Defining “Natural Born Citizen”

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The Debate Over Who Qualifies To Run For President

In order to qualify to be President, the US Constitution states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”  So what defines a “natural born citizen.”  The answer has not been so simple over the years.  The framers left it fairly vague and up to us to interpret throughout our history, and it is an issue that has gone back and forth.

This has all been brought into question as a result of one man whom various media outlets have kept an eye on that he might try to run for President in 2016.  The man in question is freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).  Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.  His parents were working in the oil business there.  (This will be addressed later on.)  Cruz’s father did not become a US citizen until 2005.  So though he has made trips to Iowa and the media seems to be watching him quite closely, does he even meet the qualifications of being a natural born citizen?

145731159_640Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This still only leaves a very vague definition for what constitutes a natural born citizen.  So now we look toward Section 5 of the 14th Amendment which states, ” The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”  It should also be noted that under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the US Constitution, Congress has authority to create law regarding naturalization which includes citizenship.

So now we know that Congress, under the 14th Amendment, can write legislation declaring what constitutes a natural born citizen. And yes, that means that there will be legal challenges and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will have to make sure such legislation does not violate the Constitution in any way… including Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.  In the case Minor v. Happersett (1875), the Court ruled, “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that.

At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents.”

Now though the Constitution is vague in what constitutes a natural born citizen, Congess has stepped in to attempt to fill in the gap.  Under Title 8 of the US Code, Section 1401 defines the following as citizens of the United States upon birth… or natural born citizens:

  • Anyone born inside the United States.  The person must be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.  (This would exempt the child of a diplomat, for example, from this provision.)
  • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person’s status as a citizen of the tribe
  • Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
  • Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
  • Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)

By the conditions just laid out, it would appear that Senator Ted Cruz is not eligible to run for President as he would not qualify as a natural born citizen since only one of the parents was a citizen of the US.  However, there still exists one more historical clause which will challenge this argument.  The clause states, “a person born before May 24, 1934 of an alien father and a US citizen mother who has lived in the US” is a citizen.  Does this change the argument?  If it is grouped with Section 1401 of Title 8 of the US Code, then it would appear so.

Currently, citizenship in the US is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.  The most recent changes to statutory law was done by Congress in 2001.  So since this most recent debate has circulated around Sen. Cruz, I am going to focus on one particular section… birth abroad to one US citizen.  There are a certain set of rules for those born after November 14, 1986, but I’m focusing on the rules at the time of Cruz’s birth which are the rules that were in effect from December 24, 1952 – November 14, 1986.  A person born abroad between those dates is a US citizen upon birth if all of the following are true:

  1. The person’s parents were married at the time of birth
  2. One of the person’s parents was a U.S. citizen when the person was born
  3. The citizen parent lived at least ten years in the United States before the child’s birth;
  4. A minimum of 5 of these 10 years in the United States were after the citizen parent’s 14th birthday.

By these very definitions of the law, it would appear that Sen. Cruz is a natural born citizen and thus meets the qualifications to run for President if he decided to do so.  This also does one more thing, as well.  In regards to President Obama, if the “birther” theory had been proven correct (and I’m not saying that it is) in that he had been born in Kenya (instead of Hawaii) to his US mother and his Kenyan father, he would still qualify as a natural born citizen.

image005As I stated at the beginning, this issue is a complicated mess.  The Framers left it vague when they wrote the Constitution.  Did they do it because they couldn’t foresee our future situations or was it so we could make such a determination as our nation progressed?  One can only really speculate on that.  Regardless, we have done our best to set forth a definition, and one that holds for all Americans… born here and born abroad.  The laws have changed throughout our history, and they will probably change again in our future.  For now, we go by the laws which we have… the laws in which we live by… the laws that govern our society.  They apply to us all equally.  In this confusing mixture, I hope there has been some small sense to the issue and that now we can have a better understanding of it.

