True North Strong and Free, but only until the man upstairs decides otherwise


 

I was feeling pretty good there for a moment while watching Stephen Harper’s Canada Day greeting.

There he was, our Prime Minister, praising “the wisdom of our ancestors who built this great land,” which is nice, and giving “thanks to those brave Canadians who risk their lives to defend us,” which is also nice. Plus, Harper did the video at his residence at Harrington Lake, which allowed us to watch the water for signs of an innertubing Mike Duffy.

To recap then: Ancestors? Build this land. Troops? Defended it. As for the current crop of Canadians, we are apparently “strong and resilient” and “committed to common values.” A little generic, but fine. We’ll take it. Beats being called “weak-willed and majorly fruity.”

But then a curious thing happened – Harper concluded his brief remarks not with a tried and true farewell, like “Long live Canada” or “Seacrest out,” but instead by stating: “May God continue to keep our land glorious and free.”

Whoawhoawhoa. Whoa. I thought our ancestors made us glorious and free. I thought our troops defended our glory and our freedom. But no, turns out our glory and freedom are all the work of an omnipotent deity who squeezes us in between determining the outcome of professional sporting events and hearing the prayers of potentially pregnant teenagers.

Now I wish Harper’s speech had gotten more into the details. How exactly does God keep us free? Does He put up some invisible “God shield” that keeps out terrorists? Does He conduct a semi-annual smiting of aspiring despots? Is it He who each winter keeps back from our cities the packs of ravaging yeti?

And what does God do to “continue to keep our land glorious?” Is that Him creating the northern lights and Elisha Cuthbert’s cleavage?

I’m sure we’ll get the answers to these and other important questions at some point other than during the next election campaign, when Harper will by complete coincidence stop mentioning God.


 
Filed under:

True North Strong and Free, but only until the man upstairs decides otherwise

  1. Harper thinks some supreme being is concerned with territorial rights and borders. Harper often refers to a god in connection with territory, resources, country, etc and rarely in connection with people. Recall Harper's god gave Canada oil 2007 Canada Day speech.

    • Harper often refers to a god in connection with territory, resources, country, etc and rarely in connection with people.

      It's like you're a visitor from another planet, trying to comprehend why the Canadian Prime Minister only uses the word "God" in connection with Canada when he speaks to Canadians.

    • Harper often refers to a god in connection with territory, resources, country, etc and rarely in connection with people.

      It's like you're a visitor from another planet, trying to comprehend why the Canadian Prime Minister tends to use the word "God" in connection with Canada when he speaks to Canadians.

      • Yes, I am from the planet where the Prime Minister would wish CANADIANS a Happy Canada Day, rather than wishing Canada a good day like Harper does. I always wish my family, friends and neighbours a Happy Canada Day. I never thought to tell them I was wishing Canada a happy birthday. I notice Ignatieff sent his wishes out to Canadians too, not out to some land and resources, as Harper is wont to do.

        • Catherine, a partisan Liberal commenter is just being her usual partisan nit-picky self.

          • That's probably it – if Harper wished Canadians a happy day it would include non-Conservatives, atheists and even those cosmopolitan Canadians who are currently studying at Harvard or Princeton. Can't have that.

          • so says the man in the glass house. Are the pots and kettles still black Jarrid?

  2. As an atheist, I too have problems with Harper's invocation of the Will Of God. On the other hand, Scott, you do make a compelling argument with that whole "Elisha Cuthbert's cleavage" thing.

  3. Maybe he had a seniors moment, and completely blanked on what he was supposed to say.
    As a quick recovery, he just pinched some things from the national anthem.
    Did he mention his glowing heart, and how he enjoyed watching Canada rise?

  4. Harper paraphrases words of our national anthem on Canada Day and Scott Feshcuk has his knickers in a knot this morning.

    Figures that a former Paul Martin insider would think this way. Christian-bashing by the Liberal Party was raised to another level during Martin's short ill-fated reign.

    I wonder if the Libs will continue with their religion-baiting ways under Iggy? It just doesn't seem like a smart strategy considering the number of people in this country that beleive in divine providence.

    • Figures that a former Paul Martin insider would think this way. Christian-bashing by the Liberal Party…

      Thanks for clarifying which god Harper was invoking.

    • Divine Providence? Oh please Jarrid. Its 2009 not 1899.

  5. Come on, give the guy a break. Doing what he does, is it any surprise he has an imaginary friend?

  6. God keeps Canada glorious and free while enabling the suffering and death of millions of children.

    Fear the glory of his most spiteful God, or else… pestilence!

