Saturday, January 31, 2009

Banning "O Canada" Update

Rex Murphy has voiced his opinion over this spectacle and the comments on his article are enlightening to say the least.

The following comments indicate, to me, the desire to have no national identity in Canada. Unfortunately what these poor folks will realise too late (if ever) is that if Canada does keep our current traditions and values then they WILL be replaced by either those of a powerful neighbour (the US - oh noes!!!) or immigrant groups with more vigorous and robust traditions.
Robert Haraldson from Toronto, Canada writes: Rex: 'Our own beloved land' includes all of us, not merely those who were born in Canada. Cramming 'native land' down the throats of the millions of us who moved to Canada and acquired citizenship isn't insensitivity, it is BIGOTRY.
Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Singing the anthem daily doesn't make you Canadian but it does encourage groupthink and tends to make people fall in line.
Green Gene from St. John's, Canada writes: Earl Anthony from Sudbury, Canada writes: I am reminded of a quote by Alexander Hamilton: 'Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.'

Earl: I stand for freedom of thought, untainted by nostalgia of others. Hefting nationalistic/patriotic training on young developing minds leaves us at risk of raising generations of young people who unquestioningly follow their leaders. Why do you think so many posters take great offense at justified criticisms of our country's history (eg. residential schools, interment of minorities, religious prejudice)? It's because these are indoctrinated individuals who don't see that Canada needs to be honest with itself about its good AND bad points. Let's give kids a fair, objective history of their country and include them. Let's not just give them pompous odes that are more fitting to the 19th century than this one, let's show them that this country can work and grow with them.

Ruth Walker from Edmonton, Canada writes: Rex Murphy has officially lost his mind.

On the basis of religious references alone, I would be loath to push O Canada down anyone's throat. The lyrics are otherwise pretty vapid.

In any case, part of the Canadian identity is that we are quietly patriotic. Public displays of patriotism are unCanadian by that convention, and most of us perceive such displays as somewhat phoney. The one exception that comes to mind is hockey games.

Love Canada, but skip the musically and lyrically questionable anthem.

This comment sums up my feelings nicely:

Bill Hopkins from London, Canada writes: I'm an immigrant to this country and, I must admit, one of the first things to strike me 40 years ago was a noticible tendency for Canadian self-flagellation. It struck me as odd that a country that had accomplished so much and yet had so much potential would waste so much time and energy denigrating itself. And it hasn't changed a lot in that regard. Still I've known many Candians who immensely proud of their country -- I guess they just don't populate these forums. None-the-less, I am very proud of my adopted country. It doesn't bother me that it is not my 'native' land. Nor does the reference to 'sons' bother me, because I understand it to have a much broader and more inclusive (dare I use that word?) meaning. And, although I not a devout Christian, I don't find the reference to God so appalling. The reason is, I guess, because I can accept that these words have their origins in the founding of the country. I am prepared to accept that in any society there are principles, such as rule by judeo-christian ethics, that are part of our history and culture and that provide the framework that makes our society work. There is a strength that comes from our past, a strength that provides the society with a cohesiveness and longevity that outlasts the time any one individual spends here. I still think Murphy's question of 'Why is being offended by O Canada more worthy, as a sentiment, than taking joy or pride in O Canada?' is the question that begs to be answered. We have now, it seems, become a nation ruled by the tyranny of the minority. It is not that the minority should be bent to the wishes of the majority. But neither should the tradition and culture of a majority be subjugated to the perceived offense of a few. We all have equal rights. It just seems that the rights of a few are now more equal than the rights of many.

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