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  1. andybuzz2u grf1939 andybuzz2u JoyceClemons mrrmwright Right.
  2. grf1939 andybuzz2u JoyceClemons mrrmwright wrong
  3. grf1939 JimNiner andybuzz2u Wrong
  4. RobertRiversong JoyceClemons RobertRiversong Surly Curmudgen rraeppel : In other words, while I have offered the most relevant and concise and unassailable arguments, you have nothing to offer but childish insults.
  5. JoyceClemons RobertRiversong JoyceClemons Surly Curmudgen rraeppel  Throughout this thread, you have based your arguments on out-of-context quotes and irrelevant foundational material. This doesn't surprise anyone. From this point you'll have to congratulate yourself without further input. Time for you to puff up and feel good about yourself for no reason.
  6. RobertRiversong JoyceClemons RobertRiversong Surly Curmudgen rraeppel : You only insult your own intelligence with comments that are not even intelligible. You have made no "argument" but one for your own ignorance.
  7. JoyceClemons RobertRiversong JoyceClemons Surly Curmudgen rraeppel  “True wisdom is knowing what you don't know” ― https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15321.Confucius, https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3320969  What I know is that I made alternate arguments that differ from yours, and what I don't know if whether these arguments will ever be vindicated at least as relevant within our Supreme court jurisprudence. What you think, but don't know, is that I appear to be ignorant, but you cannot refute either my arguments, nor my stated purpose. Seek some crumb of wisdom about your own limitations, and I'll forgive the insult.
  8. andybuzz2u RobertRiversong cfkerchner rraeppel Religion Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism, and two were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Church (D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons).[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed] Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England (orhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_in_the_United_States_of_America, after the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War was won), eight were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterianism, seven were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregational_church, two were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheranism, two were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Reformed_Church, and two were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodism.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed] A few prominent Founding Fathers were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-clericalism Christians, such as Thomas Jeffersonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-21http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-22http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-23 (who created the so-called http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible) and Benjamin Franklin.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-24 Others (most notably http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine, who authored the religious book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Reasonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-25) were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-26 Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_rationalism".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-27 The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli, states that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#cite_note-28 and was passed unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams. The "so called" founding fathers were radical liberals, who didn't want to pay there fair taxes, just like the rich today. If there had not been a uptick in the war between the British Empire and France, the entire British military would have been here, easily enough to put down Gen. Washington and the other uprisings. That did not happen. The United States was born out of luck. Plain and simple. The same religious beliefs were just as present then as they are today. It has always been a matter of what YOU believe. Oh yes and by the way, Benjamin Franklin According to David Morgan,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin#cite_note-146 Franklin was a proponent of religion in general. He prayed to "Powerful Goodness" and referred to God as "the infinite". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Adams noted that Franklin was a mirror in which people saw their own religion: "The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church thought him almost a Catholic. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England claimed him as one of them. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterianism thought him half a Presbyterian, and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers believed him a wet Quaker." Whatever else Franklin was, concludes Morgan, "he was a true champion of generic religion." In a letter to Richard Price, Franklin stated that he believed that religion should support itself without help from the government, claiming, "When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig'd to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin#cite_note-147 In 1790, just about a month before he died, Franklin wrote a letter to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Stiles, president of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_University, who had asked him his views on religion: "As to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_of_Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Dissenters, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble ...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin#cite_note-vandoren-11
  9. RobertRiversong cfkerchner RobertRiversong rraeppel : In other words, in addition to your repeated straw man fallacies and your repetitive adolescent ad hominem diversions, you have no argument and instead resort to McCarthyite tactics, labeling anyone left of the extreme Christian right as "communist".
  10. cfkerchner RobertRiversong cfkerchner rraeppel  Robert, projection and transference tactics again. You accuse others of doing what you are doing. Typical tactic of the far left and is actually part of the Communist Party's training manual.   It is you that has created and are using straw man arguments.  I never said God was mentioned in the Constitution.  You are a political operative here with an agenda.  To muddy the issue.  Again for all that is following this thread for the historical truth about how and why "natural born Citizen" got into our U.S. Constitution read the historical and other papers at this link:  http://www.scribd.com/collections/3301209/Papers-Discussing-Natural-Born-Citizen-Meaning-to-Constitutional-Standards  Don't pay attention to a person who provides no historical information to back up his position.  Robert simply misstates the purpose of the 14th amendment and puts words into it that are not there.  He also uses the Alinsky tactics of projection, transference, disinformation, and name calling.  CDR Charles Kerchner (Ret), http://www.protectourliberty.org  and  http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com
125 comments
andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

  • Only native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time) may serve president of the United States, though from time to time that requirement is called into question, recently in the case of potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R - Texas), who was born in Canada to Cuban-born father and a U.S-born mother. 
  • One must also be at least 35 years of age to be president. John F. Kennedy was the youngest person to be elected president; he was 43 years old when he was inaugurated in 1961. There is no maximum age limit set forth in the Constitution. Ronald Reagan was the oldest president; at the end of his term in 1988, he was nearly 77. 
  • Finally, one must live in the United States for at least 14 years to be president, in addition to being a natural-born citizen. The Constitution is vague on this point. For example, it does not make clear whether those 14 years need to be consecutive or what the precise definition of residency is. So far, however, this requirement has not been challenged.

Kmat
Kmat

Natural Born Citizen as defined when the Constitution was written.

        Mother must be US Citizen

         Father must be US Citizen

         Child must be born on US Soil - Changed to be US Sovereign Soil.

The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law (1758) Chapter 19, §212

This Book was used daily and the US Constitution could not have been written without it per Ben Franklin.  

Neither Cruz of Obama are eligible to be President, they are both Citizen of the United States by their CHOICE but they are Not Natural Born Citizen.  Natural Born Citizen do not Choose to be US Citizens because they do not have a choice of Citizenship.

mrrmwright
mrrmwright

nope , sorry james, if obama had been born in kenya he would not be a natural born citizen. in 1961 it required 5 years of us residence from the age of 14 . 5 plus 14 = 19 and stanley was 18 when she gave birth. ouch 

GlennPChickering
GlennPChickering

wow your research is lacking, the supreme court  has stated if the parent is female  who is the citizen  than a child born in a foreign jurisdiction will be a natural born citizen however if the parent of us citizen ship is male  than this male must claim child as his before his 18th birthday   wish I could remember the case however it was about a father and son and son was born elsewhere  and ended up deported to live with relatives and poor kid only spoke English  I believe it was between 20-30 years ago

Vicki
Vicki

I don't understand your math concerning Barack Obama and is citizenship.  His mother was 19 when he was born.  According to your article, she would have to have resided in the US for at least 5 years after her 14th birthday.  If he was born in what is now known as Kenya, his citizenship would depend on how long she had been in Kenya before his birth.  If she had been there for longer than 9 months, by your definition, he would not qualify.

