Pandering to toadies
Don't get me wrong. I'm not without empathy for the friends and family of Mauril Belanger, the late MP who, after serving the riding of Vanier for some 15 years, succumbed as a consequence of degenerative ALS. Make no mistake, I feel just as much compassion for those who cherished Mauril as I do for anyone who loses someone close to them. Grieving is a difficult time and death is the final carousel that we all take a spin on. About the best any of us can hope for is that the carousel stops spinning, quietly, in the middle of the night while we're fast asleep in our beds.
Mauril's last gasp to legislate came in the form of Bill C-210, An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender), a private member's bill which sought to make Canada's National Anthem gender neutral. More specifically, Mauril, and his fellow legislators, felt the official lyrics to Canada's national anthem so egregious that the planet would surely twirl out of orbit if the words weren't immediately changed. The earth's orbit, incidently, was threatened by the horrendous words "In all thy sons command".
Of course we can all point accusatorial crooked fingers at that scoundrel Adolphe-Basile Routhier, a Quebec judge who penned the original French version of the anthem back in 1880. Or Robert Stanley Weir, a Montreal lawyer, whose 1908 English translation would ultimately become "the most widely accepted and performed version" of our national ditty. (Only the casual observer will notice the poetic justice in the fact that judges and lawyers are still debating that which was created by a judge and a lawyer.)
As the balance of the planet teetered precariously, Parliamentarians ultimately voted to change the lyrics of Canada's National Anthem so we'll now all be crooning the new words "in all of us command" rather than the old "in all thy sons command". Did I mention poetic justice? Well, it's poetic justice that all sorts of politically correct pudpullers have come out of the woodwork suggesting a host of equally egregious lingo.
It should be abundantly clear, for anyone with a modicum of French language knowledge, that at the time the national anthem was written, the Roman Catholic church was an important, almost indivisible, part of Quebec culture. (Many would argue it still is.) The lyrics: "Car ton bras sait porter l'epee, Il sait porter la croix!" literally translates to "because your arm knows how to carry a sword, it knows how to carry the cross". Sweet Jesus!, to use a euphemism as an expletive. These zealots are armed with swords and carrying a cross! Does the term jihadist seem significant in this context? Call it a hunch, but I doubt you've ever had a Jehovah's Witness show up at your door with a zip gun.
I don't give a rat's ass about being politically correct. In fact, I rather agree with the Urban Dictionary's definition which espouses that "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end". Consequently, I don't get too bent out of shape when I hear words like "sons", "God" or references to mobs carrying swords and crosses embedded in the lyrics of a song.
What troubles me more about the need to change our National anthem is that we seem to be living in a time when being politically correct is more important than being correct. Perhaps our legislators ought to take a real close look at the very first line in our anthem and consider placing truth above political correctness for a change:
In the meantime, as long as our legislators remain focused on pandering to toadies, they will continue along a revisionist path which conjures a truth they wish to create as opposed to the truth as it is. Paradoxically, "in times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act".
Submitted by "Big Banana" Bob Loblaw, 31 July 2016