“Service of Hope” ?!
Today, a “service of hope” took place in Westminster to commemorate the victims of the recent terror act perpetrated, what a surprise, by
Christians Hindus Buddhists (cough) Muslims.
The news were at pain to describe the event “service of hope”, though I am not really clear about what this actually means.
If you believe in God, of course you have hope that you might save your backside in the end. But then why not call this “memorial service” (interfaith, of course; modern Brits are very embarrassed of their Christian heritage)?
Perhaps the hope is that the world may one day be free of (insert years your favourite problem: terrorism, racism, hunger, violence, etc.). Well, I have news for you: it's not going to happen. Fallen humans will keep behaving like fallen humans, and only someone who does not believe in Original Sin can “hope” otherwise.
Then there is the question of which “hope” atheists may have. If there is no afterlife, the victims of the attack were simply screwed in the way you screw ants when you wash your patio with the pressure washer. They were in the wrong place. We are so awfully sorry for the loss, but hey, they are now dust, gone, with no feelings or memory, food for worm in due time, and no rhyme or reason in their death, which is – in this perspective – not one bit less bleak and less absurd than their life.
It seems to me that nowadays words are used just because of the way they sound, without any thought about what they are supposed to mean.
That's how you can have a “service of hope”.