PatriciaTeel
PatriciaTeel

A Natural Born Citizen is a person born in the US to parents that were born in the US .I should know. I am a true natural born citizen. My mothers ancestor was one of the first to settle in Jamestown VA in the early 1600s. She had more than one ancestor that fought in the Revolutionary War. My father's ancestors arrived in 1751 and one fought in the Revolutionary War. All my ancestors since then have been born in the USA, including one Seminole Indian. In my opinion, as much as I love Ted and for as much as I dislike Obama, neither qualify for president. BOTH had fathers that were NOT born here, so they are NOT NATURAL BORN CITIZENS !.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

"Citizen at birth" is not the equal of "natural born citizen"

To be a natural born citizen the citizenship must be singular and beyond any doubt. You can not be born on foreign soil as that raises the possibility of dual citizenship. Your father can not be of British citizenship as that makes you a dual citizen. Your father can not be of Cuban citizenship as that makes you a dual citizen.

To be a natural born citizen, not just a citizen, you must have all three legs of the stool. First you must be born on US soil. Second your mother must be a US citizen at your birth. Third your father must be a US citizen at your birth.

US citizenship alone can be attained by any one of the three.

JimNiner
JimNiner

But Cruz does meet the last bullet in the list of requirements as established by Congress.  His father was an alien, and his mother was a citizen of the US who had lived in the US for at least 5 years.  Additionally, we have political ties with Canada that allow that nation to issue US citizenship to those born within their borders to parents wherein at least one is a citizen of the US.

cfkerchner
cfkerchner

Natural born citizen of the United States goes to allegiance, i.e., sole allegiance to the USA at birth.  That is why the founders and framers chose that natural law legal term for who can be President and Commander-in-Chief of our military forces. Read this Three Legged Stool Test for more information on sole allegiance at birth and natural born Citizenship:  http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/the-three-legged-stool-test-analogy-for-natural-born-citizenship-of-the-united-states-to-constitutional-standards/


JimHenderson
JimHenderson

You have made a leap in logic unsupported by the text of the Constitution.

Congress has plenary authority to provide a uniform rule for naturalization, to be sure.

But your assertion that Congress can enact laws defining "Citizenship" is unsupported by constitutional text.  Naturalization is the process of making one who WAS NOT a citizen into one.  But citizenship is acquired by means other than naturalization, namely by right of birth.  Congress has no constitutional warrant to regulate the terms or conditions of citizenship for natural born citizens.

rraeppel
rraeppel

The Framers were not vague if you read the Federalist Papers. They understood a 'natural born' citizen to be someone whose PARENTS (plural) were citizens of the US at the time of the child's birth. To claim, as some judges and lawyers do, that anyone born in the US is a 'natural born" citizen is ludicrous, because that would mean that children born here to illegal immigrants can become president. When a judge has to make a decision as to the constitutionality of a law, they are supposed to consider the original intent of the framers, not rule what they think is constitutional. They don't do that and that is why we have so many unconstitutional laws in this country today.

Kmat
Kmat

@andybuzz2u Native-Born US Citizen is not the same as a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN.  Native-born US Citizen is a US Citizen either 

Born in the US

or Mother is US Citizen

or Father is US Citizen


Natural Born Citizen is a US Citizen who was 

   born in the US, 

and Mother is a US Citizen

and Father is a US Citizen

That was the definition of "Natural Born Citizen" when the Constitution was written and has not been change within the Constitution.

The Uneducated Public and Press may have change the Definition, but that don't make it so.




andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@Kmat Obama's mother never renounced her citizenship. Cruz's mother did. 2nd, Obama was a Natural Born Citizen with his first breath. YOU need to read up more on this.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@mrrmwright  Even if he was born in Hawaii, as he claims, he had duel citizenship at birth, and that means , oh yes, he would be a citizen jus sanguis, and jus solie and a subject of the UK, just sanguis, and not jus solie from his father. However, he wasn't a natural born citizen as intended by the founders, who used the natural born citizen definition of Vattel, and not the British Common Law, which was all about subjects. For obvious reasons. Franklin made it clear that Vattel was a key reference, since distancing the US from British Common Law wherever possible was desirable.

mrrmwright
mrrmwright

@Vicki nope she got preg at 17 and was 18 when stanley gave birth

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@Surly Curmudgen Really? So i have been lied to for 43 going on 44 years that i am not A Natural Born Citizen because my dad was american and my mom German, and i was born on Ramstein Air Force base, literally, and have spent the last 42 years in Texas? I want a hell of a tax refund then, cause your government has stolen plenty from me.


If you think Obama could not legally hold the office, do you really think they would have sworn him in? Hell no.

