The following email circular was sent to me recently and requested my response. Although I can understand some of the sentiment (a very small amount) The author is promoting intolerance by using historical conservatism (but really doesn’t know his history – or even the current motto of Canada) My response in liberal red can be found bellow the offending article which is in blue for no political reason.
IMMIGRANTS, NOT Canadians MUST ADAPT.
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Canadians. However….. the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the “politically correct! ” crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.
I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Canada. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Canada being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Canadians…….
we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.
We speak ENGLISH/FRENCH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!
“We Stand On Guard For Thee” is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan.. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women…….on Christian principles………….
founded this nation….. and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it
on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as
your new home………because God is part of our culture.
We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle.
But once you are done complaining……. whining…… and griping……. about our flag…….
our pledge…… our national motto……..or our way of life….I highly encourage you to
take advantage of one other Great Canadian Freedom……. THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.
It is Time for Canada to Speak up If you agree — pass this along; if you don’t agree — delete it!
Sorry to have offended anyone by printing that but here is my response that might make you feel less insulted. especially if you are an immigrant.
I think that the author was likely more racist than the slightly tempered product he created. While I think that Christmas should be called Christmas and that it behoves immigrants to learn English or French, this article to me should be offensive to real modern Canadians.
His whole rant that says “We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle.” Isn’t true or multiculturalism would have died long ago. It isn’t a new Idea it’s been with us over twenty years and in my opinion is just a sign that Canada has grown up.
And the whole paragraph that implies that “We Stand On Guard For Thee” refers to God Is bunk concerning the fact that the this segment of the National anthem means we stand on guard for Canada not God.
The author would have been better served if he had used our real motto to support his case. Our Motto Canada’s motto is “A Mari usque ad Mare” (From sea to sea) and is based on the biblical scripture: “He shall have dominion from sea to sea”
To some degree a homogeniously Christian Canada is history (whether we like it or not). Personally I love the diversity that has landed on Canada’s shores, and am willing to make some concessions. I will say merry Christmas to my Christian friends happy Hanukah to my Jewish friends and happy Diwali to my Hindu friends, and those that don’t celebrate at that time get seasons greetings. Its cool to learn something about immigrants they just make Canada a more interesting place to live.
I think in a predominantly Christian area the use of Christian symbols like a Christmas tree (which is actually a pagan symbol adopted by the Christian in the 1200’s) is appropriate and a Menorah in a Jewish area like the Jewish district in Montreal, which saw Canada’s first synagogue built in 1777, is also appropriate.
Personally I think that intolerance is something we should leave behind and this guy seems to think that being tolerant means that you loose your national identity, personally I think you improve it.
Canada is great because it feels sorry that it interned the Japanese and Italians, Its great because it regrets the attempt to forcefully tried to civilize its natives through the residential school system (where they were abused). It tolerates everyone and their sexual choices as Pierre Trudeau said “the government has no right in the bedrooms of the nation.”
This country is a great place to live, and I love it, as it is now not 50 years ago when it wasn’t as tolerant.
If you are an immigrant to Canada THANK YOU for adding your culture to the greatness that is Canada !
If the author wants to go live in a country that has a stronger connection to its past may I suggest (as he did) he take advantage of one other Great Canadian Freedoms – The right to leave.