Pastor Dave  



Remembrance Day - or for our fellow French Canadians - Jour du Souvenir. It is observed on November 11th to recall the official end of World War I in 1918. Wikipedia notes that hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

The purpose of this national holiday is to honour the veterans who served in the armed forces and died in the line of duty protecting our country. We teach our children not to forget lest we have to repeat history. There was a peace that could only be won through war.

A few days ago the Minister of Education for BC, the Honourable George Abbott met with leaders of our Heritage Christian Schools and students in our campus school. In the second grade classroom he asked our students, “Why do we celebrate Remembrance Day?” The answer from one of our seven year olds was insightful: “Because they died to protect us!”

The day is symbolized by the wearing of a red poppy. In both Greek and Roman times poppies were used as a symbol of sleep and death. Classical mythology interpreted the bright scarlet color as a promise of resurrection. It is now used to commemorate those who died in war.

Like all good traditions, in our post-modern, politically correct, 21st Century culture the wearing of the poppy itself appears to be under attack. The cracks in the foundation of this traditional bastion of honour have begun to broaden, and the customary wearing of the poppy is being challenged.


FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, announced that English soccer players would have to remove their shirts which had been embroidered with poppies. They said that the rule was to guard against people using their uniforms for political, religious, commercial or personal slogans.

This decision attracted the dismay of Prince William, who as President of the FA demanded that they lift the ban, arguing that “the poppy was a universal symbol of remembrance which has no political, religious or commercial connotations.” Prime Minister David Cameron of England affirmed royalty and added that he was “completely baffled and frankly angry...”

This tradition took hits from corporate Canada as well. In Lethbridge, Alberta, McDonalds told employees that wearing the poppy during work posed a “potential serious safety hazard.” The Ritz-Carlton Toronto forbade its employees to wear the poppy because the “use of visual symbols to support causes…does not conform to our Corporate Standards for Professional Appearance.”

Quebec entered the fray through the Collectif Échec à la guerre, an anti-war organization that promotes the non-violent resolution of conflict. It has generated controversy by promoting white poppies as symbols of peace.

In England, the Home Secretary Theresa May banned the Islamic extremist protest group, Muslims Against Crusades for burning poppies. They had planned on another demonstration, “Hell for Heroes” to protest the British Armed Forces.

The public is torn between the protection of civil liberties and the discipline of those who show no gratitude for the freedom that is afforded them through the sacrifice of those who gave their lives.

A word comes to mind for all of this – poppycock! This is senseless chatter, nonsense, balderdash – and I don’t mean the game, hogwash, bunk, rubbish. It is high time for us to wake up to the dangers of political correctness.

One has to applaud the Prime Minister and the Prince for standing up to this nonsense. As for myself, I will have special delight watching England play with a remembrance symbol on their black armbands.

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About the Author

Dr. David Kalamen is founder and lead pastor of Kelowna Christian Center (KCC). Married to Carleen for 35 years, they and their family, all living and working in Kelowna, have together been ministering to the people of this region for over 25 years. David cares deeply about the citizens of Kelowna and the state of the city, causing him to develop the Houses of Mercy program to help build compassionate community.

His column "Oh! Canada!" reflects his love for the Canadian people and this nation, and brings a refreshing perspective to local and national issues of common concern.

David has spoken at national and international conferences that have dealt with a wide range of leadership issues touching Christianity, politics, social justice, mercy missions and business. That call has taken him to over 20 nations. He has served on the General Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and is presently a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute. David has authored a book, Life Purpose that has sold broadly throughout Canada.

If you want to contact Pastor Kalamen about this week's column please e-mail [email protected], call (250) 762-9559, or write to KCC at 905 Badke Road, Kelowna, V1X 5Z5.

Useful websites are:
Kelowna Christian Center: www.kcc.net
Heritage Christian School: www.heritagechristian.ca
Heritage Christian Online: www.onlineschool.ca
Global Ministry Training Center: www.gmtc.ca

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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