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O' Canada...Our Gender Neutral Land...

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And up next on the Canadian Senate's docket ...  :?:


From: BBC News > Politics

Analysis | Changing O Canada: Is God next?: Terry Milewski


... The anthem and the Cross

Unmolested so far, though, in the debate about sons versus us, is the looming God problem. It lurks mainly in the French version of the anthem, about which the ungodly have muttered for years.

The English version, of course, does invoke the Almighty: "God keep our land glorious and free!"

But the French version, which preceded the English one and is not a translation, seems noticeably more militant in its invocation of a crusading Christianity.

"Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!"

Literally, that's "because your arm knows how to carry a sword, it knows how to carry the cross." So we are deep into "Onward, Christian soldiers" territory. We're armed, and we're spreading the gospel of Jesus.

Perhaps, if you'd asked Adolphe-Basile Routhier, the author of the French lyrics, why he excluded other religions that don't revere any cross, he might have replied, "Because it's 1880."

And it was. But look at Canada now.

The poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier wrote the French lyrics of O Canada in 1880. (Quebec National Archives)

Routhier's world was Roman Catholic as far as his eye could see. But, according to the 2011 census, there are almost as many non-Christians — close to 11 million — as there are Roman Catholics in Canada. Catholics are officially nearly 13 million — although a lot fewer than that show up for Mass.

So it's not just the Pagans who might complain about the holy bits in the anthem — although Pagans are not to be dismissed as a tiny band of malcontents. The census found more than 25,000 of them, including 10,000 Wiccans.

And they'd presumably be less than thrilled if you asked them to carry even the tiniest Christian cross. ...


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