Origins of Natural Citizenship
The Multiple Origins of Natural Born Citizenship
The legitimacy of the presidency of Barack Obama is predicated on the assumption that he was Constitutionally eligible for the office at the time of his election. While he fulfilled the 2nd and 3rd requirements for the office, (the requirements of age [maturity], and residency [familiarity & attachment] ) a fallacy has been unquestioningly embraced that he also fulfilled the elements of the 1st -and primary, requirement; namely that he be a “natural born Citizen”. That fallacy is the result of an erroneous substitution of a tangential circumstance (location of birth) in place of the oldest tradition of all human societies, which is membership by birth to members.
This error is the result of the historical circumstances of the American British colonies, which were not founded as equal members of the King’s domain, but rather as properties of his domain which were outside of the umbrella of legal rights that had been established through centuries of “push-back” against royal despotism, beginning with the Magna Carta. This inequitable relationship with the mother country was not made manifest until England was stuck with the large costs of waging the war against the French & Indians in America. England was loath to bare the costs to defend others so far away while they (the colonists) escaped from paying a sizable share. And so began a campaign to squeeze money from the colonies even while they were given no representation in Parliament nor before the King’s counselors. This revealed that the attitude of England was that the colonies were the property of England, along with its subjects, not co-equals with “certain unalienable rights”.
The view that the colonists were not true citizens of England, but rather were mere subjects of the King, changed how the inhabitants were connected to the government. As citizens of England, with all the rights of citizens, they would have had to have been treated differently than if they were mere subjects of the Crown. While English society had gained many legal rights over time, they had not escaped from the prevailing political philosophy of “The Divine Right of Kings” on which the legitimacy of all the monarchs of the “Holy Roman Empire” was based. Under that philosophy, by extension, the aristocracy of the landed gentry and the nobility viewed all off-spring of the plant domain, animal domain, and human domain (soil, sheep, sow, and serfs) as being the property of the land owner by the fact of coming into being on his property.
That principle was known as “jus soli”, or “the law of soil”. Children of foreigners who were born within the Kings domain were deemed to be his subjects by his and, later, judicial or Parliamentary decree since their parents had abandoned their previous country and joined that of the King. They were not natural born subjects since their parents were not subjects of the King but were subjects of a foreign monarch. But since they were born on his land, he had a right to claim them as his subjects.
But a different principle applied for those with wealth, -those with an estate. They were not viewed as the King’s property but were considered to be citizens, yet still remaining subjects of the King by his rights as Monarch, which gave him the ultimate authority. They inherited their citizenship and their rights & responsibilities of citizenship from their fathers, and that principle is known as “jus sanguinis” or “law of blood”. That remains the British law to this day.
Since the colonies were the property of England, and therefore the Crown, its inhabitants were viewed as belonging to the mother country by jus soli, not jus sanguinis, because they were born on the land of the owner and were therefore the property of the owner (England and her Monarch). That is how the non English-citizenship based idea of native birth came to be seen as the principle that bestowed membership in the American society. It’s concept was; “We were born on the land, we belong to the land owner (the British owned colony where one was a subject/citizen) rather than “We are citizens because we were born as citizens by being born to citizens, and we are no ones property”. Most of the founding fathers realized that the English model had to be adopted and the colonial model had to be abandoned, but some were not cognizant of the English model because they had spent their entire lives under the colonial model and it was the only tradition that they knew (and which had existed for centuries). They thought that citizenship was a result of where one is born, rather than to whom one is born.
The phrase “natural born citizen” is composed of three significant words, each of which represents a different historical reality. Before understanding what they mean as a whole, one must first understand what they mean individually. “Natural” refers to the natural realm. “Citizen” refers to the political realm. “Born” refers to birth, which is related to two separate and distinct legal concepts (human ownership, and birthright inheritance) as well as the essence of membership. These concepts serve as a bridge to connect the natural realm with the political realm and combine them all into an indivisible unity.
