I was curious as to how much obedience (if any at all) a Catholic was to give to the State, but I could never find any information pertaining to this on traditional Catholic websites. While perusing the Catholic Encyclopedia (hosted by the New Advent website), I finally came upon the article I was looking for: Civil Allegiance
. What I read in that article was quite frankly shocking to me. Here are a few snippets from the article:
"By civil allegiance is meant the duty of loyalty and obedience which a person owes
to the State of which he is a citizen."
"As nature and religion prescribe to children dutiful conduct towards the parents who brought them into the world, so nature and religion impose on citizens certain obligations
towards their country and its rulers."
"These obligations may be reduced to those of patriotism and obedience
"Patriotism requires that the citizen should have a reasonable esteem and love for his country."
"He should take an interest in his country's history, he should know how to value her institutions, and he should be prepared to sacrifice himself for her welfare."
"In his country's need it is not only a noble thing, but it is a sacred duty to lay down one's life for the safety of the commonwealth
"Love for his country will lead the citizen to show honour and respect to its rulers. They represent the State, and are entrusted by God
with power to rule it for the common good."
Perhaps it was the few months I spent with "Catholics" at a Newman Center a long time ago, and that I had absorbed some of their anti-State and pro-anarchy inclinations, or perhaps I never had much of an affection for America in the first place, but I would have never thought that the Church's view on the state was so...favorable.
However, my question to you all is, do these statements from the article still hold water today? I want
to be patriotic, to love my country, and to uphold my sacred duty by dying for the safety of the commonwealth, but America is so deeply stained with error. I think the argument against this would be, "Don't love America for what she represents today, but love America for what she is supposed to be in principle," but I truly don't even love what America stands for in principle. I don't even like the Constitution, as it says right there in Amendment 1:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"
Perhaps the article's statements on civil allegiance only stand if one lives in a Catholic country? I don't know. I would like all of your input on this because on one hand, I want to love my country and be prepared to die for her, while on the other hand, I want to get the hell out of here as fast as possible.
Thank you for reading my thoughts.