The Courier

Our national anthem, which has been tinkered with at least three times since 1880, is one of the better national anthems on earth. I say this for more than one good reason. Our anthem is a call to belong to a nation that stands united in appreciation of blessings that have been given from above, and inherited freedoms.

Nowhere do we call for the elimination of those whom we don’t like. We are not trying to whip ourselves up into a nationalist frenzy, but wish to show our love for our land, its beauty and its riches.

Think of all the mineral wealth, potash and diamonds for starters, and our good luck in inheriting a parliamentary system that has grown and developed over a thousand years. Look at it this way, anyone gazing upon the Rocky Mountains cannot help but be impressed by their rough handsomeness, not to mention them in contrast with the still blue waters of Lake Louise. The Prairies have a forlorn greatness of their own, and the seemly unending forests of Eastern Canada cannot help but command our respect. The northern Territories, as harsh as they can be, are home to nations whose cultures add to the richness of Canadian life. Inuit art is admired the world over. And then, our system of government also has much of worth to offer.

Part 1 of the Constitution Act 1982, declares: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.”  Our national anthem contains the line: “God keep our land glorious and free.”

When it comes to the rule of law, we are blessed to inherit the Westminster tradition of government which includes the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1689. Our own Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms itself grows from this political soil.

At some point in time, as a nation, we felt that having God’s blessing was an important part of having a prosperous and stable society.  Although this principle is not spoken of often in 2022, there it is in our public and official texts.

From a believer’s perspective, it is only natural that God’s help be sought out in the building and maintaining of a happy and healthy country. As the Psalmist says: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” (Ps 127:1 KJV) But even on this point, we are not saying that God will make Canada better than other nations; we are saying that our prosperity depends on acknowledging God’s place in the cosmos, and asking Heaven’s help to keep the good things that we have.

So in the end, yes, our Canadian national anthem is one of the better ones that have been written, because it is not vainglorious, but calls upon free citizens to appreciate and guard the many blessings that we have been granted by providence.





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