I was born in Canada, obviously not by choice, and I was taught to sing the national anthem in school without a second thought. This concerns me greatly as I feel it's just another strong reinforcement of religion's presence in our country.

I know it's only a song, but it's THE song that defines who we are as a nation when heard by other countries, or even worse, heard and proudly recited by our youth, who at a young age learn subconsciously that patriotism doesn't exist without "god" coming into the picture. I'd rather be singing "All keep our land" or something as neutral as that, and let the religious keep their songs about god in their private lives.

Generally, people seem to tend to want to stick to their traditions, and even some non-religious people I've talked to seem to have a problem with changing something as traditional as the national anthem. Has this been brought up before by any Canadian atheist or equality groups? Or is it completely a lost cause?

Taken literally, and from an atheist/logical point of view, we might as well be verbally asking Jupiter or the Easter bunny to somehow intervene on the well-being of our country's values and natural beauty should things go awry. Does that not sound like something completely bat-shit insane??

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Humanist Assoc of Canada has had this in action for many many years.
I was part of one protest to P Hill. P Hill authority would not allow us to protest on the hill (they claimed the hill was full with other groups, total BS there ONE protester on P Hill) so they gave us permit to protest at the furthest corner of Supreme Court lawn. We of course marched to P Hill, our peaceful 'illegal' protest was met with RCMP barricades. I confronted the RCMP black van that was following us
Canada has a pretty good track record of being secular but any MPs who bring this up will be totally slammed :(
But it's changing, MPs are more and more often heard speaking religious words and increased immigration from religious countries is increasing religiosity in Canada.

In this case, 'track record' is no indicator of the future unless we stand up and fight them.
I came back to nexus to post this very discussion. What a treat it was to find it already happening.

Maybe we all heard our national anthem far more than expected in the past month or so? :)

Apart from the Olympics, this is a very timely discussion as the Conservatives are moving to restore gender neutrality to the anthem. Feds aim to change anthem (Toronto Star)

Can we jump on this bandwagon? If we're looking at making changes for the 30th anniversary of adopting the anthem, why not make all the changes that need to be made? Surely any change is going to be a hot button topic so this is probably our best chance, politically speaking, to get it done.

What would be the best way to correct the line? I really like how, "May we keep our land glorious and free" is a call to action. That's much better than the nonsensical current version invoking a magical being and hoping they'll just do it for us. Does adding an extra syllable really make a big difference?

"All keep our land glorious and free" doesn't have the same ring to it.

"We keep our land glorious and free" is more of a statement of fact that may or may not be true.

What about...

"To keep our land glorious and free,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!"

Of the single syllable solutions, this is my favourite but given the melody it may sound like a run on sentence.


Anyway, I really feel this is something we need to push for now. And so, I'm going to do what every activist would do in this situation, I'm going to start a facebook group called, "My Canada includes women and non-Christians; our anthem should too" Who is in?
Oh, and we should all write our MPs urging them to keep our land glorious and free by correcting the anthem!
My Canada includes women and non-Christians; our anthem should too group on facebook.

Join and tell your friends. :P
It would be nice and promotional if your page started a petition of if your page linked to all relevant ministers
Good idea. I plan on working on this as often as time permits. That said, the group is only 45 minutes old. :)

I could certainly use any help anyone would be willing to provide. This kind of thing is done by a nation, not an individual.

Feel free to join and contribute.
I could provide you with a French language version. I'm betting there are already a couple out there, these things seem to multiply!
You mean a French language translation of the facebook group?

Or are you suggesting we also advocate for changing the French language anthem as well?

I believe Parliament is currently only looking at changing the English language anthem. My understanding is that secularizing the French language anthem would involve some major changes, not just the tweaks that the English version would need.
oh, interesting... actually, well, two sentences that would need changing I guess. I hadn't realised we were speaking of the English version only.

But wow, I was just looking up some historical facts about the anthem, and WOW! I mean I was schooled in Quebec, so I've sung it lots. And I always knew the original was written in French, by a Quebecer, Calixa Lavallée.

What I did not know is that it was a commission by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society as a patriotic hymn for Quebecers! How odd that it got adopted as the Canadian anthem, I never realised...
For the facebook page, make sure it's "join"able as opposed to "fan"able. The fan pages are completely open to the public, no privacy tools AT ALL. I of course I am happy to have my friends see my pages, but not the entire world!!!!

So if you make the page "join"able, I will join :)


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