The first amendment rights afforded us by the constitution are sometimes misunderstood. Some people think all that’s being conveyed is that people have the right to say whatever they want too. Obviously this is not true or Howard Stern might still be on terrestrial radio. The first amendment give us five freedoms, each more important than the one before
1.) freedom of speech- This doesn’t mean that you can say anything you want at any time, the spirit of act is that government can’t interfere with your opposition to them.
2.) freedom of press- The spirit of this again is with the government as well. People have the right to publish information and news even if it could upset the order of things or influential political figures. The right to publish information is not restricted to few but to anyone.
3.) freedom of religion- This protects citizens from having a certain religion forced on them by government. The overriding them continues to be that government cannot interfere with your rights as a citizen.
4.) freedom of petition- this generally means citizens having the right to oppose government views or offer strong support for other views. Collecting signatures for a petition is the most common form of this action.
5.) freedom of assembly- as long as assembly is conducted in a non-violent manner, citizens have the right to voice their protest against whatever they wish. This particular issues has received a lot of attention lately as the lines seem to have been blurred as to what’s acceptable, especially with funerals of armed forces member being picketed by certain groups.
What’s for sure is that our society has benefitted greatly by the first amendment. The freedoms it has allowed us to have set us apart from most any other country and result in America being a great place to live.