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NELSON: Make changes – no big deal, eh?
Let’s just do it, Andy.
Let’s change two words in our national anthem to include all Canadians.
Just change “in all our sons command” to “in all of us command” and “God keep our land, glorious and free,” to something like “We’ll keep our land glorious and free.”
I know, you think it’s political correctness run amok — next thing you know, we won’t be allowed to celebrate Christmas.
I know, you know lots of women and atheists who happily sing the present lyrics, so why change?
I know, “sons” is an allusion to past wars, when it was our sons who fought and died.
And I know, this isn’t the biggest issue Canadians face. Should we be wasting our time talking about a few words in a song?
The answer, of course, is no. So let’s just do it, without a bunch of palaver.
Changing a few words in a song won’t change our patriotism. It won’t disrespect our troops and it’s not kowtowing to Margaret Atwood, a bunch of radical feminists or the godless among us.
And forget the tradition argument. “O Canada” has been our national anthem since 1980, hardly eons. Its lyrics have been changed umpteen times during its metamorphosis from 1880 to its 1980 adoption as our national anthem.
But two little changes will allow women and non-Christians to be represented by “O Canada.” It’s the Canadian thing to do because Canadians don’t put up with excluding people from things.
A month after we make the change, we won’t love our country any less and women and non-Christians will feel better about their anthem and the fact we respected them enough to change it.
It’s the right thing to do, it doesn’t hurt anyone and it doesn’t cost anything. It’s free — in both senses of the word.
So let’s just do what’s right, Andy, like we approved marriage equality, without a big fuss.
Those committed to excluding women and non-Christians from our national anthem are free to stand at hockey games and sing “sons” and “God” if it’s the only way they can express their patriotism.
But even if we do change “sons” and “God” to “us” and “we’ll,” they’ll still drop the puck shortly thereafter and the game will go on.