Two groups representing atheists and Humanists are asking for God to be taken out of O Canada in a letter to Liberal MP Mauril Béllanger.
Last week Bélanger tabled Bill C-210, which would make the national anthem gender neutral. The BC Humanist Association and Centre for Inquiry Canada praised this symbolic move toward gender equality and asked the MP to amend his bill to also replace the line “God keep our land” with a secular alternative.
The organizations argue that the number of non-religious Canadians is rising and they should see their views reflected in our national symbols. The 2011 National Household Survey found that 24% of Canadians are not religious and a 2013 Justason Market Intelligence poll found that 64% of British Columbians do not practice a religion or faith.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director of the BC Humanist Association:
Progress comes in small and large steps. Symbols like the national anthem may not have a great effect on the day to day lives of most atheists but they matter nonetheless. This bill is an opportunity for MPs to recognize and celebrate the growing diversity of worldviews in the country.
Eric Adriaans, National Executive Director of CFI Canada:
Too often Canada has delayed important symbolic change with the result that we've repeated and entrenched divisive errors of the past. It's time for our national anthem to embrace Canada's culturally diverse future rather than the narrow perspectives of the past.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director
BC Humanist Association
The BC Humanist Association has been providing a community and voice for Humanists, atheists, agnostics and the non-religious of Metro Vancouver and British Columbia since 1984.
Eric Adriaans, National Executive Director
Centre For Inquiry Canada
CFI Canada's mission is to provide education and training to the public in the application of skeptical, secular, rational and humanistic inquiry through conferences, symposia, lectures, published works and the maintenance of a library.