One definition of civil is of or relating to citizens and their interrelations with one another or with the state. It seems simply stated until you remember that it has taken a steady stream of acts of law since 1776 to lay an oft ignored foundation of suggested behaviors that would guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to “all men”. Those rights were said and expected to be “self-evident”. But that is far from the truth yet today as individuals in “protected” categories struggle in and out of the court system or in silence because those rights have been denied to them. Our most recent out cries have been from those seeking rights that all marital rights and benefits should be available to everyone regardless of their choice of partner. Some others wait a significant time, pass a test, pay a fee and purchase citizenship; others simply walk across a border on the north or south and argue for full status, services, and benefits standing on a platform of entitlement by virtue of being present.
Semantics plays an awesome role. Who is a citizen? Are those who were born here, brought here in chains or by parents, or crept here in the night all equally entitled to the bounties of this country? Who has the power to make such a determination? Why has there been such a disparity between the treatment of those who try to gain entry from Cuba and those from Haiti? Are we yet fair enough to revisit the treatment of the Indians of North America? You be the judge!