And look, how many Grecian tents do stand
Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions.
When that the general is not like the hive
To whom the foragers shall all repair,
What honey is expected?
but when the planets
In evil mixture to disorder wander,
What plagues, and what portents, what mutiny,
What raging of the sea, shaking of earth.
Commotion in the winds, frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixure!
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states that no person except “a natural born Citizen” shall be eligible for the office of President. This particular constitutional proviso has enjoyed much attention of late due to the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s (a.k.a. Barry Soetoro’s) eligibility. Though it is clear at this point to anyone with even a scintilla of common sense that Obama was not born in America, liberals continue to ignore the fact that his birth certificate is a proven and obvious forgery, and that in the course of his stay in this country he has used and drawn assistance from what appears to be several different social security numbers. These issues aside, this article actually treats the subject prior to the contemporary debate. The question we herein examine is whether a man such as Obama could qualify for the office of president even if he had in fact been born in this country.
We today find ourselves corporately in the position of Shakespeare’s MacBeth as he parlayed with the witches on the heath: the coven counseled the prince that he would only come to know himself and his station fully by abandoning all commitment to truth. What Shakespeare and his contemporaries understood as the blackest rites of evil have in the course of time beguiled all of our princes. The codification of the crones’ hellish precept signals the rejection of law as a thing discovered in favor of the presumption that man may create law as his autonomous appetites incline him.
But when the Christian approaches the question of the American Constitution and its natural-born qualification, he assumes the legal doctrine of Strict Constructionism rather than the so-called Living Document theory postulated by moral relativists — which is to say that a Christian means to ascertain the actual intent of the Founders on a given subject rather than anachronistically cramming his own contemporary fancies into it. Why is one approach superior to the other? Essentially, because the only ethical and coherent approach to interpretation of any communication, written or otherwise, is to seek understanding of intent. Plainly, we assume acts of communication to actually relay some content of their own. The Living Document alternative, on the other hand, is nothing less than a purposeful disregard and disdain for the truth of a matter, in favor of willful fantasy. Over against the honest study of the subject, the Living Document theory is, by the relativistic delusion that “perception is reality,” an insistence that man’s imagination can reconstitute and re-engineer the very elements themselves. This amounts to witchcraft at its most childish, or in clinical terms, run-o’-the-mill madness.
So then, what is the traditional usage of this term, natural-born citizen?
Preceding the American Constitution by a mere decade, we read in The Stamp Act Declaration of Rights of 1765 that the American colonists were “entitled to all the inherent rights and privileges of his [Majesty’s] natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great Britain” (2d), and that this natural-born status is “inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted rights of Englishmen” (3d).2
The colonists understood themselves to have the natural-born rights of Englishmen despite many of their families having resided in America autonomously for over 200 years. Clearly, this status was not limited to the question of whether or not an individual was born in a particular country. On the contrary, they described these rights as a distinctly ethnic inheritance, precisely as the term natural-born etymologically suggests; they were, after all, literally “born of an Anglo-Saxon nature.”
Naturally, then, is the same character seen in Virginia’s citizenship policy penned by Thomas Jefferson in 1779:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that all white persons born within the territory of this commonwealth and all who have resided therein two years next before the passing of this act, and all who shall hereafter migrate into the same; and shall before any court of record give satisfactory proof by their own oath or affirmation, that they intend to reside therein, and moreover shall give assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth; and all infants wheresoever born, whose father, if living, or otherwise, whose mother was, a citizen at the time of their birth, or who migrate hither, their father, if living, or otherwise their mother becoming a citizen, or who migrate hither without father or mother, shall be deemed citizens of this commonwealth, until they relinquish that character in manner as herein after expressed: And all others not being citizens of any the United States of America, shall be deemed aliens.3
As is seen, Jefferson, the very man who had not long since penned the phrase, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, described citizenship as a matter of type relative foremost to a man’s race and lineage, and not merely the land of a child’s birth or “naturalization.” He held to the traditional reckoning of societal membership — of blood and soil. Clearly, the sense in which he endorsed equality was not in the way it is generally insisted upon today. The very concept of national citizenship itself is, after all, wholly incompatible with equality, as it must at some point distinguish those who fall within from those without. Citizenship, no matter its criterion, is discrimination by definition. The Declaration states forthrightly therefore that Americans, being a free white people, had a collective right to be recognized as a “separate and equal” folk amongst the nations of the earth. Astoundingly, this was the very phraseology later famously denounced as “unconstitutional” in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In order to contrive some “right” for blacks to force themselves into intimate association with Americans against the will of the people, the court had to lie and lie big: they declared that “separate is inherently unequal.” Of course, if applied consistently, this resolve would invalidate the Declaration of Independence itself, and thereby, the very existence of the court making the ruling. If “separate is inherently unequal,” the Declaration of Independence is an invalid legal instrument, and the American Revolution illicit; if consistently applied, the Brown v. Board decision entails that America be regarded as an utter fiction from the beginning.
