by Mac Olsen
This Friday is Canada Day, marking the 149th anniversary of the founding of our country.
There’s certainly a lot to admire about this country, including its ethnic and cultural diversity, from coast to coast to coast.
It’s always great to see people come for Canada Day, wearing the flag on their shirts or on hats and adorned in the memorabilia. It’s also cute to see young children get their faces painted with the Canadian flag.
And there are the barbecues, fireworks and other attributes to signify the meaning of this national holiday. They help to project Canada’s identity and place in the world. These are all very well and good and I appreciate that I live in a country which offers the freedoms and quality of life it does.
That said, I will now digress and discuss a couple of things which may make others take issue with. The first is the political correctness and gender neutraility that has been forced on our national anthem.
The federal government recently changed the wording in the national anthem from ‘… in all thy sons command’ to ‘… in all of us command’, which I find very offensive.
I grew up with ‘… in all thy sons command’ and I will never sing ‘in all of us command’. Political correctness and gender neutrality have gone too far when it comes to changing the sacred wording of our national anthem. It’s an affront to the Canadian identity.
While others may disagree, I don’t think of it as a denegration of women to sing ‘… in all thy sons command’.
To my knowledge, the wording of the national anthem, as a social convention, was never challenged until certain political interests in Ottawa made it an issue.
I equate this wording issue with another political correctness issue. I grew up with the word ‘fishermen’ and I will not say ‘fisher’. It sounds awkard to try to make that word gender neutral, too.
And I’m sure that I will receive criticism for this one – my admiration for the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S.
True, there are many people who criticize and even hate the U.S. for what it stands for. And I, too, can criticize that country for certain things, such as the impoverishment and racial tensions that seem to continue like a chronic disease.
But I find the American way of life very appealing. I grew up on American culture, including its history, books, television, film and politics. All of that holds sway over me today.
In the early 1990’s, I owned a leather jacket with ‘USA’ and Old Glory on the back. I was scorned for it, but I made no apologies.
Nor do I apologize today for my admiration of the American of life. Many of the people I’m friends with on Facebook are Americans and I “like” a lot of their postings because I understand and identify with their stances on issues like Barack Obama’s performance as the President of the United States.
So, while I will celebrate Canada Day this Friday like other Canadians, I will still sing ‘… in all thy sons command’ and look forward to July 4th.