We Stand On Guard For Thee (Oh Canada)

Derek Ouellette —  February 26, 2010

Four years ago the idea of sitting down to watch any Olympic sport that did not including a puck, goal tender and toothless men seemed ridiculous. Then I get married and everything changes. My wife tells me something like, “if you love me you will” and before long, there I am with popcorn and a Coke watching Gymnastics or Figure Skating.

And so here I am having trouble sleeping at night because I feel bad for the female Canadian Mogul skier who, at the very last moment, was bumped out of her gold medal place by the final contender: an American. And I find myself jumping off my seat when I watched a male Canadian Mogul skier, Alexandre Bilodeau, become the first Canadian to win a Gold Medal during the Winter Olympics on Canadian soil.

I had the same feeling just a few moments ago when I watched this couple…

Tessa Virtue (of Windsor) and Scott Moir of Canada, Figure Skating

… win a Gold Medal for Canada. It’s all the more impressive since they will go down in history as the first “first time contenders” of Ice Dancing to win a Gold Medal.

The ceremony can become intoxicating. After the winners of Gold receive their Medals and flowers, the Canadian anthem begins and the stadium erupts with the choral sound of all, old men with tears in their eyes and young girls with little pink dresses on, singing Oh Canada with the greatest of pride and joy.

I can’t help but be touched by the scene and to think about how, for that old man, Canada stands for freedom and victory against the evils of WWII. It’s about standing on guard and doing what’s right.There is something to be proud of. There is something to stand for.

“Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee”.

But as a Christian, is there something wrong with getting teary eyed while pledging allegiance to Canada? (To the USA? Or any other country?) Are these countries merely modern day “Caesars” where we, as faithful servants of Christ, are called to pledge allegiance to only one Lord?

What are your thoughts?

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Tricia

    I think patriotism is a load of crap that produces inequality and creates a feeling of false superiority based on something as insignificant as theoretical land boundaries. Yet I continue to watch the Olympics… maybe because I like to think of it as a safe place where people from around the world can come and be together? Too bad wealth dominates in global sport, as well as every other facet of international relations.

    Regardless, in terms of patriotism and its link to faith… I don’t think patriotism/allegiance to country can align with Christian teachings. The message of Christ that I’m familiar with involves humility, not boasting, and a lack of love for earthly institutions.

    Are you surprised by how far my view on things like this have changed in the last ten years?

    – Tricia

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      Is this the same Tricia who used to paint her face with red maple leafs on Canada Day and camp out on the river front to see the fireworks?

  • Geneinne

    Personally I think that it is important for me to continually be aware of how grateful I am to be living where I live and to have a heart of gratitude. So I don’t think loyality to ones country is wrong unless in being loyal you transgress the laws of God. I don’t see watching the Olympics as a sign of patriotism however. I never watch them! Can’t sit still long enough.I do find many changes in my country that tend to blur the lines of our first steps and unfortunately I am one of those people who feel protective about our core first established values and freedoms. I do not appreciate people trying to turn my country into their country. So I guess I am partly ‘ love it or leave it’! Again, that’s not saying I agree with or stand by all the present days, newly established laws but for now I have the freedom to say so!

  • Daniel Russell

    My interpretation of “We Stand On Guard For Thee”, “THEE” being God, that is…God…Love…the Living Word…the Holy Spirit…the Truth, the Life and the Way…that is Jesus Christ…so Great Salvation…Christianity…Grace…Mercy…Faith…the Gospel, what else is there to stand on, to stand for, to stand on guard for, certainly nothing in this world of itself…so I think Thee not as Canada, of which we are fortunate to live.. but in terms of God…moreso, Glorious as wholly accredited to God’s Blessings upon us, a land, that is a people that can come bodly and freely before the throne of Grace and accept Christ as our Saviour, for whom the Son sets free is Free indeed and whom the Son sets not free is not free indeed…God keep our land Glorous and Free! And God needs no guard, we are His Body, His Childeren and the Bride of Christ… He is our body Guard…redeemed.. how I Love to proclaim it…and we had better say so… to the whole world, for most can’t and we are given great advantage and favour and had better keep it and stand up and be counted,and we better do it right Now! Amen.

  • http://vagantepriest.blogspot.com/ FrGregACCA

    Unless Canada, the United States, or any other state, nation, or whatever is described in the Book of Revelation, no. God creates peoples in national and ethnic groupings, as families of families if you will (see Ephesians 3:15), and instituted the state. Can the state become anti-Christ? Of course. But, at the moment, none of the contenders for that title are found on the American, or European, continents.