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Throwing the anthem under the bus

A Canadian mother and her child proudly wave the Maple Leaf in front of the Olympic cauldron after Canada's gold-medal hockey victory over the United States in Vancouver on Feb. 28, 2010.

CHRIS HELGREN

Finally, someone has had the courage to take on the hate-filled screed known as O Canada. And what timing. For the last two-weeks, as we played it over, and over again (fourteen times in all), we showed the world through our national song what a close-minded country we really are. As our athletes stood on the top of the podium, those weren't tears of joy or pride, no, they were the expression of shame knowing what was about to be played ostensibly in their honour.

O Canada indeed.

Luckily for us, Stephen Harper recognized our national anthem for the disgrace that it is.

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Sadly, in only going after the anthem for its (clear) sexism, he isn't going nearly far enough. As far as I can tell, the entire song is a giant Human Rights Commission complaint waiting to happen.

Consider:

Our home and native land.

For every Canadian born in another country, Canada is not, in fact their "native" land. O Canada is thus anti-immigrant. Disgusting.

True patriot love, In all thy sons command.

Harper rightly sees this as the sexist cry that it is.

With glowing hearts, we see thee rise.

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Sadly many Canadians don't have the gift of sight, this anthem is taunting them in a very un-Canadian way.

We stand on guard for thee.

To pacifist-Canadians, the continued militarization of Canada is nothing that should be celebrated.

God keep our land.

Atheists think it is up to all of us to keep the land during our lifetime before the nothingness of death begins. Church and state folks. Church. And. State.

Extreme property rights folks also find this phrase vaguely socialistic given its notion that the land belongs to "us" as opposed to individuals who purchase their land on the free market and then protect said land with lots and lots of guns.

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Glorious and free.

Inglorious and adscripted Canadians are deeply offended.

Other than that, I think the anthem is fine, if a bit short given that after all of the offensive lines are removed, the anthem on a going forward basis simply reads "O Canada," which is a kind of lame anthem.

(Photo: Chris Helgren/Reuters)

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