  7. So Mr. Feschuk, as you suggesting that we re-write the words to the national anthem? Or perhaps just that the PM not incorporate them into speeches, nor say them out loud?

    I get why some people might not be comfortable with the lines "God keep our land glorious and free" but A) I wouldn't be in favour of rewording our national anthem over it, and B) while perhaps I'd wish the PM hadn't chosen to paraphrase that particular line from the anthem, I just can't see my way to criticizing the Prime Minister for paraphrasing the national anthem in a speech on Canada Day.

    I realize this blog is a humour/entertainment blog, not a news or politics site, but still. This feels like the sort of post that makes it more difficult to have a serious discussion as to whether a particular party allows religion to colour their policies too much, and leads inevitably to idiotic references to "Christian bashing" and the terrible oppressed state of Christianity (and/or religion generally) in Canada. The only thing more likely to get religious nuts more actively involved politically in Canada than the PM using a line from our national anthem that mentions God in a speech, is a bunch of people criticizing the PM for using a line from our national anthem that mentions God in a speech.

  8. forger about the national anthem -, has Scott Feschuck even read the Canadian constitution?

    • remind me – does the Constitution mention God only between elections, and never during the campaigns themselves?

      • Zing!

      • Unfortunately, Paul Wells has already awarded some other comment a set of steak knives for "non sequitur of the week". Try again in three days.

      • No one's answered SF's question yet!

        Well, Mr. Feschuk, the Constitution mentions God all the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, election or no. It not only mentions God, it acknowledges God's supremacy ("Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law").

        • Yeah, we all know the past influence of churches on government, but the point here is about Harper using religion politically. Harper could be a devil worshiper for all we know – who really knows if Harper thinks the earth is 6000 years old, just because he claims to belong to a church which takes that as a given. All we know is Harper's political use of religion and Mr. Feschuk is pointing out that he doesn't find it as politically useful during an election. Care to counter that point?

          • "we all know the past influence of churches on government"
            This is another non sequitur. Whatever the "past influence of churches on government" may or may not have been, that has nothing to do with invocations of God.

        • That's pretty wishy washy language, Constitution. You won't directly say that God is supreme, you're just "founded upon principles" that do so.

  9. Harper didn't quote our national anthem. He used the words "continue to" which attributes past action on some god's part that is not in our national anthem. Our national anthem has a request to a god, not a commentary on his or her past behavior.

    • Well, I'd say in this context that's overly pedantic. The problem people seem to have with the phrase is not whether we (or Harper) are asking God to do something, versus asking God to continue to do something that's been done in the past, but that we're making a request of God at all (or in this case that the PM is making a request, arguably essentially on our behalf).

      So, sure, there's a difference between looking to heaven and saying "God, keep our land glorious and free" and looking to heaven and saying "God, continue to keep our land glorious and free", but somehow I think the bulk of the objection is to asking God to do anything at all. I guess Harper's paraphrase does imply that God's been listening to us all this time, while the actual words of the anthem leave room for God to just ignore us (or to not exist), but I don't think that's all that important a distinction in the context of Feschuk's post. I guess one could argue that it's fine for the Prime Minister to call on God's help on behalf of the nation, but untoward for the Prime Minister to imply that God's ever actually helped us in the past or might actually continue to do so, but again, that seems a strange distinction to me. I just find it weird that one could argue that it's fine for the PM (or any of us when singing the song) to offer (essentially) a prayer to God, but that it's untoward of the PM to suggest that God answers prayers, or has ever answered the prayers of Canadians in the past.

      I have a strong feeling a post like this one may have been written even if Harper had finished his speech with "May God keep our land glorious and free".

      • Sure, picking that one line out of the anthem would have still sent the message that Harper is primarily interested in sending greetings to Canadians who worship the same personal god as he does, but I suspect the "continuing to" is Harper thinking of his chances for re-election. Usually Harper is fairly transparent in his chosen words.

        • The comment isn't necessarily clarifying the God which Harper was invoking, just the one which Feschuck is criticizing, since its safe to say that neither he nor you would say anything against, say, Sikhs invoking God. Christians are safe for liberal bashing in way that other religions are not.

          • "Christians are safe for liberal bashing in way that other religions are not".

            Highly dubious, but maybe.

            That said, I think one could argue that Christians (in Canada) are safe FROM every OTHER kind of bashing in a way that other religions are not (including, in some cases, actual physical bashing).

