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Time to Change the National Anthem

“We need to change Canada’s national anthem to reflect the rapidly
changing demographics,” said Greg Oliver, Vice-President of the Canadian
Secular Alliance (CSA). “We are announcing our campaign to the Parliament
of Canada to alter the lyrics to remove the reference to a deity,
starting with a letter to each and every MP.”

CSA points to the most recent poll, conducted by Harris-Decima in May,
2008, which reported that 23% of Canadians say that they do not believe
in any god. For young Canadians under age 25, the figure was 36%. It is
the largest religious minority demographic in size and the fastest
growing in terms of percentage of the population.

Oliver contends, “A nation cannot be pluralistic if a large number of
citizens is subject through national institutions to a single version of
religion, one with which they disagree.”

“Canada is a secular nation, yet every day, when people across this land
sing the national anthem, they are required to ask God to keep the
country glorious and free,” said Oliver.

Oliver said, “God in the anthem reflects Canada’s Christian heritage, but
few realize that the English lyrics to O Canada, written by Robert
Stanley Weir in 1908, originally contained no mention of God. Weir’s
original verse, “O Canada, glorious and free”, was later altered in 1980
to “God keep our land glorious and free.”

“By returning to Weir’s original words, we can update the anthem to
reflect modern Canada’s diversity of beliefs, and honour an older,
secular Canadian heritage,” Oliver maintains.

The Canadian Secular Alliance is a national not-for-profit volunteer
organization of people dedicated to preserving the separation of church
and state and advancing secular interests, headquartered in Toronto.

Canadian Secular Alliance
Kevin Smith
(416) 606-7987