Learn how to be a good citizen.
Ask yourself, "Am I truly a citizen - or just a fortunate tenant of this great nation?" Below are eleven points to help guide you on your path of good citizenship. Pledge yourself here and now to them - that you and your offspring can continue to enjoy the American heritage of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Liberty to worship
A good citizen studies and recognizes this founding principle and works to preserve and protect it. Religion is a personal and private matter. According to the first article of the Bill of Rights, Congress cannot set up a national church, lay taxes to support one church or all churches. It cannot compel people to attend church or punish them for not attending, and cannot use law to oppress one's conscience. These protections also prevent the government from being used by evil cults and religions to softly invade the nation, and disguise their invasion with our liberties. Still the cornerstone of our republic is a religious concept: that "every human being is endowed with a soul that is sacred in the eyes of a Sovereign God and with power to distinguish between right and wrong; that the judgement expressed by a majority of such divinely created human beings is likely to be closest to God's will for all of them; and that every mortal soul is endowed by its Creator with certain natural inalienable rights that no human agency whatever can justly invade."
Practice and support morally strong, good families
In principle, the family (man, woman and children) must be the keystone, the microcosm, the atom that can't be split of our Constitutional Republic. In the family are cradled the cardinal virtues that enable good families to add up to a great nation - standards of conduct, respect for elders, the rights of others and property, loyalty, good health, cooperation, self-reliance, good breeding and a sense of the fitness of things. A good citizen employs this to make good democracy happen in the home and end there as a reward, and for it to be safe, peaceful and work properly. (Matthew 7:24, Holy Bible
Contribute towards a strong community
A good citizen is active in their community to find common spirit with their neighbors and builds inter-group good will through collective, supportive projects. The more things people working together in a community can do without depending on the federal or state government, the more our individual rights will be preserved, the stronger our nation will be.
Support and improve schools
Keeping our system of education based on truth and fact, preserving family controlled governance of educational standards and choices, passing on the original intent of the American Idea and the founding heritage of our nation, and keeping our local education systems free from bigotry and prejudice is an important duty. Good citizens do this and realize teachers enjoy freedom from social and political pressures, and freedom to seek the eternal truths and present these truths in a way that will stimulate young minds to look for truth and develop their lifelong talents and skills.
Vote in all elections
The right for U.S. Citizens to vote - to vote in secret and to have your vote count - is the best duty of all as it is the power of government by The People. It is grounded in the faith that the average judgement of all of us together in the long run will be right. Through agents chosen by you and others like you all laws are made. No person, regardless of their station in life, wields more power than you in the voting booth. Subject to the Constitution and the federal civil liberties statutes, the right to vote in federal elections is governed by state law (15th
Respect the nation's flag
The flag of the United States of America is designed to represent its states forming a Union of people living in liberty and freedom from tyranny, oppression and centralized military and political power. A good citizen respects the flag based on what and who it stands for, and practices proper etiquette set forth by federal law and Flag Code
. To properly handle the flag of the United States and show your allegiance, follow our national guidelines. Learn More >
Serve on a jury
When you receive a notice of jury duty, your first reaction may be "how can I get out of this?" It interferes with your work or leisure. Yet anyone who dodges responsibility of jury duty digs away from the foundation of one of our country's broadest freedoms. The obligation to serve on a jury is the reverse-side of the right of trial by jury. Remember this: a jury of twelve impartial, open-minded people under oath is every citizen's protection against injustice, individual prejudice, intolerance and persecution (Article 3, Section 2
of the Constitution).
Respect and obey laws
A good citizen cooperates with and does not evade the law. No one can make people good by law, and the hope of law and order is grounded in the reverence of a majority of people for truth, justice, and goodness. Our government is a government of laws, not of men and women, and only The Congress has the power to make all laws as they are the elected representatives of The People. Further, the Constitution provides a system of checks and balances to guard citizens against hasty or ill-advised action or the concentration of powers in any one person or group. There is no other way to make laws and no one is above them. (Article 1, Section 8
and Article VI
of the Constitution).
Pay taxes understandingly
Yes, it's human nature to squirm when government strikes at your pocketbook nerve through taxation. But it's also human nature to want clean drinking water, paved and smooth roads, police, fire and military security and other limited basics to support a happy life. Every good citizen chips in to provide the things all of us need and none of us can pay for on our own which a free market economic system cannot provide. Taxes are laws that can only be made by The Congress who must do the will of those who voted for them. (Article 1, Sections 7, 8 and 9
; 16th Amendment of the Constitution
Work for peace and dutifully bear arms
Probably the greatest of all powers is the power to declare war. In the United States this power is not given to any one person and a good citizen bears arms, if they want to, for their protection and the common defense only. It is not given to our generals or admirals nor the President and their cabinet. It is given only to our elected representatives, The Congress. The most fervent hope in every Good Citizen's heart is the differences between nations may be settled without war. Only a burning wrong and the devotion to preserving our founding heritage, good moral values and the principles of our free government over tyranny can force us into another war. (Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution
and 2nd Amendment
of the Bill of Rights).
Equality before the law
A good citizen respects others while preserving and maintaining moral truth and safety, as all men and women are created equal, and remains vigilant to covert ways this duty is used to remove personal and civil liberties. An appeal to prejudice, an attempt to divide the United States along social, racial and religious lines, and so to conquer it, was the chief hope of our enemies in World War II and is the hope for cultural activists and new enemies in modern times. We have made many laws of liberty in this country, and nurtured many forms of freedom. But there is one law made long before 1776 which is eternal truth: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' (Declaration of Independence
Amendments of the Constitution).