            I also think the country's Christians can probably survive the "bashing" you claim they're faced with from "liberals". Given that Christian's make up roughly 75% of the country, that 22 of the 22 Prime Ministers in our history have been Christian (a success rate of, let me do the math here… 100%) and the fact that every federalist party in the House of Commons is lead by a Christian, I think I'll hold off on getting too concerned about the terrible bashing the liberals of the country are apparently subjecting poor Christians too.

          • Kim Campbell was an atheist. So technically, for a few months in 1993, Canada was governed by someone who didn't believe in God.

          • Huh. I didn't realize that. Well, I stand corrected. Christians in Canada only have a 95.5% success rate when running for PM.

          • They still have a 100% success rate when it comes to getting a mandate in a general election…

          • Well, the difference here (as opposed to the U.S.) is that their Christianity had absolutely _nothing_ to getting a mandate in an election.

            Do you think the general population even _knows_ the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) of most of the current, sitting MPs? Probably not. Because, thankfully, practically none of them talks about their 'belief' in public addresses.

            One more reason I'm soooo happy I live here rather than one country to the South :)

  10. Christian bashing? Good grief. A good Christian would realize that Christ believed in the separation of church and state (those money making Chrisitian right wing clerical people never bring that up) –

    Paying Taxes & Separation of Church & State: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the
    things that are God's. [Matthew 22:21]

    • Meaningless comment. "Separation of Church and state" need have nothing to do with invocations of God. So God is the Canadian constitution, but Canada has separation of church and state. Martin Luther King talked about God nonstop, but he wasn't against the separation of Church and state. And so on.

      • Feschuk's point was not that Harper invoked God but that he did so in an unintentionally comic fashion. "Continue to keep our land glorious and free" implies that God has been working overtime to keep us glorious and free and that we hope he'll keep up the good work. It is not pious to patronise your deity.

        • The only kinds of people who could seriously think that that's the only thing which Harper's comment imply are people who have simply never thought seriously about religious questions in the first place. Basically, God is invoked as a necessary but insufficient condition. There's a lot more to be said about that, which could be said to people who were more seriousness than snarky.

          • "Snark" is exactly how I'd characterise contemporary Christianity.

      • Feschuk's point was not that Harper invoked God but that he did so in an unintentionally comic fashion. "Continue to keep our land glorious and free" implies that God has been working overtime to keep us glorious and free and that we hope he'll keep up the good work. It is not pious to patronise your deity. But then again I keep forgetting that our Christian brothers & sisters tend to view God as a lapel pin.

  11. Okay, supposedly my comment was meaningless – to each their own opinion but the Christian right wing are trying to make it otherwise – look what happened to the GOP in the US.

    By the way – since when (reference Christian bashing by Jarrid) did God only belong to Christians?

    • "Okay, supposedly my comment was meaningless"
      Well, at least it didn't make any intelligible point. Basically, simply invoking God does not mean that you're against the separation of Church and state.

      "By the way – since when (reference Christian bashing by Jarrid) did God only belong to Christians?"

      I responded to the same suggestion by Catherine above:

      "The comment isn't necessarily clarifying the God which Harper was invoking, just the one which Feschuck is criticizing, since its safe to say that neither he nor you would say anything against, say, Sikhs invoking God. Christians are safe for liberal bashing in way that other religions are not."

      • Now you're getting paranoid and ridiculous – Jarrid say Christian bashing.

        You don't know what I believe at all – this is getting rather silly. Don't try to decide for me what I would or wouldn't do.

  12. Fun fact: Three quarters of Canadians believe in God, just like the Prime Minister does.

    • Fun fact? I don't find anything amusing about it and, what's your point and who cares? I don't really care what Harper believes religiously, it's his choice.

      • Technically, any fact that makes an appearance in a Feschuk blog comment is a "fun fact". You're reading too much into it.

        Glad to hear that you respect Harper's religious choices, unlike some commenters here, who whine whenever our PM says the word "God".

        • Wait a minute… blog comments are supposed to have facts?? I'm lucky if the ones I write have a verb.

          CR, it's not about one's belief in God. It's about one's belief in whether they want politicians to invoke Him, praise Him, do things in His name or politely ask Him to bless certain people, nations and causes. Personally, I don't want my politicians to do that. I prefer them to be motivated by more old-fashioned forces like greed and self-interest.