Let’s begin with “Natural”. It’s referenced because it embodies a natural principle that is directly adaptable to the political realm. That principle has its earliest reference in the book of Genesis and the story of the creation of life, about which it was written that each species reproduced after its own kind, -like produces like. Species do not intermingle and produce off-spring that are not like them, rather, they are identical. That is the natural principle behind the use of the word “natural”. A natural born anything is going to be the same as that which produced it. The analogy in the political realm is that citizens produce citizens of the same nationality. Any combining of nationalities would not be politically natural.
For example, if a mare (female horse) is mated with a jackass (male donkey) the off-spring is not a natural born horse, nor a natural born donkey, but instead is a mule, which is not a natural creature since it’s sterile. In the human realm, if an Eskimo woman becomes pregnant by an African male, her off-spring will not be a natural born Eskimo, nor a natural born African. It won’t be a natural born anything other than the greater classification of “Human”. That, along with cultural shock, is the reason why inter-racial marriage has historically been viewed as undesirable. Similarly, in the political realm, if during the Civil War, a Northern male had fathered a child with a Southern female, the off-spring would not have been a natural born Yankee, nor a natural born Rebel, but a nondescript hybrid. Which brings up the related fact that connects to the word “born”.
While “born” includes the legal implications of place of birth, it also relates to “natural” in that it is the vehicle that provides one with membership in their natural group. One is a member of an Eskimo tribe by birth into the tribe. Without birth to tribal members, one will not be a member of the group. So it is with birth into the political realm, one is a member by birth to members. Without member parents, one is not a member of the group, i.e. not a natural member or natural citizen. If ones father is not a member of the tribe, then ones acceptance by the tribe is dependent on their adopted rules and how strict they chose to be about maintaining pure-blooded membership. In the political realm, ones citizenship is dependent on rules (Naturalization Law) adopted to deal with such hybrid or hyphenated off-spring. Those rules have to be adopted not to define those who are natural members, but to provide membership for those who are not natural members, (but might be considered “partial” members).
The word “born” also relates to an ancient legal tradition that is thousands of years old. It’s known as “Primogeniture”, which is the right of the first born male to inherit the estate of the parents (which of course required that there be an estate, i.e. wealth). None of the other siblings were born with such a right, which was known as a birthright. It was his right by birth regardless of who disliked it or him. Any inheritance received by his siblings was based on the parents’ feelings towards the other sons, while the daughters were not a part of the inheritance because they became members of the family of their husbands. By primogeniture, the family name and estate would be secured for as long as the wealth was retained and the male heir produced a surviving male off-spring. In England, Prince Charles, and his first-born son William were born with the birthright to the throne of England. Their siblings do not have that right.
In the political realm, ones “birthright” is to inherit the citizenship/ membership of the parents. It is a right that they are born with and is theirs automatically, requiring no law to make it so because the tradition is as old, or older, than the law itself. That is why birthright citizenship is not even included in the Constitution, nor is the right to vote, because they were understood by all to be “a given”, -a right so obvious as to not need to be stated.
“Born” also relates to the land or country in which one enters the world by birth, where one is raised and comes to be a full-fledged member as an adult. Historically, ones devotion to ones county/state/nation sprang from it being ones home, (though that relationship has been greatly altered by urbanization and multiple re-locations). But most peoples have a sense of national identify because of their shared history, language, culture, and perhaps religion. So place of birth, while not instilling national allegiance and a sense of citizenship, does result in the life experience that produces those feelings. Those feelings, in times of crisis, result in a sense of national unity, and therefore there is a natural tendency to simplistically assume that those feelings are the result of place of birth, while that view completely ignores to whom one was born and the acculturation experience of being raised in a cohesive society. Hence, since place of birth (though viewed in a vacuum) seems to be an adequate historical explanation for a sense of national connection, or nationalism , the legal profession has erroneous settled on it as the simple sole criteria for ascribing citizenship (-which would not be a problem if we had a second Canada on our Southern border, with its same wealth, language, and birth rate).
