Fredericton Child of the 60s on Kanadian Indoctrination

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Just wanted to post the best comment on Neuw Braunschweig's infamous Belleisle forced singing of Nationalist Anthem (1). - Dan F.
Compulsory patriotism is indoctrination
Daily Gleaner Letters to the editor
February 2009

Re: O Canada in schools

Having been educated in the public school system in Fredericton during the 1950s and 1960s, I would like to comment on the national anthem controversy.

I remember enduring the daily singing of O Canada, reciting the morning prayer and memorizing patriotic poems in the early grades.

Later on, I was taught that it was through indoctrination and brainwashing (I haven't heard that term in years) that the evil fascists and heathen communists maintained control of their citizens.

It was during the mid 1960s that, while rebelling against the establishment, I revolutionized my fundamental beliefs while listening to the unpatriotic, anti-war, social commentary of folk-rock music of my generation.

I became extremely suspicious of anyone with a flag in one hand spouting the need for conforming to a national standard. Such a person is to be especially feared if they have a Bible or other religious text in the other hand.

I was taught that in a democracy, individuals have certain rights that can't be infringed upon and that tolerance of each others rights is what makes our country such a great place to live.

I have no problem with children learning the national anthem, or any other patriotic songs, and singing them, if they wish, at appropriate times, if they want to demonstrate their love of this country.

But I feel that we mimic totalitarian states when we demand that our schools still make the singing of O Canada a compulsory part of the curriculum.

As for the comments by Ms. Bailey: I have lived my whole life in this country, as has my family for the past 200 years, so I am quite familiar with most of our customs (good and bad) and laws (good and bad) and have no intentions of leaving.

But as she seems to feel that one should not live in a country that doesn't agree with her opinion, might I suggest she move. I have heard there is a happy little village in Texas where I think she would find people of similar views.

As you may have noticed, I am still rebelling; the brainwashing did not work.

G. Thomas Hickey
Harvey, N.B.

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