This is a modified version of a speech I gave August 14 at the SSN Boys and Girls Club charity golf tourney.
Tonight, I would like to share my views as a former business man and a former mayor of the capital city of Canada, on Canada, Christianity how they relate to our national anthem. My unique prospective plus the benefit of having the last eighteen months to catch up on what is going on in our world has raised a number of cultural challenges that we as Canadians do not fully appreciate and even worse; we feel embarrassed to even talk about.
As as Preston Manning once said, ” Whenever you shine a bright light in the dark your bound to attract some bugs. This post will be deemed by our opponents or others as politically incorrect, offensive or even worse. I do not think it is, by any measure of those , but the left leaning press and others may try to paint it that way.
OK, with the disclaimer given, I would like to talk about Canada and our national anthem and how the two are connected to God. O Canada became our national anthem in 1980 but has served us since 1939. Composed by Calixa Lavalleve in 1880, it was originally a french poem written by Sir Adolphe -Basile Rouchier and then refined by Stanley Wier in 1908. The Stanley Wier version has been modified a bit but the last verse reads:
Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion within your loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting rich reward
As waiting for the better day
We stand on guard for thee.
It has been around for a long time and has been re-written on numerous occasions. There is the much wisdom of many generation of Canadians in this song. There is also much religion in these words. There are a few words of our current national anthem that I would like to focus on:
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North Strong and Free
From Far and Wide, O Canada
We Stand on Guard for Thee
God keep our land, glorious and free
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
Both versions clearly indicate that our country was founded on God as being part of our life. The Constitution and the British North America Act also confirms the important role of God in our country. Others might not like it – but it is the truth. Our country has been cradled by God since its inception and we are a better nation as a result.
So are those words in O Canada still important to us today?
I would argue that they are and they perhaps even more important today then at any time in our countries history. First off, I think everyone here believes we live in a great country. A country that has found a delicate balance between freedom and government,. A country that has found a special balance between economic efficiency and social equity. A country that has found the balance between human rights and a citizens responsibilities and a country that embraces freedom of religion.
But here is where the message must get serious. We should not take what we have for granted.We should not assume that what was, will be. Ronald Reagan once said we are always only one generation away from tyranny. All of our freedoms could fall by the wayside if we do not recognize the threats. All of our joys and culture are under attack from many different directions and we can only do what we do best and return to christian values of faith hope and charity.
Our success as a nation has been based on our JUDEA CHRISTIAN values and the hard work and sweat of immigrants from all over the world. These values have helped us through wars, famines and natural disasters. But TODAY our future success is being challenged by many different forces. Forces are in play to cripple our economy. Forces are in play to decay our morality. The challenges come from near and from afar and because of these challenges our future depends, not only, upon being proud of Canada and proud of our Judea-Christian values and ethics but we as a Country getting back to values and beliefs that have made us strong and made us wise.
So what are these challenges? Over the last eighteen months of study I have been committed to answering that question.
Here are some observations about the current Economic, political and spiritual challenges we face in today:
There is a growing global recession/depression spreading to North America that will create civil unrest. It is already happening in Europe and the Middle East. There is growing insolvency of the western banking and financial systems. Too many scandals to even mention, but our capitalism has mutated into something we should be wary of. There is a rapid collapse of asset-backed retirement and social systems that will lead to increased domestic unrest in Canada as it has in Greece and other Eurozone Countries. Countries are piling on debt that they will never be able to pay back.There are 46 million Americans on food stamps. (1 in 7 people) The Eurozone economy is slowly falling apart with some countries experiencing 25% unemployment rates American unemployment rates are at 8.6%. We are running out of cheap oil and 2/3′s of the oil is related to growing and transporting our food. Food prices are going to increase substantially in this decade.
Geopolitical tensions are growing, particularly in the Middle East is leading to increased International tensions and growing political divisions within the world’s “monolithic” powers (USA, China, Russia or Communism Vs. Democracy. The main stream media, government sector unions, and other socialist organizations have created an environment where anyone criticizing the left or extremist groups is considered a racist or anti-establishment.
