'This noble and elegant site
is both a tribute to a family's
history, and to a national
heritage.' -Daniel J. Cassidy
Swifter far than summer's flight --
Swifter far than youth's delight --
Swifter far than happy night,
Art thou come and gone --
As the earth when leaves are dead,
As the night when sleep is sped,
As the heart when joy is fled,
I am left lone, alone.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
'The Last Walk' by Greg Benton, 2010
Let us then move
in discharge of
our mission and
and nothing else.
Sir Winston Churchill
Stanmer Churchyard, Sussex
In the midst of life we are in death:
of whom may we seek for succour,
but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins
art justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord God most holy,
O Lord most mighty, O holy and
most merciful Saviour, deliver us not
into the bitter pains of eternal death.
Burial Office, The Book of Common Prayer
Dixi, custodiam. Psalm xxxix.
LORD, let me know mine end,
and the number of my days; *
that I may be certified
how long I have to live.
Behold, thou hast made my
days as it were a span long,
and mine age is even as
nothing in respect of thee; *
and verily every man living
is altogether vanity.
For man walketh in a vain
shadow, and disquieteth
himself in vain; * he heapeth
up riches, and cannot tell
who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what is my
hope? * truly my hope is even
Deliver me from all mine
offences; * and make me not
a rebuke unto the foolish.
When thou with rebukes dost
chasten man for sin, thou
makest his beauty to consume
away, like as it were a moth
fretting a garment: *
every man therefore is but
Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and with thine ears consider
my calling; * hold not thy
peace at my tears;
For I am a stranger with thee,
and a sojourner, * as all my
O spare me a little, that I
may recover my strength, *
before I go hence, and be no
JESUS said, Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again,and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
St. John xiv. 1.
Come, ye blessed children of
receive the kingdom prepared
for you from
the beginning of the
Honour all men.
Honour the King.
He who believes in me,
but he were dead, yet shall he live.
Jesus of Nazareth
Advance our standards, set upon our foes Our ancient world of courage fair
St. George Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons.
Richard III, Act V, Scene 3
THE CANADIAN GELDING
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Canada, aka 'Bev and the Supremes' has ruled
the municipal council of Saguenay, Québec cannot open its meetings with a prayer.
They said that reciting a Catholic prayer at council meetings infringes on freedom of conscience
and religion. This followed a nine-year legal battle that began with a fatuous complaint by
an atheist named Alain Simoneau against Jean Tremblay, the Mayor of Saguenay.
Québec’s human rights tribunal in 2011 ordered an end to the prayers and demanded that
a crucifix in the city council chamber be removed. They awarded financial damages to Simoneau.
But the Mayor, raising money from supporters through the city’s website insisting that it was
a battle for Québec's Catholic heritage went to a Court of Appeal who overturned the tribunal in 2013
concluding that the city imposed no religious views on its citizens. It ruled that reciting a prayer
doesn't impose religion on citizens.
The case then went to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Supremes said:
'Canadian society has evolved and given rise to a concept of neutrality
according to which the state must not interfere in religion and beliefs. The state must
instead remain neutral in this regard; This neutrality requires that the state neither
favour nor hinder any particular belief, and the same holds true for non-belief.
It requires that the state abstain from taking any position and thus avoid adhering
to a particular belief. When all is said and done, the state’s duty to protect every
person’s freedom of conscience and religion means that it may not use its powers
in such a way as to promote the participation of certain believers or
non-believers in public life to the detriment of others.'
This is, of course, utter nonsense; as are many other of the rulings made by this court in recent years
where, instead of humbly interpreting the law, they presume to actually define and create law
that suits them.
These judges, asserting a sentimental and assumed ahistorical myth, imply that Canada,
being a multicultural society, has no culture of its' own. By saying that the country has evolved
the court is playing a shell game with a nation's cultural and religious inheritance. Canada from,
the beginning was never neutral in its' identity as a nation built upon a Christian foundation.
This is the case for both the British and French inheritance.
New France was founded by a Catholic Christian King, who sent his pioneering voyageurs
governors and his soldiers along with a whole load of Jesuits and other Catholic religious
to establish its' largest colony; a territory that came to be called Quebec. They built Catholic
schools and hospitals and evangelised the natives who, being animists, must today it would seem,
like the French Catholics, also be declared non-neutral.
The fog of denial in the mind of the court has permitted to make the country seem rootless,
cut off from its' origins and foundational identity. Bev & the Supremes have trumped the
'Supremacy of God' (a consitutional nod to the founding Christian cultures, French and British,
Catholic and Protestant) with their own assumed supremacy.
The implications of this seemingly local decision are far-reaching and it has nothing to do
with the tiresome imitative repetition of the American law concerning the separation of
'Church and State' where no such law has ever existed. There has never been an established
Church in this 'Dominion' even if the Sovereign of the State is made so in the Church of England.
At the same time, there has been. from the time of Confederation, a deeply observed adherence
to and expressions of the religious traditions that formed the nation within the Canadian cultural
institutions, including the military, and that continue to be revered.
The Civic Square from Saguenay to Yellowknife, from Calgary to Ottawa is rich in the practice
and spirituality of the Canadian people through generations. Of course these hymns and prayers
annoy atheists but atheism as such is alien to Canadian culture. Both versions of the National
Anthem acknowledge the Divine and the French especially celebrates the Catholic faith:
Land of our forefathers,
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic
Of the most brilliant exploits.
Thy valour steeped in faith
In English we pray to God that He will keep our land glorious and free. Both anthems,
following the twisted logic of 'neutrality' must now never be sung in Saguenay or in other
'state' venues. So much for Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph. All those sailors, soldiers
and aviators and veterans singing 'O God Our Help In Ages Past', 'Abide With Me', 'O Valiant Hearts',
many of whom have no religion but share the tradition will be violating the Charter of Rights
and Freedoms in the neutered state. The anti-monarchists will rejoice at the illegality of
'God Save The Queen' but our aboriginal brothers and sisters will not respond well with the loss of
smudging and smoking the Prime Minister at the Opening of Parliament.
The shell game that is 'multiculturalism' where being inclusive means being exclusive, i.e.,
taking away rather than adding, is an ideological idiocy that needs to be consistently challenged
as it spreads over time.
At some point, a Canadian government will be forced to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause
of that same Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect Canadian Culture as it has been received
and is lived.
The third verse of the Royal Anthem seems a wonderfully appropriate prayer:
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.