American politics is a bit different to Australian politics. There are many things that we share in culture and identity, but politics is not really one of them.
One major difference between the two systems is the President of the United States must be born in the United States; you can’t be merely a citizen. The whole ‘birther’ conspiracy theories related to Barack Obama come from this rule.
For many Australians this was confusing, but if you are a citizen they asked, why does it matter where you are born?
After all our current Prime Minister was born in Wales and the Leader of the Opposition was born in England.
In the past we have had several Prime Ministers born in England and Scotland and one was even born in Chile.
But for whatever reason, and I’m sure there must be a good one, to be President of the United States you must be born in the United States.
I used to use this when some motivational person would say ‘hey if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything.’ I would say it doesn’t matter what I do I can never be the US president, because I was born in Australia, so your argument is fallacious. Of course they were talking of other things, but the fact that it annoyed them was pleasure enough. After all, who doesn’t want to annoy a motivational speaker?
But the point of this blog is not to talk about what we can and can’t do it is talk about where we are born, because that is one great thing about being a Christian, it doesn’t matter where you were born, because when you become a Christian you become a citizen of heaven.
Your citizenship is not of this earth it is of heaven.
The only birther controversy we have is we try to live in the mentality and with the philosophy of this world instead of having a vision of eternity.
A vision of things not on this earth but on things to come. The old song used to say ‘and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace’
So I admit it I don’t understand why the US insists its presidents be born on US soil, it seems to cheapen the value of people who have become citizens and served that great nation for many years just because their place of birth was somewhere else, I am grateful that in Christ we can be born anywhere.
I am grateful for the Apostle Paul taking the gospel to the gentiles and insisting that you don’t have to be Jewish to be Christian.
I am grateful that we can be citizens of heaven, and that our priority is God, the gospel and heaven first. That also brings up issues of nationalistic pride and tying our wars and politics to the Bible, which I think some people from the USA do, but that is another story.
So I am not trying to be controversial here, or to say the USA is wrong, I am more thankful that God has not put restrictions on where we are born to become members of his family.
So whilst some people still go on about the Birther conspiracy despite seemingly solid evidence against it, the only thing we have to worry about is am I trusting in Jesus and building a relationship with him, am I growing in his grace, am I being a citizen of God’s kingdom over and beyond my own place of birth.
And let me finish by asking you the person who ploughed through this meandering blog – what do you think about all of this?