          • This is kind of a sad comment. Feschuk starts by outlining what could be a position, even though one that is deeply problematic. But instead of admitting any such problems or proposing any attractive alternative, he brings it around to glib snark. Which is just why I'd like politicians to take religious questions more seriously: because I don't think that smug, shallow snark sets a good example for anyone.

          • Two points:

            (1) I come to this blog for the glib snark. (2) Speaking of setting examples, "Question period" ought to be called "Glib Snark Period"

          • “May God continue to keep our land glorious and free.” Seems like a pretty generic statement to me, similar to the thousands of generic references to the Almighty that have appeared in prime ministerial speeches since Confederation.

            Personally, I think it's nice that the Prime Minister has kept up the Canadian tradition of saying "God Bless Canada" (or some harmless variation) at the end of speeches. It helps remind Canadians that we really are blessed to live in such a wonderful country, whether or not one believes that there is a God watching over us.

          • CR, you say Harper's ",i>kept up the Canadian tradition of saying "God Bless Canada" (or some harmless variation) at the end of speeches" but was Harper actually upholding a "Canadian tradition" or creating one? 'Cause I don't remember previous PM's signing off speeches this way, and I seem to remember a fair bit of writing about it when people started to notice Harper doing it).

            Now, I personally don't have a real problem with Harper adding this to the end of his speeches, but I'm not sure this counts as keeping up a "Canadian tradition" as I think said tradition started in around 2006 with the election of Steven Harper. Innovation? Maybe. Tradition? I'm not so sure.

          • The final words of Lester B. Pearson's Address on the Inauguration of the National Flag of Canada – February 15, 1965:

            "Under this Flag may our youth find new inspiration for loyalty to Canada; for a patriotism based not on any mean or narrow nationalism, but on the deep and equal pride that all Canadians will feel for every part of this good land.

            God bless our flag!

            And God bless Canada!"

            http://www.freewebs.com/hproj05/pearsonsspeech.ht

            That's the kind of thing Feschuck can't stand for, I guess.

          • " It helps remind Canadians that we really are blessed to live in such a wonderful country, whether or not one believes that there is a God watching over us. "

            I completely agree that we are _extremely_ blessed/lucky to live in this country ~ but if you truly believe in your last comment "whether or not one believes that there is a God watching over us", why even MENTION 'God' at all?

    • We don't know what Harper really believes, but we do know what he wants us to think.

      Harris-Decima poll: 72% said they believed in god, whereas 23% said they didn't believe in any gods. However, other studies show that the number who will answer that they believe in a god includes those who simply believe in some nebulous force for good and does not mean they think this entity needs to be worshipped or has been personally responsible for which countries have good or bad governments.

      • We don't know what Harper really believes, but we do know what he wants us to think.

        Are you suggesting that Harper may secretly be an atheist? LOL. We've come full circle from the days when Harper was tarred as a scary religious ideologue, haven't we?

        • Nowadays all the sincere nihilists are deeply religious.

          • *disclaimer: this has nothing to do with the content of any of your posts, but just an innocent question*

            Do you guys automatically +1 your own posts or something? Seldom do I se a post from either of you go un-+1'ed.
            Seriously…

          • The comment system (Intense Debate) automatically gives us +1 every time we comment. I guess they figure we'd be doing it anyway! I think, too, that the "points" they assign people are somehow tied to the +/- ratings, so the more you comment the higher your rating drifts and the more you love Intense Debate & generally feel special.

          • When you sign up for an Intense Debate account, you get an automatic plus one on all your comments. Also, you get the ability to edit comments after posting them, and your comment history is available to all.

          • tempting as that may sound, anonymity has its pluses (pun intended?)

            i`m also glad to see that it`s not you guys doing it as a form of one-upmanship. i come here because the debate is miles ahead of the idiocy in the comments over at cbc.ca. kudos, gents!

          • The 'automatic plus one' thing is moronic…..

            "Also, you get the ability to edit comments after posting them"

            which is why it's a good idea to always QUOTE the person/post you're responding to ~ that way, their original words are all there to see, even if they edit :)

        • I simply mean we do not know what Harper believes, even though I know what his church believes. I'm skeptical of any politician who unnecessarily brings his religion into his statements to Canadians. However, I can imagine that Harper, like his church, believes the second coming is imminent. It would explain a lot, actually.

          • If Harper believes Christ is coming to earth again, after some 2000 years, will he accept him, or say he's "just visiting?"

    • Three quarters of Canadians probably don't really believe in God but pretend to in public every once in a while to keep people happy?

