FIRST AMENDMENT 101

Amendment I

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.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS 101:

This is something heard over and over and is one of our most valuable rights and one we should most certainly protect. However, even amongst conservatives it is often misunderstood as to what this protection really is.

What it is.

This amendment states, Congress shall make no law abridging; Think about that for a minute. Congress shall make no law. See it? We don't have the "right" to free speech under this amendment. It isn't something we were so graciously given by the government.

Rather, it is something which we have told the government you cannot do. You cannot silence my speech against you. You cannot keep me from petitioning you for redress. You cannot stop me from protesting you, peacefully.

What it is not.

It is not a right you have on private property, the owner of the property has their rights as well. It is not a right that infringes with another's right. It was not meant to protect hate speech, violence or pornography.

It was meant solely as a protection for us to speak against, or redress, our government.

For the press it simply means that the press can write articles opposing the government. Today that would also include of course television and radio. But back when it was originally written it was to protect those who wrote newspaper articles, pamphlets and books in opposition to the government.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION 101:

This is a hot subject for conservatives. Again, another misunderstood right. So let's try and clear this one up.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

I hear many conservatives say, our country was founded on Judeo Christianity or Judeo Christian beliefs. Whether or not that is true is a subject of major discourse. When we look at the fact that the phrase itself, "Judeo Christian" was never even documented until the mid-1800s many refute it, I believe rightfully so.

Our Declaration of Independence contains the words "Laws of Nature," "Nature's God" and "our Creator." These terms are all generic terms. Nowhere in any of these documents does it say Jesus, Moses or the Bible.

And James Madison said;

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." James Madison -1803 letter objecting use of gov. land for churches

That our Forefathers were of many denominations is well known. Some never did embrace a particular faith, such as George Washington. It is well known that Thomas Jefferson himself, the author of many of these documents, had nothing but disdain for the Bible, as written, and took great pains to literally cut and paste sections of the Bible out to make his own version, the Jefferson Bible. He did not believe in miracles. He believed Jesus was a good moral man.

So if we look to our history it was very, very plain that the Forefathers wanted to ensure that we did have the freedoms guaranteed by our First Amendment.

What does this mean? It means you indeed do have the freedom to be a Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Pagan, et cetera. The thing is there are about 10,000 different religions and about 1,000 different gods.

I'm glad you have your chosen religion but it is not the "right" religion. There is no right or wrong religion. There is your religion and although I'm very happy for you that you believe in your religion with all your heart it is not the religion of this country. Our country has no official religion. Remember,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

I see many, many times on the forums and in discussions, blogs and comments Christians making the statement that a "true conservative is a Christian." WRONG. A true conservative believes what he/she believes. That is our right, given to us by our Creator. And it is up to us to determine our own God.

As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently stated,

"I inquire of no person’s religion, nor do I bother any with my own. A person’s religion is solely between him and his maker."

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." [Thomas Jefferson, February 10, 1814]

In a nutshell what this means. Worship God in whatever way you choose. But do not tell any person what they must believe. Your freedom ends where another's freedom begins.

Another thing I see that is extremely bothersome is the judgement of others. You may have that right, within your particular religion, to judge others that have embraced that religion, however, you cannot pass judgement on a person who has chosen another religion and is following the doctrines of that religion whether you agree with it or not. If they have embraced a religion that is not what you have chosen you do not have the right to force upon them the doctrines of yours. That is an infringement on the religious freedom rights of others and is not necessary in a community environment.

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Replies to This Discussion

If I remember my history lessons correctly, albeit were public education, Our Forefathers most likely left their homeland because religion had turned from spiritual to political, and when they(England) Continued to enforce this issue it lead to rebellion. Is this beginning to sound a little familiar? I wonder what the correct response should be when Government and Allah are biting you in the ass. Thanks for bringing it up. I will research this with renewed fervor.   NEVER SURRENDER

why can't the people sent to washington to represent the will of the people follow the constitution? while i do not follow the islamic religion, i do not hold to depriving any person to practice their beliefs as they see fit. obama's sneaky way of trying to worm islam as the religion of the nation is trying to undermine our ability to live as free individuals who have the right to believe and practice religion any way he or she desires. 

we need to Plaster the First Amendment on banner ads everywhere! making it known to the government that we are not accepting islam as the religion of the nation!!! we hold our truths and beliefs dear to our hearts and will not be stepped on by obama cronism!

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