Wasn't it good to see everyone getting active on Valentines this year? I've not known so much fuss made of it before. Radio Leicester and East Mids BBC TV had features and Leicester Secular Society had a love poetry evening hosted by the 'Book Doctor', Alison Dunne, and member Bobba Cass. St Catherine's Church in Burbage had thirty couples renewing their vows 'with the help of God'. Atheists don't have God's support for their loving so they have to muddle through alone, but apparently none the worse for it. My atheist better half and I stayed in for a romantic meal before watching a rather unsettling film, 'The Comfort of Strangers', about a couple who went to Venice to revive their flagging relationship. It looked as though the plan was doomed to failure until they were befriended by a couple with very dark ulterior motives. The experience did bring them closer together, however, but only one return ticket was needed by the end of the film!
The churches try to maintain a monopoly on life's rituals but it is doubtful if they'll be able to pull it off over Valentines. But they do seem to have cornered the market in memorials for soldiers killed in our foreign wars. Inevitably, with around one quarter of our population having no religion, there must have been many non-believing soldiers buried and remembered with Christian rites. It's about time something was done about this so that atheist soldiers get the kind of memorial of which they might approve.