Monday, October 7, 2013
WHOSE True Patriot Love?
I fully support the current campaign by Margaret Atwood's group of prominent Canadian women to make the English wording of our national anthem gender-neutral and inclusive by changing "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command." Surely that's not too much to ask in the 21st century!
Some opponents argue, however, that it would lead to further changes in the national anthem. (Yeah, like that's a bad thing?) Specifically, they're concerned that people will want to modify the line "our home and native land" as well. Modern Canada is a multicultural land of immigrants and many argue that this line excludes new Canadians who weren't born here. I think the problem is easily solved simply by changing the line to "our own belovéd land." Why wouldn't we want the national anthem to be as inclusive as possible?
Of course, Canada's First Nations have their own rewording suggestion:
But that might be a bit more truth than our national anthem can handle, eh?
Of course, there's also that subsequent reference to "God keep our land glorious and free." How exclusionary is that!?! What about agnostics and atheists? Not to mention those of us who are devoted to the Goddess instead! So I would change that line to "Let's keep our land glorious and free." Plus, that change also puts the responsibility precisely where it should be, doesn't it? On us!
And don't even get me started on the French version of the national anthem. All those references to "forefathers" and "faith" and linking "the sword" to "the cross" -- it's even more obnoxious than the English version!
Well, now I'm all worked up. I must go and have a nice calming cup of tea. Sweetened with maple syrup, of course.