Dual citizenship and dual obligations: By birth we become the citizens of the country, and by Baptism we become the citizens of Heaven.
In every age, Christians are faced with balancing the demands of Caesar with the commands of God. Jesus’ answer forms the guiding principle in solving the problems that arise from our dual citizenship, belonging to God and to our country.
As Christians, we are to obey the government, even when it is pagan and non-Christian. A loyal Christian is always a loyal citizen. Failure in good citizenship is also failure in Christian duty. We fulfill our duties to our country by loyally obeying the just laws of the State, by paying all lawful taxes, and by contributing our share, whenever called on, toward the common good.
So we fulfill our duties to God by being faithful, loyal, active members of the spiritual Kingdom of God, the Church, which Christ established on earth. Thus, a real Christian is at one and the same time a good citizen of his country and a good citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, but his priority is his allegiance to God. As the famous martyr St. Thomas More said of himself: “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.” we give taxes to the government but we give ourselves to God.
Fr. Joseph Dovari