Good Citizenship, The Crux

I have been looking at RSS feeds for posts tagged “citizenship.” So far nearly all of these posts approach the topic in much the same way as one might address the teenager’s question, “How do I get my driver’s license.” Now of course this is a legitimate perspective for the great number of folks who need to know the ins and outs of being naturalized, but this is not the center of my considerations. I am looking at the rather quaint notion of “good citizenship.” That is to say the implicit personal discipline of citizenship rather than the acquisition of the objective legal status.

As we all know, or should know, possession of a driver’s license is scant assurance that the bearer is a good driver — after all, that’s how insurance companies remain profitable. Similarly, possession of citizenship — whether by birth or naturalization — is little assurance that the individual has concerned himself with developing the personal institutions of good citizenship.

It seems likely that good citizenship and being a good neighbor are closely aligned. Which might be a subset of the other remains here to be considered.

The other major concern of Layman’s Log is faith. A sound starting point for both concerns of faith and citizenship would seem to be Matthew 22:36-40.

36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
37 He said to him, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Verse 37 is the primary directive for one’s relationship with God — one’s “vertical” orientation, so to speak, of one’s self to heaven. And verse 39 commands one’s relationship with other men on earth — the “horizontal.” Suggestive of a cross, isn’t it?

To be continued…

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One Response to “Good Citizenship, The Crux”

  1. itchybiscuit Says:

    “It seems likely that good citizenship and being a good neighbor are closely aligned.”

    Yes. That’s certainly a large part of how I measure it (and why I find myself lacking at the moment).

    Citizenship is not just a certificate, it is a mode of behavior. That’s why Heinlein (admittedly a fascist libertarian) tied it to military service.

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