Never mind also that it would render things like gender-specific restrooms, the nuclear family, and all private property illegal.
Either that, or, as is obvious, the court’s maxim is false: separate can indeed be equal. And the court’s controlling presupposition — that equality is synonymous with justice — is also false. But, as previously covered, those who subscribe to the Living Document theory aren’t so concerned with consistency and truth as with utility and the indulgence of their appetites.
But undergirding the Constitution’s natural-born stipulation for the presidency, the American congress would go on in the Act of 1790 to univocally reassert the same principles of naturalization laid in Virginia’s citizenship policy eleven years prior, stating that the only people who might be recognized as American citizens were “free white people of good character residing in the country for two or more years.” And it behooves us to recall that this racialist blood-and-soil conception of national identity was also hallowed in the preamble to the American Constitution itself, wherein it is declared that our republic was designed “for us and our posterity” (Europeans and their descendants).
Joel McDurmon, Director of Research at the American Vision group, has well appraised the matter:
The U.S. Constitution returned to the pre-1066 Anglo-Danish standard of “kith and kin.” The word “King” is related to the English “kin” which has an ethnic reference. “Kith and kin” means “same country and family.” Without this quality among a leader, there cannot be any true loyalty to the people. And while this sounds like a side matter, it is not: a ruler who identifies with the people almost as a family will fight to defend them and their liberties. A ruler, however, without that loyalty will more likely be less interested in defense. It’s the difference which Jesus taught between the shepherd and the hireling. 4
This essential nationalist doctrine was never repealed, nor overturned, but simply cast away, if in stages — first, in the illegal and never-ratified fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, and then more thoroughly as Marxism came to ascendence in the mid-twentieth century, when non-whites were granted civil (i.e., government-created) “rights” to trump the natal inheritance of white Americans’ God-given and natural rights.
Obama cannot even be said to qualify for naturalized American citizenship; and if not for naturalized citizenship, even less so for the more stringent qualification of being “one born in the land or to parents of the land” per the definition provided by Vattel’s The Law of Nations.5
Back of all of this common law tradition, of course, is Holy Writ from whence these traditions sprang. The Scripture unequivocally describes nations (ethnoi) as familial-tribal entities, over against empires, which are described as composite or multi-racial populations. And, as Mr. McDurmon has attested above, the Christian immediately recognizes this common-law principle of natural-born citizenship originating in the Scripture and in the laws of the old Israelite Republic:
[Y]ou shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother (Deut.17:15).
This is the Law of Kin-Rule.
Though the neo-churchmen may lately object, insisting that the text’s employment of the term “brother” must surely reference some ideological, religious, or propositional brotherhood rather than any ethnic/racial brotherhood. This imaginative assertion is roundly disproven by the inauguration ceremony of King David, which was itself overseen and divinely officiated through the prophet Samuel:
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh” (2 Sam.5:1).
“Brethren” was thus defined in that ceremony as being of the same “bone and flesh,” in contradistinction to “foreigners” (zuwr in the Hebrew, meaning “tribal/racial alien”).
Who, then, were these men in chorus proclaiming the law of kin-rule at the coronation of David?
… Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron . . . Zadok, a brave young warrior, with officers from his family; men of Benjamin, Saul’s kinsmen–3,000, most of whom had remained loyal to Saul’s house until then; men of Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans–20,800 . . . men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do–200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command . . . (1 Chr.12:34-40).
As the Reformation Study Bible footnote frankly reads on 2 Sam.5:1, “This is an expression of kinship.” These were patriarchs of the tribes of Israel, arrayed like a spiraling staircase under the kin-rule of their own respective tribal chieftains, according to the houses of their fathers.