GlennPChickering
GlennPChickering

@Surly Curmudgen pleas show me such a law or a supreme court case that backs your opinion the law is more complicated than  one might think  and  children born of one parent out of wedlock are considered moms nationality  if born after 1952  and  you are either a natural born citizen or become nationalized which also can depend on age and registration but I see nothing saying both parents have to be American citizens

again  the supreme court will have to decide this issue I seen arguments on both sides of the coin  

RestlessNativ
RestlessNativ

@Surly Curmudgen I don't think I've ever agreed with the Curmudgen (though it's usually a less concrete more emotional issue...), but I agree wholeheartedly with him here

GlennPChickering
GlennPChickering

@Surly Curmudgen sorry but no where has the constitution or the supreme court say both parents have to be a US citizen  also natural born   is not what it says  it says naturalized the meaning being citizen at birth, the only way to settle the argument is for the supreme court  to take up the matter 

pugilist66
pugilist66

Apparently, you haven't read up on this matter before. But, good try lib.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@rraeppel  I agree except one thing. Originalism in jurisprudence means two different schools of thought, both used variably by the justices. Original meaning, and Original intent. Scalia, for example, is a textualist on statute and an Originalist on Constitution, but will, under Originalism, tend toward Original meaning, avoiding Original intent unless it is plainly necessary under the circumstances. This might be one. Each justice has their own approach, I mention Scalia mainly since his philosophies are well covered in extra-judicial literature, meaning outside of case quotes.

RobertRiversong
RobertRiversong

@rraeppel : In fact, there was no national rule of US citizenship prior to the adoption of the 14th Amendment, as citizenship in the US was defined by citizenship in one of the States, and that was determined by state legislatures.


And what was meant by "natural born citizens" in the 14th Amendment was clarified by Congress:

Under Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes, the same Congress which had adopted the Fourteenth Amendment, confirmed this principle: “All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.”

emaildejan
emaildejan

@rraeppel  Well, I would argue that a natural born citizen (RBC) does NOT require that both parents be U.S. citizens per se at the time of one's birth.  Instead, I would argue that both parents must be LEGAL RESIDENTS of the U.S.   So, in other words, LEGAL ALIENS who choose to permanently live in the U.S. (i.e., have been granted a green card) that have a child would be giving birth to a NATURAL BORN citizen because both parents are "subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S."  


However, visiting aliens (only have a visa, but no green card) cannot have a child that can claim to be a RBC.  In fact, the child at that point is considered a "visiting" alien since both parents are subject to the jurisdiction of another country anyway.  However, the child COULD at least lay some claim to a dual-citizenship, and in such could be considered a "regular" citizen of the U.S.  Also, any foreigner that becomes a citizen of the U.S. would also be considered a "regular" citizen, but not a RBC.


As far as ILLEGAL ALIENS are concerned, the location for the birth of their children is rendered equally meaningless by the "subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S."  Since neither parent is subject to the U.S. jurisdiction (they both crossed the border ILLEGALLY), then their child cannot lay claim to being a U.S. citizen, let alone a RBC.

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@Kmat @andybuzz2u Really? So i have been lied to for 43 going on 44 years that i am not A Natural Born Citizen because my dad was american and my mom German, and i was born on Ramstein Air Force base, literally, and have spent the last 42 years in Texas? I want a hell of a tax refund then, cause your government has stolen plenty from me.


If you think Obama could not legally hold the office, do you really think they would have sworn him in? Hell no.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@andybuzz2u  Obama was a US citizen and a subject of the UK with his first breath. The very thing that the Natural Born Citizen Clause was written especially to address.

JimNiner
JimNiner

@andybuzz2u

Dude ... you need to let this go ... it has already been proven that Cruz is a "natural born" citizen according to the law in effect at the time of his birth.


And his mother did not renounce her citizenship.  They were living in Alberta temporarily, while working with the oil engineers there to implement new seismic data processors to assist in oil exploration and generation.  His mother and father moved back to Houston in 1974 and still live in Texas.  His father is a pastor in Carrollton, TX and his mother still lives in the Houston area.


You can believe all you want from Salon, the Huffington Post, the Daily Kos and the Onion (they all have about the same level of journalistic integrity).  The truth is that Cruz is eligible to run.  End of debate.  


I'll bet you didn't give this much thought to Obama's eligibility.

GlennPChickering
GlennPChickering

@andybuzz2u where are you getting your information  everything I seen says Cruz's mother was a american citizen at his birth and still a American Citizen

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@JoyceClemons @mrrmwright You people are so ignorant of our own laws and you want to quote British law as well? There is not more "Subject" it is the British nationality law of 1948 and 1981 plainly states when a person is a British National. Unlike American law that usually "updates" or "corrects" itself and very rarely supersedes anything, British law regularly supersedes and voids laws. The British nationality law of 1981 vacated any other law regarding British nationality and struck the word "British Subject" for any preceding laws, or future use of the word or it's meaning.


More to the point, Ann Dunham divorced Barack Obama, SR when Barack Obama was less than 5 years old. 5 years is the key under British nationality law, Barack Obama, JR never had any ties or British nationality, his only nationally was the United States of America. Barack Obama, SR was a British Commonwealth citizen, only British citizenship and certain Commonwealth citizens have the automatic right of abode in the UK. Kenya was a Commonwealth until being granted independence in 1963. Therefore, Barack Obama, SR was a second tier Citizen in, what was the British Empire in those days. To that effect, it would have taken him years to "prove" his son was a British citizen, however, British law has always, since colonial times, denied that to people born to a woman citizen of the United States, pre 1972, as British law supports the citizenship of the mother to determine "natural" citizenship origins.


