Know Your RIGHTS!
There are FIVE basic rights in the First Amendment – do you know them?
The US Constitution may not be the PERFECT set of instructions for how to govern a people…
But it’s pretty damn close.
In their wisdom, the Founding Fathers drafted a timeless document that is as relevant today as it was some 230-odd years ago.
They left the Constitution open to change. It wasn’t just some words written in stone, stiff and without movement. It was written so that, when the need arises, changes or additions could be made to make it a better and more complete document.
When it comes to these changes and additions, there are none more important than the 10 Amendments that have come to be known as the Bill of Rights.
What makes the Bill of Rights important?
They are the clear listing of the freedoms we have as a citizen of the United States of America…
They spell out what areas of our lives the government can and can’t control, and they are what makes our country the freest and greatest country in the world.
Which is why conservatives can’t understand why liberals want to change it or, in some cases, want to scrap it altogether…
It’s an almost perfect document and it’s what gives them the freedom to say all the stupid things that come out of their mouths.
The Most Important Part Of The US Constitution
That being said…
There are a lot of subtleties to each Amendment – and if you don’t know that, you could find yourself in hot water.
It’s important to realize the difference between a RIGHT and a PRIVILEGE…
And we’re going to focus on a few today.
While it’s not often said, the 1st Amendment may be the most important in the Bill of Rights.
Because it’s what gives Americans the true right and freedom to be a nation of FREE thinkers and gives us the ability to criticize our government—something that was very uncommon in other countries at the time.
Having the freedom to criticize your government is the only way democracy and the free flow of ideas can exist…
Without it, we’d all be forced to comply with whatever we were told – and for a nation of rebels, that’s not going to happen.
Luckily, we don’t have to do that – as the 1st Amendment gives us five different rights that are truly invaluable…
The First Right
Firstly, the government can’t prevent or establish any practice of religion. What makes this so important? Well, when Henry VIII helped establish the Church of England, there was no separation between religious doctrine and governmental policy.
This allowed the church to use the government to enforce their whims and vice versa…
It was dangerous – and one of the big reasons the first settlers made the treacherous journey to America from England in the first place. They wanted the freedom to worship however they chose, and they found that freedom in the New World.
The Second Right: The Most Important Part Of The Most Important Part Of The US Constitution
The second right is the freedom of speech.
Having the right to say whatever you want—short of something that causes harm to a person or group—is what makes us American.
Say whatever you want—even call our government tyrannical and say it’s run by a bunch of feckless boob-heads! You’re allowed! That’s what the 1st Amendment was made for.
The Third Right
You wouldn’t think that freedom of the press is that important, especially in today’s age of fake news – but it’s our free press that is supposed to hold our government accountable.
They’re the ones that are SUPPOSED to hold our politicians’ feet to the flames and call them out when they’re lying or not keeping their promises…
Too bad these news outlets have forgotten their actual job.
The Fourth Right
The freedom to assemble… peaceably.
That means we have the right to march and protest when we feel we’re being oppressed or not represented fairly. In the past, a gathering of citizens in the name of change had traditionally been met with violence…
And the Founding Fathers wanted America’s future citizens to have the right to assemble and bring attention to any perceived injustice – and it’s something that seems to be more common today.
The Fifth Right
The last of the rights in the 1st Amendment is the freedom to petition the government for any grievances an individual has…
This right gives Americans the freedom to make a complaint or seek help from our government – whether that’s in the form of suing the government or lobbying for new laws – and it’s what proves that the government works FOR the people, not the other way around.
Have you ever looked at each of the rights spelled out in the 1st Amendment, or any other one? Or did you just assume “Freedom of Speech” covers a lot of bases?
Regardless, it’s important to know or refresh your knowledge of the rights afforded to you…
It’s worth knowing in today’s age of heated political debate.
Not knowing them can leave you severely unarmed in a discussion…
“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.” – John Adams