Thus, Matthew Henry says:
What numbers came from each tribe, with what zeal and sincerity they came, and how they were entertained for three days at Hebron, when they were all of one heart to make David king, we have a full account, 1 Chr. 12:23-40. Here we have only the heads of their address, containing the grounds they went upon in making David king. 1., Their relation to him was some inducement: “We are thy bone and thy flesh (v. 1), not only thou art our bone and our flesh, not a stranger, unqualified by the law to be king (Deu. 17:15 ), but we are thine,’’ that is, “we know that thou considerest us as thy bone and thy flesh, and hast as tender a concern for us as a man has for his own body. . . . We are thy bone and thy flesh, and therefore thou wilt be as glad as we shall be to put an end to this long civil war; and thou wilt take pity on us, protect us, and do thy utmost for our welfare.’’6
And David reciprocally held the elders of the tribes of Israel bound by this same “bone and flesh” idiom and all that it solemnly represents:
You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’ And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh?’ ” (2 Sam.19:12-13).
For this principle of kin-rule was indeed more ancient and more basic than the office of king; and its import was understood by all because the judges, elders, and chiefs were, prior to the kings, raised in like manner:
And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house (Num.1:4).
Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens (Exod.18:21).
[T]he children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers (Num.2:34).
Their nobles shall be from among them, and their governor shall come from their midst (Jer.30:21).
Though there has been a rather monolithic consensus on the matter historically, Samuel Rutherford, the eminent Westminster divine, whose writings are credited as having borne signal influence upon America’s founding, had occasion in his day to defend the principle of kin-rule from the papacy, which had schismatically arrogated to itself a universal jurisdiction — in all lands and amongst all peoples. Much like the position recently adopted by the modern church, the errant Romanists began to view kin ties and peoplehood as an impediment to the absolute rule of the Magisterium. Thus, they insisted that they had authority to place and rearrange monarchs, ministers, magistrates, and even families, as they deigned expedient to their ends. In Kuyperian terms, Rome subsumed the three spheres of sovereignty into one: The church was invading and abolishing the family by the instrumentality of the state. As is the case today, the unitarian-totalitarian impulse conflated all three spheres into one — the church alone. In the fevered system of our contemporary NWO churches, “the Church is one family, and one nation, and that national-family is borderless and without internal distinctions.” Thus Rutherford rebukes them:
[Y]ou imagine that the society is obliged . . . to seek the son of a foreign king to be their king . . . to make him a king of that society to which he had no relation at all, but is a mere stranger. . . . [T]his law of the people is prior and more ancient than the king . . . the scripture holdeth forth that the people made Saul and David kings . . . that which taketh away that natural aptitude and nature’s birthright in a community, given to them by God and nature, to provide the most efficacious and prevalent means for their own preservation and peace in the fittest government is not to be holden (Rutherford, Lex, Rex, pp. 42-43).
God (Deut. xvii) forbiddeth them to choose a stranger . . . for it was impossible that the people should make a stranger king (Rutherford, Lex, Rex, p. 17).
This is to say that a foreign king set over us cannot, by definition, be king at all. But the good reverend goes further still:
If the king shall sell his kingdom to a foreign power [the nation is not bound to acquiesce because] . . . they cannot so readily destroy themselves — the law of nature having given them a contrary internal principle of self preservation (Rutherford, Lex, Rex, p. 36).
Even if a native ruler, under pretense of law, sold his people out to a foreign power, the people should not consent to it. To do so would be lawlessness and treason to the nation, and ultimately to God Himself, because it is God who designed mankind to live tribally and codified that order in the strictures of His Word.
Indeed, God redundantly spoke promises to Israel, that if they would only turn from their rebellion, they would no longer face what Leviticus 26:25 terms “the vengeance of the covenant”: the curse of foreign usurpation, national amalgam, and the dwindling of their race, among other symptoms of collapse (Deut.28; Lev.26). If only they would turn to God and heed His commands, He would “rescue the nation from the hand of foreigners” (Psa.144:11). If they would abide by His law, “Their nobles shall be from among them, and their governor shall come from their midst” (Jer.30:21).
It was precisely this principle of law which Jesus invoked when He asked Peter, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free” (Matt.17:25-26).
Noting the multiple disclosures in this brief exchange, we see that taxation of a people by their own rulers amounts to tyranny, and that Christ frames the subject entirely in the context of the Israelite racial-insularity codes. He thus intimates the normativity of God’s law for all nations, as well as the distinctly familial nature of nations, in keeping with the law. Moreover, by this discourse, Jesus commends Peter to be likewise concerned for such matters in the Christian age. Ethnicity did not end with Israel.