Barack Obama, JR is not only our President, he is as American as Apple pie is American.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

@pugilist66 Just what in that makes me a lib. Try Googling the screen name and then come back and try telling me I am a lib. LOL 

Much research in a law library reading on paper the pertinent cases. My stance is rock solid. Neither Obama nor Cruz is qualified for the office.

rraeppel
rraeppel

@RobertRiversong @rraeppel They are declared to be "CITIZENS" yes, "Natural Born" Citizens no. There is a difference. There are "citizens" - those born in the US regardless of whether their parents were US citizens or not. Then there are "naturalized citizens" - those born in another country to non-US citizen parents, but come to the US and become US citizens through the naturalization process. And finally, there are "Natural Born citizens" - those born in the US or its territories to PARENTS (plural) who are US citizens at the time of the individual's birth.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

@RobertRiversong @rraeppel declared to be citizens of the United States.” but not natural born citizens.

The 14th amendment has nothing to do with the requirements for president. That amendment applies only to citizenship in the US.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@emaildejan @rraeppel  I had just a tad of difficulty following this, but I offer that, in the case of Obama, his putative father, Obama Sr., was an F1 visa,undergraduate student, a non-resident alien, and a CUKC British citizen, and present in the US less than 2 years by the time the child was born. He passed CUKC British nationality, and citizenship, to Obama his son, whether this was ever registered or not. So, duel citizenship, which if never renounced, endures. Not an NBC, in my view, because I believe that both the original intent, and original meaning (let alone which could be argued the plain meaning, given the singularity of it) of NBC, which was, again, in my view, drawn from Law of Nations, Vattel, and not from Blackstone's Treatises, (for what I think should be obvious reasons) was to avoid the conflicting allegiances and duties implied by duel nationality and citizenship &/or status as subject, in such a sensitive post as is held by The President. Two citizen parents, born on US soil. It's nothing personal, so it still puzzles me why some people get so personal about it.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@andybuzz2u  Don't be silly, you are a citizen, and it is YOUR government, and it didn't steal anything from you. Besides, even if you lived in another country you'd pay taxes, and that isn't stealing. Your silly argument lends weight to the questions against the quality of reasoning for Obama's eligibility.

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@JoyceClemons @andybuzz2u You need to read up on British law regarding British citizenship. You will find it anti U.S. as much as U.S. is anti British, as far as citizenship is concerned. Barack Obama IS A United States citizen.

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@JimNiner @andybuzz2u Yes i did. I still do not understand why all these two party jokes can push for anyone to be president from other than a BORN AND RAISED IN THE USA citizen. What's next for them? Putting a Puerto Rican in the office?

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@andybuzz2u @JoyceClemons @mrrmwright  I rechecked and found that Obama Senior was, in 1961 a British Citizen in a category then known as CUKC, Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies; he was married to the child's mother, was of course then the putative father. His ability to transmit his British citizenship as a CUKC, in 1961, even to a child born in wedlock outside of the UK, was transmissible to one generation, and still is. No certification or registration was required then, and I believe, now, but that is beside the point. The only reason someone in his situation would need to show his proofs is to apply for right of abode, and that isn't relevant.  I was, as you point out, wrong to use the word 'subject' because he was in fact a citizen, by descent, and still may be able to prove that were he so inclined. He had duel American and British Citizenship at birth, and the 1983 changes don't change that. It doesn't mean he's not American, and I never said he is not American. I merely said that he was also a British (subject, meant citizen) at birth. No one alive except The President could know if he was ever registered, and he might not even know. It doesn't matter, however, since it only would affect a certification of his right of abode. If he didn't formally renounce, he may still in fact be a British Citizen, as well as an American citizen. He could register now, and he'd easily gain right of abode. Apples are naturalized in America, from Britain, who got them from the Romans...and Apple Pie recipes date back to Chaucer's day. Why does everyone take this so personal? It's just an argument, and I never said he wasn't American.

JimNiner
JimNiner

@RestlessNativ @pugilist66

Guys,

All of this has already been resolved.  The 14th Amendment established a baseline by which subsequent legislation has narrowed the defining characteristics required to be a "natural born" citizen.  The law in effect at the time of Cruz's birth in Canada, the McCarran-Walter Act, established that the following must be true in order to receive the status of "natural born citizen:"


- One parent is a US citizen at the time of birth and the birthdate is before November 14, 1986 but after October 19, 1952.


and,


- The parents are married at the time of birth and the US citizen was physically present in the US or its territories for a period of at least ten years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, at least five of which were after his or her 14th birthday.


As Ted Cruz's birth meets all these requirements, he is a "natural born citizen" of the United States.  No further discussion is required.  No subsequent law can remove citizenship status granted at birth.  


Cruz is eligible to run for President.  

JimNiner
JimNiner

@andybuzz2u @JimNiner

Andy,

I still don't understand why you are trying to argue a point for which you are so terribly unprepared and uninformed.  Cruz's mother didn't renounce her citizenship (she lives in Houston, TX to this day).  Cruz was born in Canada to a US citizen and raised in the US.  The time he spent in Canada was during the earliest years of his life.  He doesn't even remember it.  