This is bad news for democracy because tolerance that only goes one way is not tolerance — it is tyranny. This form of tyranny has limited an open and free debate regarding the threats to Canadian society and our future. Certain groups want to end any conversations that might make us feel proud of our heritage and there is no better way of doing that then to accuse someone of being a racist. And therefore our politicians are afraid of being accused so they do not or will not talk about Canada’s christian heritage.
Sources of domestic moral guidance such as religions based on Judea-Christian values are declining and the void is being filled by those opposed to our survival. Why can’t we start the school day with a prayer? What is wrong with saying Merry Christmas? Religious forms of moral guidance have also been regulated or embarrassed out of the day to day life of canadians. Remember growing up with Andy Griffith and Mayberry? Today our children have reality shows the promote the lowest form of morals and values.
Today some are embarrassed to be Christians! So what is the solution?
Two weeks ago Colleen and I went to an event called Restoring Love in Dallas Texas where we were with 65,000 others asking the same question. The event was hosted by Glenn Beck. For three days not a negative word was spoken about any other faith or idea — it was about moving forward as a culture. And it was about charity. Many acts of kindness and charity were taken and much satisfaction to the good Samaritans was attained. We learned it was OK to be our brothers keeper — better us than the Government. From repairing air conditioners in churches to having twenty people descend on an eighty years house and repainting it, cleaning up the yard,. It was wonderful to be part of so much faith hope and charity.
In total we had over 65,000 people make the commitment to faith hope and charity over three days of celebrating freedom and religion. We discovered that we could not fight evil with evil. We discovered we could not beat greed with more greed. We discovered you can’t fight hate with hate. We realized though that you can fight evil with faith; that you can fight greed with charity and that you can fight hate with hope.
We also we should not be embarrassed about all the good we have achieved as free Christians and we uncovered how we feel about the Judea Christian background of our nations; for some it was the U.S.A and for us it was Canada. It was an awakening of sorts.
How can you discover your own true feelings on our heritage and our Country?
Here are some questions I hope you will ask yourself that might help guide you to your solution.
Do you believe that Canadian freedom and success depends on the strong moral Judea Christian values.
Do you believe that others are free to practice religions of their choice but in Canada our Judea Christian principles and values are fundamental to our success?
Do you believe that a limited, constitutional government that protects free markets, free enterprise and private property are central to Canada’s rule of law and represent the best means for governing our Country?
If the answers to those questions was yes then — I ask you to be proud of the life we have built here in Canada and to continue to stand on guard for our Country.
If you your answer to those questions was was yes then I urge all of you to start demonstrating pride in your Judea Christian values of Freedom and God and being active in helping people in need through your actions.
If your answers to those question was yes then be active in helping others and be open in loving and giving to others wo do not share our views.
If your answer was yes then show the world that the idea of Canada is wonderful and that we must covet and protect our values and freedoms. That is why we have so many people who want to come to Canada.
If your answer was yes I hope that you will consider finding common ground with those that do not share you views of freedom and religion. It is the Canadian way!
But remember: Finding common ground does not have to mean compromise. Our freedoms and our nation are too important for compromise! Our Judea Christian heritage is to important to compromise and very important to celebrate.
In conclusion I would like to say it is time we stopped being embarrassed about the great success our Christian country has achieved. It is also time for us to show our friends that we care about them. It is time stand arm in arm against the forces that want to destroy our Christian country and we should never ever compromise on the values that have made us great.
Being a Christian is a verb not an adjective so it is time to act.
Let us not lose this fight because we did not stand up. Let us show the world that we are proud of our Judea Christian heritage and their days of running rough shod over us are at an end. The solution lies with you, my friends, and it is time for us to start acting like Christians again. Our Judea Christian history has served us well and it is important to celebrate our heritage. There are many who feel alone in this battle of cultures, but let me assure you that is not true. You have fellow Christian soldiers by your side all over Canada.
God bless you, God bless Canada and thank you for Standing on Guard for Canada.
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