandina! The response from some quarters here has been nothing short of evil. I’m not sure whether it makes it better or worse that the majority of the ‘celebrators’ are under 30: far too young to remember anything of Mrs Thatcher’s time of government! This raises several possibilities:
    1. that they have inherited hatred from their mummies and daddies,
    2. that they were astonishingly politically aware babies, or
    3. that they are driven by pure prejudice and blind political dogma.
    That they are vile thugs goes without saying.


    • Yes, like I said, I am barely old enough to really have a grasp on what her time in office meant for the UK but I suspect it is an unhealthy dose of your number one and three points. We must be careful though to not perpetrate against them the very crime they are committing. Grace and love must prevail, no matter how vile the deeds.


  4. A radio host read someone’s rant about the Warren family last week and it went on about how happy the writer was that Rick and his family ‘got what they deserved’. I was shocked! I remain naive, I guess, at the depth of people’s senseless hatred. As you said so eloquently, we will never truly know what the other person has gone through or is going through, so why be so judgemental?
    Great post!


  5. I love “the key word here is person.” It even bothers me to see posts about the funny dressed people at Wal-Mart. They are someone’s mom, dad, daughter …

    Thanks for reminding us about priorities and love, Susannah.


    • Kim, I couldn’t agree more. If we kept relating it to ourselves, our own family etc, we would find that we are much more gentle and tolerate of others I think. Isn’t there a word for that? Oh, yes…empathy – putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and relating to their feelings.
      ps. I was just on my way to leave a comment on your latest post when the notification of your comment on here popped up 😉


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