  13. You're attacking a strawman. I never claimed that Christians wouldn't survive, nor that non-Christians didn't labour under different sorts of burdens. Just that for the bien pensant liberal crowd, criticizing Christians will always be safe for criticism in a way that other religions aren't.

    • Surely not safe as long as there's somebody out there whining for the Lord.

      • This doesn't even make any sense.

        • Pray harder for understanding.

    • Christians will always be safe for criticism in a way that other religions aren't

      Well, that's a bit of a truism, no? I mean, isn't it universally true that criticizing the majority will always be safer (politically) than criticizing a minority? It's the same reason that if I beat up my older brother I'm cool, but if I beat up my younger brother I'm a bully.

      Christians complaining that they're subject to more criticism than other religions in Canada remind me of white people complaining that there are all these programs to help minorities but nothing for them (Why don't we have a "National Association for the Advancement of White People"… Why isn't there a "White History Month"…).

      Anyway, if there's a straw man about, I think it just MIGHT be this notion that there's a rash of "Christian bashing" among the "bien pensant liberal crowd". Perhaps the nation's Christian clergy need to start explaining to the flock that despite the fact the name of the malady may sound laudable, developing a bit of a "Christ complex" isn't actually a good thing.

      • "I mean, isn't it universally true that criticizing the majority will always be safer (politically) than criticizing a minority?"
        This analogy is imperfect, because it doesn't take into account the quality of the criticism involved. Regardless, this is all a bit of a diversion: again, I didn't really say that there's "a rash" of Christian-bashing of whatever. I didn't say that Christians survival is in danger of anything like that. You're over-reading fairly straight-forward comments.

  14. Perhaps he meant that we are blessed by God to have Harper as PM. So “May God continue to keep our land glorious and free.” actually means "Keep voting for me and everything will be fine." I'm sold.

  15. The Prime Minister has every right to invoke God in his speech.

    Just as i have every right to invoke the spirit of Sham Wow to come mow my lawn. Neither of us should be surprised that we take some ribbing.

    Although the Gemans make good stuff, so you never know…

  16. Even better, check out what Pearson says right before the passage just quoted:

    "May the land over which this new Flag flies remain united in freedom and justice; a land of decent God-fearing people…"

    • Good plan, VER. Let's go back to 1965 and do everything they did. Excuse me while I go watch Reach for the Top and contract VD.

      • Again, the non-sequitur steak knives have already been handed out this week. I wasn't suggesting a "plan" – just responding to the suggestion that Harper's use of the term was an "innovation". More broadly, its one of several ways to point out that politicians invoking God does not violate any sort of separation of church and state, as has been claimed in this thread. Of course, that doesn't make it a good idea either – and whether it is a good idea would require some serious discussion, and has of course received such discussion in other forums.

        • VER is correct. If anyone bothered to check they would find hundreds of prime ministerial references to God in the past 30 years alone.

        • VER is correct. If anyone bothered to check they would find hundreds of prime ministerial references to God in the past 30 years alone, not including Harper.

          • are we really going back again to someone else did it first CR?

      • And here I thought " glorious and free " are what we had a political system
        and politicians for…… I want Scott's job.

  17. That was back in the days before God was a mascot for a cult.

    • (rolls eyes)

      • Sorry, CR, but I find it impossible that people who trot God out as a kind of muppet (no offense) have any meaningful religious convictions. The ultimate principle of justice and power in the universe, and you're allowed to namedrop him? That's not a religion, it's a lifestyle.

        • (rolls eyes, again)

        • "That's not a religion, it's a lifestyle"

          Indeed, when Martin Luther King Jr. sat in prison writing about the connection between the political positions that had gotten him there and his convictions about God, his "lifestyle choice" appears to be patently meaningless, next to the profound convictions and depth of reflection that characterize Feschukian snark.

        • If you're saying that there are people out there who "namedrop" God for their own selfish purposes, well, there's nothing new about that. It's been going on for millennia.

          • Agreed, but let's not applaud them on the basis of religious freedom. It's possible to despise hypocrisy for non-hypocritical reasons.

        • If you're saying that there are people out there who "namedrop" God for their own selfish purposes, well, there's nothing new about that. It's been going on for millenia.

  18. It could have been worse.
    Picture Harper with a wreath around his head, sword in hand, and cross on his back.

    We could then sing to him:

    O Harper!
    Leader of our forefathers
    Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
    As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
    So also is it ready to carry the cross.
    Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
    Thy valour steeped in faith
    Will protect our homes and our rights
    Will protect our homes and our rights.

