I Can Say Whatever I Want, or Can I?/The First Amendment and it's Erosion

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This is the first essay of the “Breakdown” series. We’ll explore the individual rights in the Bill of Rights. And where they stand today. Comments appreciated, now lets begin.

“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.”

Meet the First Amendment. Let’s break it down and see what it means and how it’s been eroded by a cancer of apathy.

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

It’s simple really. Their cannot be a Church of the United States, but if people want to pray and worship then unless your sacrificing people, no one should stop you, from the Baptist church down the road, to the mosque in the next town, to the cult in the desert. This means school prayer also, as long as it’s not a requirement. Kids wanna pray to whomever, let them. If not, it doesn’t matter. Their choice. Now States have that option to establish a religion and have in the past, read closely, “CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW…”. Not a word about the states. Though I still view a state making a religion as BS. The 14th Amendment could have removed that power from the states.

On to FREE SPEECH
“or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”
So simple it’s stupid, you can say what you want, BUT life is about being accountable for your actions, you better be ready to defend your point and actions. Life is responsibility. How has this changed, it has been extremely diluted and twisted. We HAVE NO FREE SPEECH. Don’t believe me? Ok, Hate Speech Laws, Terroristic Threatening and Censorship on the airwaves. Words are hot air, actions are what hurts. The press is now mostly spin for whomever pays the bills but the Internet is wresting the power from that form of media. Which is why the Government wants to have more controls over it. Free speech is dangerous because it’s the transmission of thought and the controlling of thought is how you control people. A lot of power hungry people slander, lie and use other forms of propaganda to make their side better because they can’t shut up the other side completely. But they’re trying.

“or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

You can still do this, with a permit in some places. And only as long as people allow it, their was a protest shut down at the White House awhile back. It was small, a couple of guys handcuffed themselves to the fence protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Cops ended that. So much for Free Speech, unless it’s big enough to make the news and then the numbers are usually cut down in size from the actual. Marginalizing whatever issue the protesters want to address. Commentators slander instead of looking at the issue.

Remember that just societies have a  check and balance system. Government makes laws which are enforced by cops. Laws are just words on paper, you don’t have to follow them, which is why we have cops. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the laws that keep the Federal Government in check BUT it’s just words on paper unless enforced by someone. Guess who that is? WE THE PEOPLE, and we are failing miserable due to apathy and complacency. A little monetary or physical security in exchange for freedom and liberty. Not for this wolf, I’m not one of the flock, I’m above it and have took it upon myself to snap you from your slumber, remove your blindfolds and show you how IT IS!

Another essay to follow on the Second Amendment. Stay tuned for it next week.

© Vance Gatlin 2010

What are your thoughts about this?

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