- Politics and Social Issues»
- Politics & Political Science
Your Freedom of Speech
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
So begins the bill of rights, amendments to the Constitution. When the constitution was first created, activist maintained it did not provide enough protection for civil liberties. Hence the Bill of Rights was created and ratified by the States.
When reading the first amendment, it seems pretty straight forward, yet it is forgotten, trampled on, and ignored everyday. More so since the online community has become so prevalent over the past 15 years. Everybody has an opinion, and they can vocalize it at anytime. but, for every opinion there is somebody or a group of somebodies that disagree, and usually most vehemently. I may not agree with your point of view, and I may voice my point of view, but I will fight till the death to preserve your right to voice it. Arguments and disagreements are fine, as long as both parties involved respect the others right to say it, and avoid personal attacks.
As a country, we are on verge of losing this right, among others. The first part of the amendment, concerning religion, is ignored daily. How many laws are put into place based on religious reasons or purposes? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" can be interpreted to mean that no laws shall be made, based on religious beliefs. "Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" can be interpreted to state that you are free to practice whatever religion you want, without federal governments interference. How have both of these been violated? Gay marriage for starters. Its based on religious intolerance. Forcing companies to carry insurance that covers birth control, violates their right as a religious organization that is against contraceptives.
Prohibiting religions that are polygamous is a violation of the first amendment, as long as all parties are willing and above the age of consent. Forcing public schools to present one religions prayer before sporting events is a violation. There are many such violations that when investigated it reveals that the origin is indeed religious in nature. Over the centuries it has been proven anytime that a government endorses or enforces one religion, bad things happen. The crusades, Spanish inquisition are two of the most prevalent. Being persecuted for being a Muslim, or Mormon, or Wiccan, or Buddhist is reprehensible in this day and age.
"Or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble" is the second half of the amendment, giving citizens the right to speech, the press the right to report news, and people the right to peaceably assemble. How many times has the government dispersed the occupy movement who were doing nothing more then assembling? How many times have people been arrested for facebook/twitter post speaking out about the government? Or questioning the official story?
As much as I personally despise Piers Morgan and his viewpoints, he has the right to voice them. As much as pro-gun supporters hate the gun control crowd and vice versa, both views are protected under the first amendment.
Between the Patriot Act, the NDAA, wiretapping, facial recognition technology, and other forms of human rights violations for our "protection" remember, every right you give up to feel safer, is a right that was given to you by the Constitution, and given up freely by an apathetic country.