The Officiant asked:
Petros, will you take [future Mrs. Petros] to be your wife?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
I will. …
I, Petros, take you, [future Mrs. Petros],
to be my wife, to have and to hold
from this day foward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love, cherish, and worship,
till death us do part,
according to God’s holy law;
and this is my solemn vow.
I relinquished my US citizenship on February 28, 2011. But in my heart, I really relinquished my US citizenship over 20 years earlier in a Vancouver church. The United States requires ultimate allegiance and total loyalty. It is not willing to take second place. But I was unfaithful to this birth obligation and aspired to another calling, that of husband. So I took this solemn pledge and agreed to forsake all others and to marry my wife.
I admit being a relic of the traditional past. In today’s post-Christian culture, the American government begrudges other loyalties. A man or woman born an American citizen is first and foremost a taxpayer, and all other loyalties and ties be damned. As governments grow in power they demand more and more of the citizen’s allegiance to the point of first choking and then destroying all other institutions, especially its main rivals, family and religion. The United States has become a jealous god. Only two generations ago, a woman who married a foreign national and lived abroad lost her US citizenship–as is the case of Mrs. Petros’ grandmother, who lived out her retirement years as a Green Card holder in the USA despite having been born a US citizen in US territory. Her marriage to a British national and her residence in Canada disqualified her as a loyal citizen until 1986, but she did not seek to regain her US citizenship and was content to pass away a Green Card holder. Twenty-two years ago I too agreed to forsake other allegiances and married a Canadian and took up permanent residence in Canada seven years later.
People say often that they could never give up their US citizenship. But for me it was an easy thing to do. The basis of the Judeo-Christian ethic and of much law, historically, in the Western world, is the Decalogue, which is silent regarding loyalty towards the state. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Ultimate allegiance belongs to God not the state. “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” The family has the next call to obedience in the Decalogue. The Torah also requires the succession of a man’s loyalty to his wife from his parents as a foundation of the Creation (Gen 2.24): “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The authority of the state has no foundation in the Ten Commandments. Rather, the tyrannical power of the state rests in its ability to terrorize its citizens.
On the American Expatriates group on Facebook, one contributor said that if he were the Canadian and his wife the American, and she insisted upon reporting their bank accounts to the IRS, he would divorce her. In effect he is interpreting FBAR as a violation of the marriage vows, or at least the concept of marriage as an institution of faithfulness. To report a spouse’s private bank accounts in Canada to a foreign and hostile government is not consistent with the institution of marriage in which ultimate loyalty is to one another. I have said the following many times to the media: The IRS has no right to my Canadian spouse’s account information. The FBAR requirement and FATCA put me in a Catch-22. Either I remain loyal to my birth country that I hadn’t lived in for 25 years, or I remain faithful to my spouse. Thus, I relinquished my US citizenship for love. And I do not give a damn about all the self-righteous American Homelanders who think I am a traitor to the USA. In my opinion, such people are idolators, worshiping their god, these United States of America.