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Canadian church-state separation

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Canadian church-state separation

Post by -RRH- » Fri Jul 12, 2002 7:09 pm

Anybody have things I should know about the difference between Canadian and American Church-state separation and the role of religion in politics? I am thinking of writing an article on such a topic.

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Post by ohwilleke » Fri Jul 12, 2002 7:57 pm

Canada's protection is much younger (it dates from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the 1980s), and less complete. Canada has a free exercise clause, but not an establishment clause. Indeed, Canada's constitution expressly provides for so mixing of church in state, such as in education.

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Post by Toto » Fri Jul 12, 2002 7:58 pm

AFAIK, there is no American-style separation of church and state in Canada. Section 1a of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms promises "freedom of conscience and religion", but the introduction states "whereas Canada is founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of God".

Canada also does not have the complete First Amendment Freedom of Speech that Americans do, and has tried to use hate crime laws to silence religious speech.

old threads on Canada:

Canadian Hate Crime Law

Totalitarian State of Canada

Canada and Religious Instruction in Public Schools

Canadian Separation of Church and State

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Post by Jabbersnacky » Sat Jul 13, 2002 5:44 pm

Well one thing I know is:
except in Catholic schools, the teaching of religion has been banned from public schools on the grounds that it discriminates against those with other religions or with none at all. We agree that religion should not be mandatory and that it should not be taught in the regular public schools of a pluralist society such as ours.
That's one reason why I still live here. when growing up we had to say the lords prayer, and sing God save the queen. My child is spared from having to do that thankfully. Maybe some one should make a move to get God taken out of our national anthem too. Of course I didn't sing the national anthem in school I used to say I was GW in order to be exused from participating in any nationalistic, or religious events in school :D

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Post by MilitantModerate » Sun Jul 14, 2002 6:27 am

Interestingly enough the most common english lyrics for O'Canada last century did not include any reference to 'God'. Rather similar to the revisionist pledge in the States 'God' was stuffed in later (1967-1980) when it was being made the official anthem. Here is a good link with a brief history:


Now it was probably a good thing replacing some of the repetitive 'stand on guard' 's with 'From far and wide' but I really wish 'God keep our land' had been something else. You can always subsitute 'Let's' for 'God' but that sounds rather inelegant and since the lyrics are almost reflex I usually forget.

On another note. Despite what the 'offical' status of religion is up here I find us much more practically secular. This is probably due to a more ethnically diverse community in many areas. In any event I have never felt marginallized or threatened. I guess I also find some of radical atheist actions, particularly in the States, a little insecure in appearance. However not being there perhaps I cannot understand some of the, I don't know quite what to call it, lets say oppression. Personally I view the secularization of society as an inevitable, if very slow, process.

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Post by Jabbersnacky » Sun Jul 14, 2002 7:51 pm

Thank you for posting that link MilitantModerate . I see our national anthem could have been allot worse. Interesting that they felt they had to add GOD

This one is gagable though. Thankfully it was adopted.
O Canada! Our fathers' land of old
Thy brow is crown'd with leaves of red and gold.
Beneath the shade of the Holy Cross
Thy children own their birth
No stains thy glorious annals gloss
Since valour shield thy hearth.
Almighty God! On thee we call
Defend our rights, forfend this nation's thrall,
Defend our rights, forfend this nation's thrall.

However it did sound better this way.
O Canada! Our home and native land.
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, glorious and free,
We stand on guard, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

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Post by Colorado Infidel » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:45 pm

It would seem that the English and French lyrics should convey the same meaning. However they do not. Interesting.