Tag Archive | "changing criteria for American citizenship"

What Does It Mean to Be an American Citizen?

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The recent news of the death of a high-ranking Al-Qaeda “martyr” is not as rosy as it appeared at first glance.  Anwar al-Awlaki, an enemy of the United States, was actually an American citizen born in Las Cruces, New Mexico on April 22, 1971.

At the age of seven, al-Awlaki’s parents returned with their son to their native Yemen. There, the budding terrorist completed his high school education before returning to the U.S. with specific goals in mind. Entering the country with a foreign Visa and armed with a scholarship from Yemen, he attended Colorado University in 1991.  (Hint: his goals were not higher education.) Three years later, al-Awlaki graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  During his academic career, he also became the President of the university’s Muslim Association.

During his formative years, al-Awlaki’s ideology was shaped by the violent propaganda of Sayyid Qutb, the originator of an anti-Western jihad group.  Later, al-Awlaki become an Imam cleric in a mosque based in California.

As the life of this scum plays out in the media, one has to wonder.  One wonders why an American traitor that may have been involved in the unprovoked destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001 and the deaths of 3,000 innocent citizens is worthy of this posthumous glory.  Why not cast it off the bastard’s death as good riddance to bad rubbish?  Why all this coverage lionizing a man whose ideology was, “Death to America!”

al-Awlaki’s story begs the question, “By what criteria does a person truly become an American citizen?”  Is it the birthright of a newborn brought forth upon this soil?  Is it the Pledge of Allegiance when that child is old enough to understand the tenets of that pledge?  In al-Awlaki’s case, as in the case of all would-be criminals, parental guidance should prevail in child rearing, guidance that must include screening of the child’s associates.  No doubt the terrorist’s parents were terrorist sympathizers.

America is one of the few nations to allow its people to practice freedom of speech and religion.  Our children are the pride of our nation.  It a reasonable assumption that our children will uphold — and when the time comes, teach their own children to uphold — the canons of our founding fathers.

The United States of America began as English colonies.  The only true Americans were the Natives that inhabited and respected this vast land.  After the American Revolution, a new nation emerged for free men and women.  It would eventually become the world’s melting pot of immigrants seeking freedom from religious and social oppression, freedom from hunger, and in general, a better way of life for themselves and their descendants.

Two hundred fifty three years after the birth of the United States, the world has changed greatly, and not for the better.  Today, we struggle with a flailing economy and attempts to reform social programs.  This may be good time to consider reforming the ways in which people acquire U.S. citizenship.  The reformation would help to protect our society from murdering radicals who, by chance or intention, are born here, reap our country’s riches, but give no genuine allegiance to the land of their birth.

The murderers of thousands of 9/11 victims, the Fort Hood murderer of thirteen brave service men and a chaplain, the Underwear Bomber, and the Time Square Wanna-Be Bomber were all educated and employed here. Their pledges of allegiance to this country were lies.  They took full advantage of the freedoms offered here to commit their heinous, cowardly acts upon innocent Americans.

Unequivocally, U.S. citizenship should be prized, as it was by the millions of Europeans who escaped tyrannies and poverty abroad to flow legally through Ellis Island and the welcoming arms of America.  With citizenship comes the responsibility of preserving our freedoms at all costs.  If We the People do not demand reform in our citizenship laws, we will allow the perpetrators of hate and violence to undermine our society.  “United we stand, divided we fall.” 

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