    Stevie Harper, you're my hero!!! ;)

    I hope the seriousness police can forgive me for this…..

  19. It could have been worse.
    Picture Harper with a wreath around his head, sword in hand, and cross on his back.

    We could then sing to him:

    O Harper!
    Leader of our forefathers
    Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
    As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
    So also is it ready to carry the cross.
    Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
    Thy valour steeped in faith
    Will protect our homes and our rights
    Will protect our homes and our rights.

    Stevie Harper, you're my hero!!! ;)

  20. Well, forgive me for taking Christianity seriously.

  21. When Martin Luther King Jr. talked of God, he meant it. Not so Harper with his throwaway lines to the base, or yourself, who apparently can't see the difference.

    • Feschuk's position is that all references to God by politicians are unacceptable. Your own evaluation of various people's sincerity may be interesting to you, but has no bearing on the general principle at stake.

  22. That was not Feschuk's point at all: he was irked at the incredible cynicism of Harper's closing remark. As to being interested in people's sincerity, I couldn't care less if you're sincere or not, but I care whether people are interested in their own sincerity and will defend the principle of sincerity. For you, apparently, all that matters is whether somebody belongs to your club or not. What piety.

    • "That was not Feschuk's point at all: he was irked at the incredible cynicism of Harper's closing remark."

      Feschuck wrote:

      "CR, it's not about one's belief in God. It's about one's belief in whether they want politicians to invoke Him, praise Him, do things in His name or politely ask Him to bless certain people, nations and causes. Personally, I don't want my politicians to do that. I prefer them to be motivated by more old-fashioned forces like greed and self-interest."

      Seems to me that his criticism of Lester Pearson had the same basis: Pearson wasn't being "incredibly cynical" when he invoked God, and Feschuk certainly didn't say anything against his sincerity.

      • I guess it comes down to whether or not you can take Stephen Harper, High Priest, seriously.

        • No it doesn't and neither does anything else.

    • Seriously, Jack, you may be reading too much into things if you think that the PM saying "May God continue to keep our land glorious and free” is proof of cynicism, hypocrisy, moral depravity, or thinly veiled nihilism. Hence the eye-rolling.

      • Without wanting to speak for Jack, I am not sure Jack is necessarily have to read all of that just from the line of the speech. The line of the speech can be placed in the context of the the PM's behavior and actions.

        For example, I question the sincerity of anyone's commitment to 'God' to the degree that she/he also embraces the death penalty (i.e., Harper breaks recent history in making the new norm that Canadians facing the death penalty abroad with no longer be repatriated to serve out a life sentence).

        In the context of his actions, I see his speech as hypocritical.

        • Being a partisan Liberal commenter, you would think that.

          • Ah Jarrid, what would a reasonable political conversation be without you?

          • Ah Jarrid, what would a reasonable political conversation be without you?

            I think that as non-affiliated political junkie/recovering catholic atheist and anti-theist.

  23. My word, you people are seriously lacking a sense of humour today.

    Feschuk writes a humour column. Even if it fails to amuse, it's not to be taken without a very large grain of salt….

  24. Well, you're probably right. I didn't see the broadcast and I just have trouble imagining Stephen Harper saying anything that serious in an appropriately solemn manner. If it was just on the teleprompter and he read it like a normal line of his speeches, I blame that severely; if, however, he uttered it after a short pause and slightly more slowly, dwelling on the words "God" and "keep," I might allow it. But I will also eat my hat if he did.

  25. What is this mythical "very large grain of salt" that you speak of? The only grains of salt that I'm familiar with are the tiny ones.

    • Yeah, well, amphibians like you should probably stay away from large piles of salt anyways.

  26. I thought you were always against the grain.

    • Heh. It must be a deeply engrained part of my personality.

  27. Geez. I leave you guys alone for a day…

  28. Youz guys are getting all theological? With FESCHUK? Over a line riffed from the national anthem? Good God… I mean holy mol– no, that won't do… For Pete's sa– uh, scratch that… What in the name of Jes– oh, never mind…

  29. When at an event that involves singing the anthem, I sing:

    "Let's keep our land, glorious and free…."

    am I a bad Canadian? :)

  30. When at an event that involves singing the anthem, I sing:

    "Let's keep our land, glorious and free…."

    am I a bad Canadian? :)

    • No, merely an ungrateful one.

      • it makes me 'ungrateful' because……?

    • Or maybe a role model…