Sauce for the Goose Is Sauce for the Gander

Bill Neinast

A staple on grocery store shelves 75 years ago may be coming back.  

One pound cartons of lard were favorite sources of cooking grease way back then.

Now there is some indication that those chunks of lard were favorite gifts under the Christmas trees of some Republicans last year.   They could be the source of the grease being poured on some steep slopes.

One of the slopes involves the brouhaha over anchor babies. (Yes, that is a politically incorrect term to liberals, but there is no better word or description of the citizens involved.)

Republicans claim that this citizenship is conferred on a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.  

The relevant sentence of that amendment reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States…”  ( Underscoring added)

This provision reflected international law at the time and included the clause on jurisdiction to exempt children of diplomats.

My two youngest children were born in the U.S. Army hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, where General George Patton died.  They have German birth certificates plus U.S. State Department certificates of Americans born abroad.  They were dual German/U.S. citizens until age 18.

When they were born, we were living in Germany on U.S. property, but we were subject to German jurisdiction.  I, as an active duty army officer, had some immunity from that jurisdiction under the Status of Forces Agreement between Germany and the U.S., but that immunity did not extend to the family.

So there is a conundrum for those who want to deny citizenship to anchor babies because their parents came here illegally and, therefore, they believe are not subject to our jurisdiction.  

Does Donald Trump and his ilk really want to go there?

If the anchor baby’s parents  are not subject to our jurisdiction, then we lack jurisdiction to try them for all those crimes the Trump clan is laying at their feet.

Germany changed its birthright laws in 2000.  Since then, children born there to U.S. service personnel do not become German citizens.

Following suit in the U.S. will take more than congressional action or an Executive Order.  The 14th Amendment will have to be amended to read like the German or other nation’s laws.  That is an arduous task requiring passage by two thirds of the Congress and three-fourth of the states.  Is it worth it?

Another slope becoming greasy with republican lard is the clamor to excuse officials from complying with laws they consider to be in conflict with their deeply held religious beliefs.

Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are spreading the most lard on this slope.  Their poster girl for the campaign is Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples  because it violates her deeply held Christian convictions.  

As Davis has been married four times and had two children out of wedlock, she should be asked if she really has Christian beliefs on the subject or if she is just a homophobe.

In any event, Huckabee and Cruz need to read the Constitution.  That document does not provide freedom of Christianity.  It provides for freedom of religion.

If Christians should be excused from following laws they do not like, what about others?  If a Muslim has a deep, sincere belief based on his religion that infidels such as Christians and Jews should be killed, is he exempt from the homicide laws?

So here’s the perspective.

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Be careful what you ask for.  You might get it with some unintended consequences.



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