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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personally, i saw the "gender neutrality" argument as a distraction. not that i think changing it to something gender-neutral is a bad thing, but the timing of bringing it up was very suspect...
One of the best ways is to join the Canadian Secular Alliance - quickly becoming the voice of secularism in Canada.


Strength in numbers.
According to their website, one doesn't "join" the Secular Alliance, one "donates" to them.

Myself will not support securalism in Canada or anywhere, because it's based on what I perceive as a false assumption: that it's even possible for a religious person to separate their beings into a faith based one and a non-faith based one. When it comes down to line in politics, to a religious person, religion is always there. In my perspective, securalism is more relevant to a religious person who 'promises' to not let their belief dominate other's lives.

That's why I can only support atheist groups flat out.
on the home page - look for JOIN - you can join the Facebook, Twitter or the discuss list.

CSA is made up of atheists. Groups like this are needed to fight the injustices imposed by religious groups.
Of course anyone can chat, but what I mean is the CSA doesn't have an actual membership. It's a few people who make up their own agenda as they go along. I prefer joining membership based groups.

And separating church and state is not even near my priority. Mine is eliminating church, or at the bare minimum, reduce it to a little pile of mush :)
Sure. CSA would not be for you. It is not realistic to wish that religion turns to mush.
Well I'm not so sure about that, without charity status, they'd lose a lot of money. If they were considered companies, they'd lose a lot more money, could they survive that... Me thinks they'd be a little mushier :)

The USA has many very active atheist groups and I'd sure like to advance that aspect in Canada... Of course Yukon's only 30,000 people; whatever I do here would not have much impact on Canada as a whole.

As soon as I'm out of school and have my evenings to myself, I'll be looking into that.
This is an uninformed opinion, I'm sorry. Secularism protects the rights of all, religious and non-religious alike. What you are talking about by turning religion to mush and all of that is an unobtainable goal, and basically pushing your views on others. To stand up for your rights to have freedom of religion, but also freedom FROM religion (like this anthem issue) is important. But you have to be mindful of others, just like they should be of you. There is a famous quote and I can't remember who said it, but.... "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it."
You spoke of revoking charity tax exempt status from churches, well here is a link to a news story about a bit of affirmative action that was taken against a Canadian Pastor that abused his congregations donations....


His church the Dominion Christian Centre has now lost its tax exempt status in Canada because of this. It's a small victory, but hey, this guy was caught and now he has to pay taxes on all the money his church brings in, and also property taxes. And think of the money he will lose because of people leaving his congregation over this. Look up the laws in Canada to become a tax exempt religious organization, and look up those of the USA. It is A LOT harder in our country.
It is my ( I consider pretty informed :p) that Secularity (within) a religious society IS itself an unachievable goal because it assumes that a majority of religious people are able to separate their souls in two and "pretend" they aren't religious when they make common decisions. This is an illusion, as long as a majority of our citizens ARE religious, religion IS controlling our society, cuz when they vote they chose people with the same religious values.

Recent example: the citizenship guidebook. A religious person "forgot" to include homosexual marriage from the guidebook. This is an example of religious control in a "secular society".
they (the deniers) continue to miss the elephant in the room.
Exactly--I guess it's too freaky to be known as the politician who is responsible for removing god from the nat'l anthem. ;-)

Neat info about the 2011 census--*thanks*.
Well, for one thing, O Canada is a horrible tune. It's an outdated, jingoistic, shallow piece of tripe. I have a great deal of appreciation of Canada and its history but our anthem is practically insulting. Anyway, more to your point, I'd like to see the references to God be omitted but I don't care enough to make it a big deal. I'd be more interested, if we must have a national anthem, to have something more appropriate to the spirit of being Canadian and not this failed veil of patriotism. Say, like Stan Rogers' ballad Northwest Passage. THAT would be something.


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