Modifications to the Oath of Citizenship mean that newly-naturalized Americans will no longer have to pledge to defend their new home, the United States, against enemies, reports Warner Todd Huston at Publius Forum.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
A candidate may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection. The new guidance clarifies that a candidate:
- May be eligible for modifications based on religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.
- Is not required to belong to a specific church or religion, follow a particular theology or belief, or to have had religious training in order to qualify.
- May submit, but is not required to provide, an attestation from a religious or other type of organization, as well as other evidence to establish eligibility.