Birthright & Citizenship by Descent
Some people erroneous connect the principle of birthright with native birth, -which they believe results in American citizenship. But that idea is not based on history, nor logic. First, it needs to be understood that the word “birthright” is essentially an adjective, and not a noun, even though it is used as one. The word that it modifies is the word “inheritance”, as in birthright inheritance. There are two kinds of birthright inheritance. One is inheritance of citizenship and the other is inheritance of property. Both have examples in the New Testament.
The inheritance of property is connected to the word birthright due to an ancient tradition known as “primogeniture”, which is the principle that the prime (firstborn) son inherits the family estate, not his mother, nor his siblings. It is a right that he is born with and only his death would prevent it from coming to pass. It kept the family name, wealth, titles, and property intact through the generations. In the Gospel is the story of “The Prodigal Son”. Jesus told of the second son of a wealthy man who knew he wouldn’t inherit his father’s estate, who asked for and received the wealth that the father had set aside for him for his inheritance. His inheritance was not something he had a right to, -unlike his brother who had a right by birth as the first born to the estate inheritance. That birthright was by descent and was determined by birth order.
The citizenship inheritance can be illustrated by the case of Apostle Paul. He was born to a father who was a Roman citizen. Paul’s birthright inheritance was that his birth to a Roman citizen meant that the same citizenship was automatically his by descent. He was a Roman by birth because that was his right as the son of a Roman. The other disciples of Jesus were not citizens of Rome but mere subjects. They had no birthright that guaranteed them Roman citizenship. They were subjects by descent. It didn’t matter where Paul or the disciples were born. It didn’t change anything because they were all born within the Roman Empire and their status was determined by inheritance, i.e. descent.
American citizenship is also conveyed by inheritance from American-citizen parents . Birth to parents who are not citizens does not convey American citizenship by inheritance but by Supreme Court decision based on the simple decree in the 14th Amendment. Such citizenship is by fulfillment of the two requirements that one be born in the U.S. and be under subjection to U.S. jurisdiction (through ones parents). That form of citizenship is not natural citizenship but legal citizenship. Natural citizenship is the automatic result of birth to citizens, inheriting their genes, race, species, and membership in the nation. It is not “granted” or declared to be so by any law, court or administrative decision, nor the Constitution itself because it is natural and automatic. It has been so since the earliest nations on earth. Any form of citizenship bestowed by the United States government is not natural citizenship because natural citizenship is not bestowed by the government, not in American nor anywhere else. If one was not born as an automatic natural citizen then one is not a “natural born Citizen” as required in order to be eligible to be the President of the United States.