Just over a week ago, I posted a story about how 9 year old Selaena had sung her version of O Canada that replaced “God” with “please”, on Canada Day and in so doing experienced an unexpected backlash from believers. There were a lot of passionate responses to the article both on this site, on the Canadian Atheist Facebook page and on the Cactus, Cattle and Cowboys Festival Facebook page. Clearly, this is an issue that is important to atheists and it was great to see many reasoned and well articulated arguments from the atheist side. I hope our words helped Christians see things from a different perspective.
Selaena’s dad, Austin participated in many of those discussions and this is what he has to say about the whole thing, as posted on his own Facebook page:
The folks at the Cactus, Cattle and Cowboys Festival to be held on July 12th at the Rodney Fairgrounds are not to blame for the recent events involving my daughter. I used some choice words when her opportunity to sing the National Anthem was taken away, and I shouldn’t have. I realize that many people are offended by the removal of the word ‘god’ from the anthem, but they too must realize that in our multicultural society, the millions of Canadians that do not recognize any god or gods are equally offended by its inclusion. It was for this reason alone that my children have always sung the anthem this way – my daughter didn’t think she was doing anything that would be considered wrong. This will be my fight to have with the government, and has nothing to do with my daughter nor the CCC Festival.
While I may not agree with the decisions that were made (including some of my own) I would like my friends to know that the CCC is not to blame. It is a wonderful event that provides many benefits to our small community. As such I don’t want any negativity held against them as a result of what transpired against my daughter.
I have hopes that in the future we will have people strong enough to stand with me in ensuring our country remains multicultural and diverse, exhibiting no bias toward any majority, minority or otherwise.
Please keep our land glorious and free. Thank you.
I hope those in the area enjoy the festival! I thought the level of discourse was fairly polite as I’ve seen much worse when atheists and Christians come together. Stay classy, fellow atheists and keep engaging those with opposing viewpoints.