LETTER: Can reject religion in anthem without being disrespectful

Re: “Canadian Anthem discriminates” by David Lethbridge, June 27.

As a Calgarian, I’ve been to your city every year for the past 34 years and I’ve enjoyed reading your newspaper as often as possible.

A recently published letter forced me to revisit the French lyrics to the O Canada I sang as a kid growing up in Quebec. A letter claimed the French lyrics were “even more outrageously religious” than the English version. There are actually only two small references specifically religious in the French version. The first one indeed refers to carrying the cross. The other could be translated to “and your valour, immersed in faith” will protect our homes and our rights.” Calling the lyrics “outrageously religious” is a huge stretch – misinformation really.

Related: Canadian anthem discriminates

Our anthem is not overly religious nor does it discriminate against anyone unless you are someone who chooses to see offence where none was included or meant. Any ‘unbeliever’ who feels threatened by these two allusions to our religious Canadian past surely needs to study this anthem a lot more closely.

Finally, it’s one thing to suggest eliminating any religious references in “O Canada.” It’s another to suggest such changes while dismissing a person’s religious beliefs as ‘superstitions.’ Needlessly disrespectful. Get your facts right, get your priorities right, but also realize your perception of the world is not the only one out there. Then we can talk about making more changes to our anthem.

Gilles Rivard


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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