This coheres perfectly with what we read in Acts 23:1-5, when Paul is questioned by the temple authorities. Unbelievers all, he angrily rebukes the high priest, calling him a “white-washed wall” for having him struck contrary to the law (both torture and all pre-conviction punishments are illegal); and when those binding him asked, “Do you revile the high priest?”, Paul apologized, quoting the law of Exodus 22:28 against himself: “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.’”
Paul regarded those binding him as his brethren, and the high priest as a leader of his people, irrespective of their satanic religious affiliation and in spite of the fact that Paul was born in remote Tarsus (Spain) under Roman political citizenship. Note too, that the word for “people” used here by Paul is genos (in Greek, literally “race”) and that he had prefaced his address to the Jerusalem mob in 22:1 by calling them “brethren and fathers.” Clearly, Paul understood ethnic Israelites to exist as a distinct people, and counted himself one of them. So too did he acknowledge the high priest’s claim to kin-rule, in spite of the priest’s Talmudic heresy. They were his brethren in neither a political nor a religious sense, but instead a racial sense — and a racial sense solely.
This law of kin-rule (Deut.17:15), according to the Westminster standards, descends as a case law application and necessary entailment of the fifth commandment. All earthly government has its primordial basis in the patriarchal family. The form of government therefore prescribed by law follows the same patriarchal template in both church and state: Rightful rule is by elders arising natively from the communities which they oversee.
Q:What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A:The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations (Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 65).
Hence, Rev. Rutherford could further expound:
[G]overnment, even by rulers, hath its ground in a secondary law of nature. . . . [B]y nature’s law family government hath its warrant. . . . [B]y what power a family hath a power of government . . . that same power must be in society . . . [not in] one single man of a family, or in them all . . . but as they are in a family. . . . Power is not an immediate inheritance from heaven, but a birthright of the people borrowed from them. . . . The king is a relative (Rutherford, Lex, Rex, pp. 3, 123).
But this was merely an echo of the continental Reformers on the subject:
For God has delegated to civil magistrates in place of parents the right to punish evil-doers (Luther’s Catechetical Writings, Vol. 1, p. 79).
Given Luther’s understanding that all civil authority flows from the fifth commandment and the institution of the family, it makes perfect sense that he universally used the German word konig (literally, “one purely descended from the race”) in his translation of the Bible as the equivalent for our word “king.”
Even the title of Rutherford’s magnum opus Lex, Rex follows this same indicative queue, as the Latin term rex also proves to be a denotation of consanguity:
Now what is the meaning of that word Rex? It is usually translated by our word “King.” . . . Centuries and centuries before, indeed a thousand years before, the word Rex had meant the Chieftain. . . . The Rex of, say, Batavian auxiliaries, the commander of the Batavian Corps, would probably be a man of Batavian blood, with hereditary position. . . . [This] was extenuated by, “underlying national feelings, older than the Empire, Gallic, Brittanic, Iberian” (Belloc, Europe and the Faith, pp. 80-81, 85).
All of this indicates that the concept of regency (i.e. federal headship) and the powers of its function originate primordially in the context of family. It was, after all, that same idiom of “bone and flesh” invoked in David’s coronation which had two millennia earlier been uttered by Laban as he spoke with his nephew Jacob (Genesis 29:14), confirming him by sight as kindred. And harkening back further still, we find its ultimate origin in the creation ordinance pronounced by the first prophet, priest, and patriarch — father Adam:
And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen.2:23).
It is this taking of Woman from Man’s own flesh that defined her as an “appropriate helpmeet” for Man, as the word “helpmeet” is originally defined as “a mirror reflection.” Therefore, when the idiom first used to describe this dynamic (of “one bone and flesh”) is thereafter repeatedly invoked as the justification for familial hierarchy, tribal aristocrisy, and national regency, all lawful authority amongst men must be understood as mediated by the various jurisdictions and administrations of the family. As R.J. Rushdoony so famously elaborated, the family is society in microcosm. All societal authorities are contingent things subject and subordinate to their own source, which is the family under God.
