Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Citizenship: The Precious Legacy

By Aussiegirl

A wonderful article from Thomas Lifson, as usual. We have forgotten (or more precisely, it appear our politicians have forgotten) that citizenship is a great privilege and sacred duty -- not a meal ticket to freebies and welfare benefits. This concept has been eroded by liberal education over the years and is no longer taught in the schools -- remember the antedeluvian days when there were "civics" classes in high school? Increasingly, American voters are feeling like "subjects" when we realize that politicians pay no attention to us and instead, pander to the illegal masses.

By the way, the Latin phrase Lifson quotes in this article, "Civis Romanus est", actually means "He is a Roman citizen" ("I am a Roman citizen" would be "Civis Romanus sum"). The phrase comes from Acts 22; Paul, about to be tortured, asks, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman and uncondemned?" Whereupon the centurion tells the tribune that "this man is a Roman citizen" ("hic enim homo civis romanus est"). And when the tribune asks Paul if he is a Roman citizen, Paul answers simply "yes" ("etiam").

The American Thinker

The problem posed by the presence of millions of illegal aliens in our midst has no easy and immediately practical solution. Sweeping rhetoric from advocates of one clean-cut position or another may sound satisfying, but would cause chaos in practice. De facto open borders or mass expulsion, if ever were attempted, would be disasters. When being practical, we tend to focus on immediate practical issues like border security, drivers licenses and insurance, and the payment of income and Social Security taxes.

Lost in most of the arguments is the deep meaning that the concept of American citizenship holds for us

[...] Perhaps we need a two-tier solution. Maybe those whose identity and ultimate allegiance lies elsewhere can be offered temporary residence permits once they have made good on the back taxes they owe, have passed a background check for criminality, and agree not to burden our social welfare system with their needs. But if they do not buy into the entire package of citizenship, responsibilites and all, they do not deserve its rewards.

Citizenship should be reserved for those who understand and are committed to American fundamental values, and who stand ready to follow in the footsteps of patriots. Anything less diminishes us and our precious gift of citizenship


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