Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saying the “G Word” in Canada

Yes, the “G Word” is “God,” a concept in which many on the left don’t believe, and many more are hostile toward. According to the National Post:
At the conclusion of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s March 28 speech to the Conservative Party’s national caucus, and his March 13 speech to our troops in Afghanistan, God is acknowledged, and His assistance is sought. “God bless Canada,” said the Prime Minister on both of those occasions. And Mr. Harper has used those words many other times since.

To say that the Prime Minister’s invocation has stirred up media hysteria would be too strong. But quite a few media observers -- and not just the heartless atheist ones, either -- have expressed disdain for the Prime Minister’s littlest of prayers.

In a pre-election column in the Montreal Gazette, writer Sue Montgomery was scathing. “This brings to mind [Harper’s] buddy south of the border, George W. Bush, who sees the Lord, not the constitution, as his guide,” wrote Montgomery. “This should be the first red flag to Canadians set to elect Harper as prime minister that we are in for the right wing ride of our lives.”

The Vancouver Sun’s Barbara Yaffe was a bit less critical in a February opinion piece, but perturbed, nonetheless. “Lord protect me for saying this, but any reference to God or people’s prayers should be curtailed by Harper. Canadians don’t mix religion with their politics ... it’s crass.”

Even international media organizations were unimpressed. Le Figaro and Liberation observed that the words rendered Mr. Harper too Bush-like. Le Figaro went so far as to caution the Conservative leader that “at the slightest misstep, Quebecers will throw themselves into the arms of the sovereignists.”

Finally, in the pages of the Toronto Star, Linda McQuaig was highly agitated by it all. “Is it just me, or does anyone else find it ominous that Harper says ‘God bless Canada’ . . . deliberately aping the most unsavoury president in U.S. history?”
The columnist who wrote the article, one Warren Kinsella, doesn’t seem too disturbed by the invocation of the Deity. He notes that the Canadian national anthem implores God to “keep our land glorious and free!”


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