This, of course, frames the entire character of the genealogies laid in Scripture, as there is no way to take from them anything like the modern insistence that tribal primogeniture is meaningless. Clearly, the very existence of genealogies in the text, and especially the voluminous appropriations to them affirm exactly the opposite — heredity is clearly meaningful. But none more importantly reflect this than the genealogies of the Christ Himself. They represent the royal patent by which Christ was confirmed as the lawful blood claimant to the throne of Israel — hence the biblical nomenclature, Christogenea, which literally means “the racial history of the Christ.”
By contrast, the alienist lens, which is now commonly applied to the subject, inexplicably contorts the clear meaning of the royal genealogies into a denouncement of ethnic inheritance. To this end they propose the exact argument of the wicked Pharisees — imagining all sorts of non-Semitics in Christ’s line, they declare Him a mamzer (Hebrew meaning “mongrel-bastard,” per Deut.23:2). If this were granted, it would render Him ineligible for basic Israelite citizenship, let alone the throne; and if ineligible for the throne, He could not be the true Messiah. So runs the blasphemous argument of the Pharisees.
Of course, all of these higher-critical wranglings have been roundly answered by others. The administrator of the Spirit,Water, Blood website responds to such allegations:
There is no evidence that the ‘Rachab’ of Matthew 1:5 is the ‘Rahab’ of Joshua 2:1, but for the sake of argument, let us assume that it is the same person. Since the Rahab of Joshua 2:1 is listed in the Israelite Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:31), she must have been a Hebrew slave in Jericho, or possibly a descendant of a slave. Why else would the two Israelite spies seek for her, and why else would the king of Jericho go to her for information on the two spies? If she was both Canaanite by race and a harlot, it is simply unthinkable that Salmon, a prince of the royal tribe of Judah, would have even considered marrying her. [Abraham was careful to choose a wife for Isaac from his own people, and Esau and Judah were scorned and punished for marrying Canaanites.] Both Joshua 6:25 and the Antiquities of Josephus 5.1.2-7 state that Rahab was given land in the midst of Israel for her heroic deed, but neither mentions marriage to Salmon. The Israelite armies suffered no further curses as a result of breaking God’s law for at least 30 years, which means that there were no illicit marriages for at least that long afterwards. If Salmon had married Rahab shortly after the fall of Jericho, and if Boaz had been born shortly after that, then Boaz would have been about 115 years old when he married Ruth! The New Testament genealogies list only four generations covering the 460 years from the fall of Jericho to the birth of David. The gap in time is simply too long to make the two Rahabs the same person.
But beyond entertaining each newly minted textual criticism, it is safe to say that the alienist position proves far too much and thereby falls by its own sword; the kinist view of the royal genealogy is proven by a stark impossibility of the contrary. It is impossible to deny the purity of Christ’s pedigree and yet retain any Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. Christ, quite simply, had to be the pure-blood heir apparent in order to be the prophesied Messiah without spot or blemish. And what else could have caused Herod, the half-Idumean, such distress that he called for a slaughter of innocents — the erasure of an entire generation of his countrymen? If ethnic purity weren’t the matter at issue, he had nothing especially to fear from another half-blood’s claim to the throne. He would have been on equal footing with another like himself. But, this was clearly not the way of things. Word of the birth of a young heir of Judah terrified Herod, precisely because Jesus’s claim to the purple was inarguably greater than Herod’s: Like the prophetic type provided in father Noah, He “was perfect in His generations” (Gen. 6:9) and, on that basis, was able by right to depose Herod at any time.
It is this centrality of the family as the God-ordained infrastructure of Christ’s covenant, so evidently suffusing and permeating every aspect of society from the time of Adam to Abraham, codified through Moses, hallowed by the prophets, and perfected in the incarnation of Christ, which is now in the present age of His dominion exalted anew in the sacrament of baptism, as “a sign for us and our children” (Acts 2:38-39), reinforced by Christian ecclesiology in the rule by elders raised from the midst of our communities (Titus 1:5), and everywhere presupposed throughout the epistles as the normative social order of Christendom.
So then, I ask you, my good reader, whom shall you recognize as the rightful claimants to our familial, communal, and national allegiances? May God grant you the fidelity to answer truthfully.
- http://www.sewanee.edu/amstudies/hi201/Troilus.pdf ↩
- http://www.constitution.org/bcp/dor_sac.ht ↩
- http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a4_2_1s4.htm ↩
- http://americanvision.org/5402/preventing-the-warfare-state-the-biblical-laws-for-kings/ ↩
- http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/vattel ↩
- http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/2-samuel/5.html ↩