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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)

TITLE: Canada versus USA?
By Clyde Blakely


I accepted Jesus’ invitation to open my heart to Him on December 22nd, 1966, my senior year in high school. After graduation I accompanied the friend who led me to the Lord to Bible college in Canada. I had never been out of America before and only on short vacations out of my home state.

Naïve is probably the appropriate term to use for a country boy recently saved to go to Canada for Bible training. I was excited, yet filled with all the emotions of leaving home for the first time, away from family and most of my friends. Short weekend phone calls and letters (computers were more theory than fact back then), did help. I looked forward to a rewarding time of growing closer to God and learning “how to be a good Christian,” never expecting to experience culture shock since Canada and America bordered each other and spoke the same language (sort of).

My experience at Bible College was a real eye-opener. After introducing myself to my new Canadian roommate, I was quickly informed: “You Americans think you’re so smart, I bet I can name a higher percentage of states than you can name provinces,” next I was asked if I had studied a foreign language. I told him I studied Spanish which drew belittlement of me for not studying French as “Canada is bilingual”. He concluded his “introduction” with, “If America ceased to exist Canada would not even notice, but if Canada ceased to exist America would fold.”

So went much of my enthusiasm for a good Bible college experience. I did not return after my first year. I thought we were brothers, in more ways than one. I’m 60 years old and now find not much has changed from my initial impression. My daughter started dating a man from Canada, who made his sentiments clear as he began spitting venom about the USA to her father - me. Even a popular beer commercial in Canada berates the USA – why?

In discussing this with my wife, I decided to share my concerns. I love Canada and its citizens but I don’t understand why there is such negativism toward Americans.

My favorite memory from Canada was letters later received from a Canadian girl named Joy I had dated just once. She was always positive and signed her letters “Because of Jesus, Joy”. That attitude has become a part of my faith life to this day, and I’m thankful for that positive remembrance from my Bible college experience.

Canada is a great country with potential, as is all of God’s creation. So why is there we versus you, especially among the household of God? Have we let the world influence our thinking? Is America perfect? Are any of the world’s nations perfect?

I’m still seeking a reason for the antagonism, an end to the brotherly bickering, and relief of my deep concern.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Diana Dart 02/05/09
I am so sorry for your experience here, but rest assured that all Canadians are NOT negative towards Americans. Can I give you a hug over this computer (well, in theory anyhow!)?! Brothers and sisters we are, and always will be.
Lynda Schultz 02/06/09
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world who love to hate Americans (the president of the country I live and work in being one of those!). But as Diana commented, don't let a few rotten apples make it hard for you to appreciate the rest of the orchard. Most of us are quite nice, really!
Helen Dowd02/09/09
I too am sorry for the bitter taste left in your mouth by your "ignorant" roommate...Most of the Canadians I know are more than happy that we have such a great neighbour....I went to a Bible school, long ago, and there were as many Americans there as there were Canadians, and there were many out of continent kids there too. We all blended in well and I do not remember any negative attitudes towards the Americans...Hope you come back to Canada some time and experience a different attitude. Canada is a great place....From what I have heard on the news, MANY Americans welcomed your new President...Doesn't that say something?...God's blessings...Helen
Helen Dowd02/09/09
Correction: I said "many Americans welcomed your new President." I meant to say "many CANADIANS welcomed your new President."...Helen