Skip to comments.I Hereby Declare: Reasserting the Principles of United States Citizenship
Posted on 06/03/2014 7:08:52 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. United States Oath of Allegiance
With these words those who were once subject to other powers and authorities declare their sole allegiance to the United States of America. They cannot be citizens of the United States unless they state this oath publicly. With these words, and with the actions following thereafter, these same people are now imbued with the privileges and responsibilities that belong to every single citizen of the United States.
But what happens if you were born in the United States? What happens if you never had opportunity to hear this oath, or speak it, or study it? Can a citizen of the United States be bound to an oath and its responsibilities when he is completely unaware of its words and their import? Most importantly, what precisely are the privileges and responsibilities that come with United States citizenship?
This is not a subject often raised or taught in our schools. While many were raised to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on almost a daily basis, the Pledge of Allegiance as we commonly recite it reiterates on a comprehensive scale what every citizen ought to know and cherish in more detail. Many today, if they were asked to renounce, or undertook to renounce, their United States citizenship would have little notion as to what, if anything, had changed.
But something does indeed change. The oath of allegiance, like citizenship itself, is legally binding. It really and truly confers legal status and privileges that otherwise may not be enjoyed. To the end that you might better appreciate this oath, that you might better understand your privileges and responsibilities as a United States citizen, we would like to enumerate some of them in simple fashion. At the same time, we would like to admonish any and all who live in this country to be mindful and vigilant in practicing citizenship, and in passing along what United States Citizenship is about.
Many, if not most, who read these words, were born in the United State of America. They have awakened every morning and gone to sleep each night with hardly a thought as to what it means to be governed by the universal principles enshrined in a Constitution that is practiced, not just theorized. The United States is a Constitutional Republic that practices self-government by law. While that may sound dry, or even trite, the benefits derived from this form of government have thus far proven to be better than those derived from any other form of government heretofore undertaken by men.
That is not to say a Constitutional Republic exists to usher in a world of no pain, no ill-will, no sickness, no work, or any set of ideals intent on making each individual life equal in experience with regard to spirit or substance. It is precisely because a Constitutional Republic recognizes both the intractable curiosity and zeal of the human spirit, and the immutable good in allowing Natural Law to govern that spirit to keep order and limits on human passions that it serves both to free and to fashion a civil society capable of widespread industry, charity, and spiritual fulfillment as each might understand it.
And yet, just because the principles enshrined in the Constitution are universal, even enumerating rights bestowed by the Creator, that does not mean these principles are universally accepted or practiced. It is precisely for this reason we establish oaths and borders, as well as aim to convince our neighbors that life is better when one can go about taking care of family and neighbor without fear of punishment for doing well. Many other countries also undertake to keep life civil, but none does as well at incorporating a wide range of ideas under legal protection in a land blessed with such natural resources as enjoyed by the United States of America.
Let us then take some time to elaborate, albeit briefly, on what it really means to be a citizen of the United States. Let us consider together what it means to live under these privileges and responsibilities, and what we would lose if we renounce them, or have them taken away. This is especially important today, when so much is taken for granted; when our schools and fathers and mothers have been either unwilling or unable to take us aside and teach us. Not only so, but we are bound to defend the principles under which we live. It is not a matter of fantasy that enemies foreign and domestic are specified in our responsibility to support and defend the Constitution under which we live together.
GENERAL PRIVILEGES see INS
SPECIFIC PRIVILEGES see Bill of Rights
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITES see INS, biblical texts in regard to Natural Law.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITES see Federal, State, and local Code
THE IMPORTANCE OF INCULCATING UNITED STATES STANDARDS OF CITIZENSHIP
My purpose in posting this introduction (the post above) is threefold:
First, I want to solicit the help of other Freepers in hashing out what is this thing called "citizenship;" to have their input in regard to both the introduction and the sections yet to be developed. I was never good at long papers and books. My attention span is lacking. This Bowe Bergdahl incident has me steamed.
Second, I hope to see subsequent replies point us to sources, both written and spoken, that address the subject succinctly and with eloquence.
Thirdly, and most importantly, I would hope to see any and all who read these things to take them to heart and consider for themselves how important it is to understand and appreciate what we have in the way of civil governance in the United States, if we can keep it. It will not be kept if it is not taught and taught well.
If anyone would care to collaborate with me in drafting a final document for wider distribution, I would be delighted. The subject touches on many things I have yet to be taught.
As always, I wish all Freepers the best and count it a privilege to be in a forum that bats around the weighty matters of freedom with wild abandon, pride, prejudice, and a zot here and there. -FC
Your name Festus?
