(CCU Student) I would suggest that every student of Colorado Christian University should read a copy of Dr. Thomas Krannawitter’s Introduction to Citizenship for New Americans. Regardless of a student's stance on politics, Dr. Krannawitter’s book delivers a vital education on the basic facts every American should know as he calls himself a citizens. Perhaps the greatest part of being an American lies in the freedoms and rights enjoyed in this country, but greater still is, citizenship, the provision that allows the enjoyment and maintenance of American freedoms and rights.
[Editor's Note: Krannawitter is a professor of politics here at CCU. His small but potent book on citizenship is available as Centennial Institute's gift to you. Inquire at 235 Beckman Center, or write JAndrews@ccu.edu.]
In four years at Colorado Christian University, a student should not only expect to obtain a degree in a field of study, but also to encounter a challenge to think critically and gain a knowledge of how to be a citizen of their country. Why is this knowledge imperative? Simply put, to protect and perpetuate the virtue of the American experiment.
The virtue of the American system of government abides in natural law, limited government, and the continued involvement of citizenship.
Natural law, though somewhat interpretable, rests squarely as a time-honored ideal based concretely in morality and values. Nothing stronger could serve as a foundation for civilization. The foundation provided by natural law shields our country from the ignoble whims of humanity such as murder, theft, and slander.
Limited government builds upon the foundation of natural law, which itself espouses the need for government to elevate its principals. The concept of limited government recognizes the need for order within bounds and highlights the tension between anarchy and totalitarianism as it works to promote and protect a healthy functioning society while remaining a servant to society.
Involved and educated citizenship must exist to maintain limited government lest it sway towards tyranny or crumple into lawlessness. Limited government recognizes the citizens as the grantors of the authority necessary to govern. Accountability rests with citizenship. Students must read Dr. Krannawitter’s book, as they form the linchpin in the American experiment.
('76 Contributor) A personal viewpoint is hereby submitted by William Dent Sterrett III, this date February 6, 2010. In honor of the Founding Fathers and the United States Constitution, and as a proud member of the Posterity, so eloquently referenced in our Constitution (with its intent to secure "the blessings of liberty" to this generation as well as the framers' own generation), I hereby share my earnest and energized thoughts regarding our great and thriving nation. This position statement is presented for consideration, deliberation, and response.
We the Posterity…steadfastly believing in the innate rights and blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, do hereby state our goals and principles to better promote the common good for all law abiding citizens.
We the Posterity…further proclaim our resolve for compassionate, dignified, and constructive relationships that emphasize the general welfare.
We the Posterity… embrace and celebrate the collective spirit, wisdom, and resourcefulness of a unified and responsible national community.
We the undersigned will exercise our voting rights and responsibilities with due diligence while seeking out candidates for public office who clearly and inspiringly address the following position statements:
1. The overwhelming majority of our population entails law abiding citizenship. It is imperative that leadership exercise bold vision centered on outcomes that provide for the common good while addressing the vital issues that affect our sovereignty and security. The United States of America, as the premier governing nation, must continue to be universally viewed as a highly respected and representative governing body that will protect her own interests and come to the aid of other lawful nations, especially in times of crisis. The United States of America must be one of the leaders in modeling and holding others accountable to standards that disavow self-serving ambitions at the expense of universal law, ego-thumping rhetoric, arrogance, and exaggerated attempts for personal or national attention. Our nation must remain strong in rhetoric and military readiness.
2. The 911 Commission, the Iraq Study Group, and other distinguished bipartisan groups formed for the common good should convene regularly with diverse and fluid membership. The on-going findings and recommendations should be made public and fully honored with deliberate resolve for a better United States of America. The People should also hold the three branches of government accountable for a conscious awareness and appropriate actions regarding the recommendations of these commissions and study groups. The specific strategies recommended by the 911 Commission, for example, include a balanced use of: military action, diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense. It is important to note that the magnitude and profound meaning that results from a comprehensive product of considered thought, reflection, and humble agreement among a representative group of the Posterity should not ever be diminished or ridiculed because of personal agendas or biases. 3. Immigration reform should be implemented immediately based on the best collaborative work of the executive and legislative branches. It is entirely reasonable to expect sooner, rather than later, a comprehensive package of provisions that reflect a society dedicated to high ideals. Resourceful and informed individuals should be consulted with regard to the market for immigration, all the pertinent aspects of legal entry into our country, and the ramifications of no clear law. Mean-spirited comments and actions that presume to place blame serve no useful purpose.
4. The United States of America has historically and dramatically been a party to resolving problems and crises throughout the world. The United States of America must continue with pragmatic leadership while sharing the high ideals of a republic firmly grounded in democracy and freedom. The United States of America must energetically and rightfully project a positive image and command honored recognition while advocating and committing to assist and facilitate other countries with their needs particularly with regard to poverty. This entails deliberate action regarding engaged, visible, and reportable diplomacy.
5. Candidates for public office should articulate clear and sensible strategies concerning law enforcement, budget practices, justice, public education policies, health care, social security, and purposeful living by all citizens. Candidates should also demonstrate fair and honorable campaign practices.
6. Energy policies that recognize the underlying economic, political, and power-orientation problems, as well as the not too distant shortage potentials with current energy sources, should be aggressively studied. Measured and informed proposals regarding new forms of energy and strategies should be presented for public consideration within a reasonable timeline. Our citizenship is blessed with creative minds and entrepreneurs who have solid and practical ideas and solutions with regard to our escalating demands. They should be sought out, welcomed, and engaged in active problem solving.
7. Health care is the responsibility of all. Why would an individual not have some kind of health care plan? Some can easily address this basic necessity. Others have pretty decent coverage, albeit at hefty expense. And others, of course, do not possess the resources for any kind of coverage. When in dire need, they almost always will be treated, but at whose expense? The People. And that is fine, but reality dictates that there must be a better way to conduct the business of health care. So, it is time for the great and passionate experts to come together and get this down on paper. Let us develop a plan where everything is laid out, and we clearly state how we will pay for a better plan.And, as always, that plan will evolve into a better one as the years go by. That’s just the American way.
There will always be evolving measures for the betterment of ourselves and our Posterity.
Reference the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America, September 17, 1787:
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The collective wisdom of the People is of paramount importance. We must continue to step forward and clearly speak as one to promote the honorable and rational aspirations of our great nation. Our country was founded through courage, high energy, and passionate convictions. We, the Posterity, must seek out leaders who honorably, conscientiously, and properly serve the People and the Constitution of the United States of America. We, the Posterity, are charged with carrying on the work of our Founding Fathers.
We are the Posterity. How will we follow through? How will we carry on? What is our role in a better United States of America and world community?
Our noble work continues.
Bill Sterrett of Golden, Colorado, retired in 2003 as a master teacher in history and other subjects after 30 years with Jefferson County Public Schools.