Well, yesterday was the big day--I was sworn in as a United States citizen. There were 106 of us at my ceremony, six other Canadians and 99 other people from all parts of the world.
The final step in becoming a citizen was swearing the Oath of Allegiance. All 106 of us stood up, raised our right hands and followed the lead of a Federal Court judge in reciting the Oath out loud in unison. It was all very moving. Here's the Oath and exactly what I was thinking as I recited it:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and adjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;"
OK, I guess that's it as far as any of that "loyalty to the Queen" crap is concerned. Can't say I'm going to miss any of that. Why Canadians still pledge fealty to some foreign monarch has never made any sense to me. It's not that I have anything against the Queen. She seems like a nice enough old lady. I think Prince William will make a fine King and I'm a huge fan of that Kate Middleton girl he's rolling around with--she's one delectable English muffin that I'd love to slather in clotted cream and jam before devouring. Mmmmm, mmm.
"that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;"
Most definitely. I'm feeling especially feisty this morning. Bring on some foreign and domestic enemies and I'll kick their a**es!
"that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;"
This is badly drafted. I'm fine with the concept but it could have been combined with the part we just said.
"that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;"
Are you kidding? Count me in! I once fired a military sub-machine gun at a test range and it was the coolest thing ever. If I have to bear arms, I hope I get a choice. I don't just want some standard issue M-16. Can I be in a tank? I'd love to fire one of those cannons. Or maybe I could be the bombardier on a bomber carrying one of those "bunker buster" missiles. How awesome would it be to fire one of those babies?
"that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by law;"
Noncombatant service? Do I look like a girl?
"that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by law;"
What the hell is this? Didn't I just agree to bear arms? I'll do what I'm asked to do, but I'd rather shoot at stuff than shuffle paper.
"and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;"
I'm good on all counts.
"so help me God."
God? How'd that reference sneak in here? What happened to the separation of Church and State? Is the ACLU aware of this? You know it'll just be a matter of time before somebody launches a challenge....