Happy Canada Day to all of my fellow Canadians and those who wish they were. Today we celebrate the Dominion of Canada and our freedom as Canadians on the birthday of our great country.
At the same time, I approach this with a little bit of caution because I know that some look down upon nationalism and patriotism. I am aware that our National Anthem totes a militaristic theme and that our first allegiance must be to God rather than to Her Majesty the Queen. I’m glad I never had to pledge allegiance to the Canadian flag in the same way that my American friend have and I never have refused to sing the National anthem even though there may be parts I disagree with.
I also approach Canada Day with the realization that Canada still has a long ways to go before we will truly be “the true North strong and free.” I think of those who have been mistreated by our country – do they truly have glowing hearts? Do those who have been shafted by the system truly want to watch Canada rise at their expense and on their backs?Before Canada truly becomes strong and free we need to re-look at quite a bit of our immigration laws, our health care system which does not provide needed services to all, and our other political junctures which are hot bottom topics. We need to look at the countless who die in wars and to truly pray for them as they hold fast to the reasons for their fighting. This is not to say at all that I agree with soldiers (I am a pacifist), but it is to say that agree or disagree these men and women still need our prayers as they defend our country.
Even though Canada is not a perfect nation, we have so much to be thankful for by virtue of being Canadian and by living here. We have so many things that we likely take for granted. We have religious freedom, the ability to be conscientious objectors, the ability to have freedom of speech, and the right to an education. Women are now able to have the same jobs as men and our health care system although not perfect is still among the best in the world. We know that we are being represented in the House of Commons and that the voice of voters is being heard in the Parliament – even when it takes a long time.
This Canada Day I would urge you not to be cynical and not to over-think the whole patriotism/nationalism debate. Instead, be thankful for those who have come before us and made this country what it is, those who currently are working for reform and social change in our country, and those who will come after us. Let’s give our contribution to make Canada a better place for future generations. Let’s work towards one day making it “The true North strong and free”!
GOD BLESS CANADA!