During most of the history of the West, citizenship was understood to be a jealously guarded privilege and honor, not a universal entitlement entailing access to a plethora of welfare benefits.Even as Christian thinkers respond to divorce, gay “marriage,” and mass feticide, we should also give extra thought to the patriotic question, which is more closely related to the pro-life movement and the defense of marriage than we might at first suppose. As C.S. Lewis has pointed out, the different facets of natural law stand or fall together, so if the sanctity of the conjugal vow, the dignity of unborn life, and the complementarity of the sexes embody real values, then so, too, does loyalty to homeland, community, and heritage. Those of us who are alarmed to see marriage trivialized and redefined might do well to think long and hard about how citizenship has been trivialized and redefined.
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