But none of that matters, because the law that defines the requirements for recognition as a "natural born citizen" (meaning born with the status of citizen) are very clear and validate Cruz's eligibility to run.  You may not like his politics, you may not like him, but it doesn't change the fact that he is eligible.


Whether or not he'll mount a credible challenge has yet to be determined, but pursuing this argument is even less productive than challenging the validity of Obama's birth certificate.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

@JimNiner @RestlessNativ @pugilist66 The fourteenth amendment established congressional control over the requirements for citizenship only. It did not change the requirements for the office of president.

Natural born in regard to citizenship is not the same as natural born in regard to qualifying for the office of president. They refer to two entirely different concepts. 

andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@JimNiner @RestlessNativ @pugilist66

  • Only native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time) may serve president of the United States, though from time to time that requirement is called into question, recently in the case of potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R - Texas), who was born in Canada to Cuban-born father and a U.S-born mother. 
  • One must also be at least 35 years of age to be president. John F. Kennedy was the youngest person to be elected president; he was 43 years old when he was inaugurated in 1961. There is no maximum age limit set forth in the Constitution. Ronald Reagan was the oldest president; at the end of his term in 1988, he was nearly 77. 
  • Finally, one must live in the United States for at least 14 years to be president, in addition to being a natural-born citizen. The Constitution is vague on this point. For example, it does not make clear whether those 14 years need to be consecutive or what the precise definition of residency is. So far, however, this requirement has not been challenged.

JimNiner
JimNiner

@RestlessNativ @pugilist66


In regards to the use of the concept of "natural born" in the time of the framers, I offer William Blackstone (1765), Commentaries 1:354, 357–58, 361–62

"The first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it."

However, Blackstone also recognizes natural born citizenship for subjects born abroad. English common law is comprised of precedents, court decisions, as amended by statutes.

"Yet the children of the king’s embassadors born abroad were always held to be natural subjects: for as the father, though in a foreign country, owes not even a local allegiance to the prince to whom he is sent; so, with regard to the son also, he was held (by a kind of postliminium) to be born under the king of England’s allegiance, represented by his father, the embassador. To encourage also foreign commerce, it was enacted by statute 25 Edw. III. st. 2 (passed in 1350). that all children born abroad, provided both their parents were at the time of the birth in allegiance to the king, and the mother had passed the seas by her husband’s consent, might inherit as if born in England: and accordingly it hath been so adjudged in behalf of merchants. But by several more modern statutes these restrictions are still farther taken off: so that all children, born out of the king’s ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain."

The Naturalization Act of 1790, passed just 12 months after our constitution became effective in 1789, undoubtedly reflects the understanding of “natural born citizen” in effect in that era, and states:

And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens:  Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…

2011 report prepared by the Congressional Research Office concludes:

The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term“natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents;by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.



And so it seems this case is ... closed.

rraeppel
rraeppel

@RobertRiversong @rraeppel  Sir, with all due respect, you have NOT proved me wrong. I am going by what I had learned years ago in school as well as what has been stated by credentialed Constitutional scholars. But I am willing to drop this conversation, because no matter how much evidence I or others could present, you will continue to disbelieve.

JimNiner
JimNiner

@Surly Curmudgen @RestlessNativ@pugilist66


Surly,

Not sure what you think your point is.  I laid it out pretty clearly, citing references and everything.  If you can't grasp the truth of what I've said, then I'm sorry for you.  If you are voicing agreement, then yay for us. 


Keep searching for a way Cruz isn't eligible ... the more time you waste on it the less time you're spending doing something else that's stupid.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@Kmat @JimNiner @RestlessNativ @pugilist66  Thanks for making the case that Obama had duel citizenship which gave him the very divided loyalties that the Founders sought to prevent in Presidents...especially if the word Britain was involved...nice job.

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@JimNiner @RestlessNativ @pugilist66  Not so fast. Obama Senior was a non-resident alien on a visa, who was not present for 2 years by the time Barack was born, committed a crime of bigamy during that time, and would never have been considered for permanent resident status had he sought it, given his crime.

RobertRiversong
RobertRiversong

@rraeppel @RobertRiversong : In fact, I have proved you unequivocally and absolutely wrong. I will repeat the unassailable evidence:


What was meant by "natural born citizens" in the 14th Amendment was clarified by Congress: 

Under Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes, the same Congress which had adopted the Fourteenth Amendment, confirmed this principle: “All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.”