We might check into local schools to see how much, if at all, they promote and defend citizenship and its true meaning. I don’t remember ever being sat down and told except in the most mundane of forms, what this is all about.
Wow. I wonder if Charles took it personally.
Probably not. From what we can find, Granddad started out as a Polish Jew named Grabski who ended up in Austria as Johannes Hartmann before setting sail for Canada from Antwerp. By the time he got to Detroit he was John which is where I got my name. He was only 12 years old when he arrived in Detroit with a man who was apparently just acting as his father for the trip and then disappeared.
The SS Mount Temple is the ship he arrived on and its on the bottom of the Atlantic full of dinosaur bones. It was sunk by the Germans in WWI.
So does it matter that Franz Joseph was Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary at the time and not Charles?
It doesn’t to me, but no wonder that polyglot empire didn’t last. Their civics classes had to suck.
A belated welcome to your Grandfather. All men who seek freedom are kin and countrymen.
Wow again. The tales of human experience are remarkable in their own right. I’m delighted to learn you have at least some firm knowledge of your forebears in life. I can trace back to great-great-grandparents who emigrated from Germany; a lot of farming or preaching depending on which side of the family. But there was no doubt they loved their country, despite its various battles and weaknesses.
We have a fundamental problem when people do not understand the responsibilities that accompany the freedoms they enjoy (e.g. lack of education).
We have another problem with people who hold beliefs in a religion or culture that supersede the obligations of citizenship (e.g. barbarians).
A third problem we have is with those who do not understand the meaning the word oath (e.g. many politicians).
"Many, if not most, who read these words, were born in the United State of America."
Is this a typo? I would think that those born here who are not made to take the oath have less understanding than those who consciously make a change in their allegiance by immigrating.
My great grandmother’s family traces back to the 1500s. My best known ancestor would be Ethan Allen. I’ve been watching “Turn” on AMC and seeing Connecticut and Long Island family names of people I’ve read about while rooting around in family genealogy.
Emperor Charles I of Austria and Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie are the same person. :-)
Probably filled out by an immigration official who wouldn’t know one way or the other.
Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie
So that’s where “Charles” comes from...
Yes, that is a typo. I’ve since edited home document to say “States.” Thank you!
I totally agree that those of us who were born here tend to be less cognizant of our privileges and responsibilities as citizens; that those who seek citizenship legally and are granted the same hold those things in higher esteem.
He was also Charles IV of Hungary. The man had way too many names.
Back in the early 60’s I earned BSA Citizenship in the Community and Citizenship in the Nation.
The requirements may give some ideas. Reqs. changed about 2005 and Citizenship in the World was added. (Probably messed things up.)
I would look for the 1952 version.
And I will google around some. If I were do dig in one of my archival ‘areas’ I might find my BSA Manual with them???
I wonder if he would answer to Marie?
Quick look for BSA Merit Badges:
Cit in Comm, new Reqs —
Cit in Nat, new Regs —
I would like to respond further that you have laid out some fine notions in your own right, especially as concerns politicians taking oaths.
Our age is not receptive to notions of truth, honor, integrity, and the like. There have been modifications and exceptions to the Oath of Citizenship so that a citizen who might object to the concept of “God” might still be able to vow allegiance in good conscience (!?).
The philosophical and theological implications of citizenship have been discussed in tomes. When dealing with liars and relativists, oaths are as meaningful as a Monet on display in a public sewer.
Only 1/6 of the population in our midst elected the Prevaricator in Chief. “Only” might be a bit mild and discouraging. These are tough and interesting times. All the more reason for us together to be reminded of what citizenship means. I have not reached the point of renouncing citizenship. If you cannot stomach an oath now, why not renounce?
“Emperor Charles I of Austria and Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie are the same person.”
I had never heard or read of him referred to in this way.
Thank you. Keeps me humble as well as off the game show Jeopardy.
I now also know that Karl in English is Charles as well as Carl. Another “duh” moment.
Trebeck! A few more years on Free Republic and I am coming for you.
Those are great starting points on which to elaborate further. Thank you. It should not be too difficult to draft a paragraph on each.
I like, “You have the right to go to school.” LOL. I bet that flies real good with the scouts. Well, there are *some* self-starting, ambitious students out there.
When I hear/read “Ethan Allen” it is furniture that comes to mind. . . . and “The Price is Right.” Well, MI has been known to produce the very best in that regard.
"Polish" meaning of Polish ethnicity, rather than actual citizen of Poland, which was at that time a separate country? So... from perhaps Galicia? In the Austro-Hungarian Empire? Whereabouts exactly?
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