Re-reading religion in ‘O Canada’

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Zener bites back”
Jan. 24, 2007

To the Editor:
Rebecca Zener should read our national anthem closer before refusing to sing it.

Of the three “religious references” she objects to, only “God keep our land” is cause for concern, though it’s purposefully and properly vague.

As for the other two, “thy sons” isn’t a reference to God’s son, but rather to Canada’s sons " plural, not possessive singular " in whom Canada is exhorted to inspire true patriot love.

The French version’s “It knows how to bear the cross” is a common figure of speech indicating strength and humility. That this figure of speech comes from a religious story hardly constitutes the establishment of a state religion.

“Religious references” themselves aren’t harmful to the separation of church and state. After all, religion manifestly exists and is unquestionably important in Canadian citizens’ lives and in the story of this country’s growth. I, for one, would like both my anthem and my representatives to reflect that truth rather than ignore it.
"Nick Milne
Honours English IV

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