To paraphrase you, no matter how much evidence I or others could present, you will continue to believe your ideologically-skewed fantasies.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

@JimNiner @RestlessNativ @pugilist66 

Your continuing efforts to legitimize Obama's usurpation of the office clearly labels you as a Democrat law breaker who sees nothing wrong with throwing the constitution in the trash. Neither Obama nor Cruz nor McCain nor Romney nor Rubio nor Jindal nor Santorum are qualified for the office of president.

cfkerchner
cfkerchner

@RobertRiversong @rraeppel Robert -- the term "natural born Citizen" is not even mentioned in the 14th Amendment.  The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to make basic/simple Citizens of the newly freed slaves.  Only those born in the USA of two Citizen parents are "natural born Citizens".  Since the slaves parents were not Citizens they could not procreate "natural born Citizens".  Thus the 14th amendment made them basic Citizens and their future children would be "natural born Citizens".  Again, the 14th amendment says absolutely nothing about "natural born Citizenship".  Read this legal essay on the subject:  http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/07/neither-14th-amendment-nor-wong-kim-ark.html As to the statutory laws you mention, no statutory law (positive/man-made law) can create or make a "natural born Citizen".  Only natural law and the laws of nature can do so, by the facts and facts of nature at birth.  Born in the USA to two Citizen parents.  Sole allegiance to the USA at birth is the intent of the founders and framers using that term in our Constitution.  That is the purpose of Article II Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution, the eligibility restriction as to who can serve as Pres and commander of our military once the founding generation had passed away.  Read my article:  http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/of-natural-born-citizens-and-citizens-at-birth-and-basic-logic-trees-are-plants-but-not-all-plants-are-trees-natural-born-citizens-nbc-are-citizens-at-birth-cab-but-not-all-cab/ Also read the history and attempts by Congress to dilute away the true historical and natural law meaning of "natural born Citizen of the United States" here:  http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html  The purpose and goal of that term in the Constitution was SOLE Allegiance at birth -- to the USA only. Dual Citizens at birth are NOT constitutionally eligible to serve as Pres and CinC of the military.    CDR Charles Kerchner (Ret), http://www.protectourliberty.org

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@RobertRiversong @JoyceClemons @Surly Curmudgen @rraeppel  “True wisdom is knowing what you don't know”
Confucius, Sayings of Confucius  What I know is that I made alternate arguments that differ from yours, and what I don't know is whether these arguments will ever be vindicated at least as relevant within our Supreme court jurisprudence. What you think, but don't know, is that I appear to be ignorant, but you cannot refute either my arguments, nor my stated purpose. Seek some crumb of wisdom about your own limitations, and I'll forgive the insult.

RobertRiversong
RobertRiversong

@cfkerchner @RobertRiversong @rraeppel :

You seem to have gone to great lengths to propagate a right wing ideological fiction.

"Natural Law" - itself a fiction - has no determinative power over the people of government of the US - only the constitution and statutory law.

The 14th Amendment begins: 

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

The constitutional clause about eligibility for the presidency is irrelevant to the issue of who is a legal citizen, and "born" is synonymous with "natural born".

You are in intellectual fraud and a propagandist.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

@RobertRiversong @Surly Curmudgen @rraeppel You are the one displaying ignorance.  Neither Obama nor Cruz nor Rubio nor Jindal nor McCain nor Romney nor Santorum are natural born citizens. That should be a glaring illumination of the lack of regard for our constitution displayed by our politicians. 

cfkerchner
cfkerchner

@RobertRiversong @cfkerchner @rraeppel  Robert said "You are in intellectual fraud and a propagandist."  That is what they call transference or projection.  You are the intellectual fraud and propagandist in this thread and it is you who is projecting your own tactics on to others.  The preamble to the Declaration of Independence specifically mentions natural law, the laws of nature and of nature's God.  The U.S. Constitution was based on the principles of natural law in order to more perfectly united the original 13 sovereign states.  The 13 colonies rejected British common law at the federal level.  The British did not have a written Constitution.  This is what was nice and revolutionary about the USA.  They looked to natural law for defining our unalienable rights.  The best writer at the time on natural law was Vattel and was widely read during the Revolution.  See:  http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2010/04/benjamin-franklin-in-1775-thanks.html   Vattels The Law of Nations and Principles of Natural Law and the Bible were the two most used books to justify the Revolution against England and to establish the U.S. Constitution.  The adjective natural and the term natural born Citizen is NOT even mentioned in the 14th Amendment.  The 14th Amendment did not modify or amend Article II Section 1 Clause 5, the presidential eligibility clause.  No matter how hard or often you try to project your propaganda motives onto others, you are the propagandist.  Both major political parties desire to run constitutionally not eligible candidates.  And instead of amending the Constitution as is allowed they know they won't be able to do it once the people understand the national security, sole allegiance at birth, purposes of it being put in there in the first place.  Read the history of how many times in the last 25 years or so the both major political parties have tried to redefine and dilute what the term "natural born Citizen of the United States" means.  And each time it failed to get out of committee.  This is a national security protection in our Constitution to prevent persons born with dual allegiance, allegiance at birth to more than one country from ever getting in command of our military. 
See:  http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html and http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/of-natural-born-citizens-and-citizens-at-birth-and-basic-logic-trees-are-plants-but-not-all-plants-are-trees-natural-born-citizens-nbc-are-citizens-at-birth-cab-but-not-all-cab/

JoyceClemons
JoyceClemons

@RobertRiversong @JoyceClemons @Surly Curmudgen @rraeppel  Throughout this thread, you have based your arguments on out-of-context quotes and irrelevant foundational material. This doesn't surprise anyone. From this point you'll have to congratulate yourself without further input. Time for you to puff up and feel good about yourself for no reason.

RobertRiversong
RobertRiversong

@cfkerchner @RobertRiversong @rraeppel : As soon as you bring GOD into the Constitution, you display your extreme ignorance and right wing propagandistic intent.Nothing could be more transparent nor

obvious.


