Loyalty, Immigration, and Citizenship

“Deadham Lock and Mill” by: John Constable, 1817

A man who has no loyalties is a man whose identity is up for sale. The virtue of loyalty is but one sine qua non of the social ingredients necessary for a society to “stick together.” Roger Scruton has pointed out that loyalty has been disparaged by some and is viewed with suspicion by most. Is not loyalty just racism? Or chauvinism? Or nationalism? 

To be sure, loyalty gone wrong is ugly. But loyalty done right is the most beautiful of virtues.

It is true that loyalty is exclusive and not inclusive; to be loyal to a group you must distinguish between this group and that one; to be loyal to your family you must overlook its faults; to be loyal to your nation you must love her despite her wrongs. Love covers a multitude of sins. That’s because love is loyal.

A bias that exalts the stranger and the outsider over and above the neighbor and the friend militates against a natural loyalty; a human and instinctual loyalty.

Thoughtful Christian conservatives accept that there is a sacred duty of hospitality, to include the foreigner. But they also recognize that the duty of hospitality is meaningless without a home to offer, and that a home is created by the habit of standing side by side with your neighbours in its defence. In other words hospitality can be offered only where t