The First Amendment – The Story of the Bill of Rights
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The First Amendment – The Story of the Bill of Rights

August 23, 2019

The First Amendment: 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. The First Amendment is absolutely vital. One of the reasons why there is a United States is freedom of religion, but there’s two parts of that. One is the liberty to believe what you want to believe. The other part of that is the Framers did not want a government to establish a religion, so, it’s right there in the First Amendment, Congress shall make no law abridging the free exercise of religion or in respect to the establishment of religion. Freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition. Different activities that all ultimately are about the same thing: the right to express yourself, the right to say what you want in whatever form you want, the right to be able to be critical of your government and not be punished for it. In England, there had been a good deal of prosecution of individuals for their beliefs, that’s why we needed the religious freedom clause. For what they said, that’s why we needed the freedom of speech clause. The deep idea of the First Amendment is that the people should tell government what to do and not the other way around.

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