There are NO inalienable rights defined in the US Constitution, as all legal rights are limitable and limited. The Declaration of Independence has no legal standing in the US.


You keep resorting to the same straw man argument conflating presidential eligibility with citizenship.


You live in a fantasy world and it is YOU who wishes to corrupt the meaning and intent of the Constitution.

cfkerchner
cfkerchner

@RobertRiversong @cfkerchner @rraeppel   Robert, you reveal your true self with every post.  Have you studied Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals the bible/training manual of the Godless Marxists and far, far left.  Anyone who denies the Creator's impact on the founders and framers does not know history and is obfuscating the truth.  It seems that you are Alinsky techniques trained. You use many of his strategies and tactics in this thread:  See:  http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/alinsky.htm  The key to why the "natural born Citizen" clause is in the presidential eligibility clause is the requirement that future presidents, once the founding generation was gone, would have to be born with SOLE ALLEGIANCE to the USA.  People born with dual or multiple allegiances are not eligible to command our military.  See the 3 Legged Stool Test for understanding natural born Citizenship:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/185258103/Three-Legged-Stool-Test-for-Natural-Born-Citizen-of-the-United-States-to-Constitutional-Standards

bradfregger
bradfregger

@RobertRiversong @Surly Curmudgen @rraeppel


Sorry Robert, but you're the one who is has exposed himself it be less than up-to-date on these issues.  Surly is a gigantic leap ahead of you, you need to take learning seriously to catch up and that means reading and understanding more than you are told to by progressive idiots.

Surly Curmudgen
Surly Curmudgen

@RobertRiversong @Surly Curmudgen @rraeppel  Micro evolution was proved a long time ago, the rest of evolution is still up in the air as only theory. The latest attempt to explain evolution is "punctuated equilibrium". 

The globe has been warming and cooling for a long time. A lot longer than man has been around. The current cycle of cooling not warming  ( Earth has been cooling since 1997) is not caused by man. Mans effect, on for instance CO2, is less than 0.000037%.

cfkerchner
cfkerchner

@RobertRiversong @cfkerchner @rraeppel  Robert, projection and transference tactics again. You accuse others of doing what you are doing. Typical tactic of the far left and is actually part of the Communist Party's training manual.   It is you that has created and are using straw man arguments.  I never said God was mentioned in the Constitution.  I only said that the Creator influenced the men who founded our nation and wrote our Constitution. You are a political operative here with an agenda.  To muddy the issue.  Again for all that are following this thread for the historical truth about how and why "natural born Citizen" got into our U.S. Constitution read the historical and other papers at this link:  http://www.scribd.com/collections/3301209/Papers-Discussing-Natural-Born-Citizen-Meaning-to-Constitutional-Standards  Don't pay attention to a person who provides no historical information to back up his position.  Robert simply misstates the purpose of the 14th amendment and puts words into it that are not there.  He also uses the Alinsky tactics of projection, transference, disinformation, and name calling.  CDR Charles Kerchner (Ret), http://www.protectourliberty.org  and  http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com 


RobertRiversong
RobertRiversong

@cfkerchner @RobertRiversong @rraeppel : In other words, besides your repeated straw man fallacies and your repetitive adolescent ad hominem diversions and faux-Freudian distractions, you have no argument and instead resort to McCarthyite tactics, labeling anyone left of the extreme Christian right as "communist".


It must be terribly painful for you to acknowledge that the Founders were enlightenment liberals and deists who knew that God played no role in the founding of our nation.


andybuzz2u
andybuzz2u

@RobertRiversong @cfkerchner @rraeppel

Religion

Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and two were Roman Catholics (D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons).[citation needed] Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (orEpiscopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.[citation needed]

A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical Christians, such as Thomas Jefferson[21][22][23] (who created the so-called Jefferson Bible) and Benjamin Franklin.[24] Others (most notably Thomas Paine, who authored the religious book The Age of Reason[25]) were deists, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists.[26]

Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid "theistic rationalism".[27]

The Treaty of Tripoli, states that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"[28] and was passed unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams.


The "so called" founding fathers were radical liberals, who didn't want to pay there fair taxes, just like the rich today. If there had not been a uptick in the war between the British Empire and France, the entire British military would have been here, easily enough to put down Gen. Washington and the other uprisings. That did not happen.


The United States was born out of luck. Plain and simple. The same religious beliefs were just as present then as they are today. It has always been a matter of what YOU believe.


Oh yes and by the way, Benjamin Franklin According to David Morgan,[143] Franklin was a proponent of religion in general. He prayed to "Powerful Goodness" and referred to God as "the infinite". John Adams noted that Franklin was a mirror in which people saw their own religion: "The Catholics thought him almost a Catholic. The Church of England claimed him as one of them. The Presbyterians thought him half a Presbyterian, and the Friends believed him a wet Quaker." Whatever else Franklin was, concludes Morgan, "he was a true champion of generic religion." In a letter to Richard Price, Franklin stated that he believed that religion should support itself without help from the government, claiming, "When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig'd to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."[144]

In 1790, just about a month before he died, Franklin wrote a letter to Ezra Stiles, president of Yale University, who had asked him his views on religion:

"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble ...[9]