The founding fathers and authors of the Constitution understood the national danger that would threaten the survival of the union of the uniting states of North America if the commander-in-chief of the United States Army, Navy, and Marines felt a greater devotion to the Crown, or to the British Empire, than to the united states. The only way possible to prevent that was to make all dual-citizens and naturalized citizens ineligible to the office of the President, (while allowing them to occupy any other federal office -except the Vice-Presidency, which had to meet the requirements of the presidency by a later Constitutional Amendment). The way that they imposed that limitation was through adding the requirement that the President be a natural born citizen. Those words come as the sum of all of the above historical references. They combine together to mandate the following:
1. The President must be a “natural citizen” by birth to citizens, He must not be a hybrid (or hyphenated) citizen but a natural full-blooded member of the national group.
2. His citizenship must not be by statute but by birthright, -the unalienable right of citizenship by inheritance from citizen parents.
3. From birth he must have never had any taint of being subject to any foreign power through natural connection to one or two parents who were.
4. From birth he must have never had any taint of possible foreign allegiance through being born to and, especially, raised by a foreign father in a foreign country after being born on U.S. soil.
5. His birth must have been in the land of his citizenship thereby precluding the possibility of any attachment to any foreign nation or government.
United States Constitution; Article II, Section I, paragraph 5:
NO PERSON…except a natural born Citizen shall be eligible to the Office of the President,…”
Our current President knowingly ran for and and was elected to the office for which he is not eligible. And no one in a position of authority or public influence (via a national media position or fame) realizes that fact, or they do realize it but are unwilling, or not allowed, to discuss it openly. It is highly probable that the owner of Fox News has muzzled all of his on-air personel since they will not even broach the subject. They are free to oppose the President for any reason and any policy that they find objectionable, but they do not, and presumably cannot, cross the line into the eligibility territory. There must be a reason for that other than shear ignorance. Hopefully they aren’t that ignorant. If they are, then we’re in even bigger trouble than if they’ve been muzzled. The issue might be best described as a hornets nest (or killer-bee hive) that is best left un-kicked.
The down side of awakening an American awareness of the issue may be disastrous to any hope of national political civility which is already being sorely tested by the dire circumstances of the national debt and deficit crisis and the magnitude of spending cuts required to right our financial ship of state.
It appears likely that our illegitimate President will not succeed in being re-elected, but it would be far better for the future of our country if enough people realized the truth and moved to defend the Constitution by preventing him from even being accepted as an eligible candidate of the Democrat Party. The leaders of the Democrat Party deliberately avoided declaring Obama as being the Constitutionally eligible candidate of their party in 2008 by removing the wording that had historically stated that fact regarding previous candidates. This demonstrates that they know he is not Constitutionally eligible but they care not one bit about fidelity to the document that they have sworn a solemn oath to defend.
The oath of office does not require one to preserve, protect and defend the United States, nor its people, nor its legal system, nor its economic system, but to defend only one thing, and that thing is the Constitution itself. It appears that the greatest risk to it is no longer foreign, but is domestic. The progressive/socialist/humanist/ agenda supersedes fidelity to even the most fundamental law of our nation, and even views it as a dangerous threat to its programs. While pushing compassionate social programs, they also push massive and wasteful spending and social engineering programs which corrupt the political process because that “buys” them loyal voters who will keep them in power.
To defend their ideology and its pervasive presence in modern American life, they will lie and deceive by any means necessasary to protect what they have already achieved and to gain even greater power. They will also resort to forging birth documents to deceive those who are contented being deceived. Only the Tea Party patriots, conservatives, and Libertarians see the damage that has been done and are resisting the ever expanding tentacles of federal power, while most of the country is still asleep, too busy enjoying their sports events, gambling excursions, booze and drugs, video games, HDTV entertainment, internet entertainment, precious vehicles, music collections and social media interaction. But the days are coming in which everyone will have to choose sides. And it is not very far off. Which side will you choose?
copyright A.R. Nash August 26, 2011