Well, I have seen multiple threads become discussions of whether or not offensive, immoral or discrimnatory acts should be considered protected under the First Amendment, which reads:
"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."
A quick explanation of each term:
1. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state". Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.
2. "or abridging the freedom of speech," The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicates a message.
3. "or of the press;" Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.
4. "or the right of the people peaceably to assemble," The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief. The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. This implicit right is limited to the right to associate for First Amendment purposes. It does not include a right of social association. The government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities. The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the based on an individuals current or past membership in a particular group. There are exceptions to this rule where the Court finds that governmental interests in disclosure/registration outweigh interference with first amendment rights. The government may also, generally, not compel individuals to express themselves, hold certain beliefs, or belong to particular associations or groups.
5. "and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government.
The First Amendment is a very important sentence!
So, the purposes of this thread are thus: 1. Discuss the importance of the freedoms enumerated in relation to modern life.
Discuss the negatives and positives of these rights.
3. Discuss the abuses of these rights.
My thoughts: The Nazis and Communists and others who take advantage of these rights in order to spread their hate speech must be allowed to do so. These rights are considered "inalienable". Otherwise, the good may be quashed with the same impunity as the bad. I fear that the current administration runs dreadfully close to abridging the freedoms of speech and religion.
However, I think times have changed, and rules should too. I see our country going through some difficult, and confusing times in the next 20 years.
That's if it survives the next 20 years...
Why do you say that? And I want to know. I have been hearing a lot of talk from the European communities about "punishing" the USA. Also been hearing this from Canadians.
Gén0CýDéWhy do you say that? And I want to know. I have been hearing a lot of talk from the European communities about "punishing" the USA. Also been hearing this from Canadians.
Why? Before I start, let me make it clear that I don't want to 'punish' America. Nor have I heard anything about Euro Nations wanting this either. I just mean, that in the current climate, and due to the aggressive nature of US Foreign Policy, I wouldn't be suprised if something major happens. More and more countries are attaining Nuclear Weapons, and not all are US-Friendly. I would be suprised if there is a major war in the next 20 years. I wouldn't be suprised if the world as we know it is not here in 20 years time.
An alternative is that the Bush Administration persists in robbing your nation of their rights, such as "The First Amendment". Civil War, no matter how unlikely, could happen.
08'aIgnorance is not an excuse
28th November 2003
John Titor anyone?
btw, AzH that avatar is...wierd...
I still don't believe that John Titor stuff, because it sounds too fishy. Although weird events are sparking up all over the place.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The End Times. I read Revelations it was the only part of the Bible that made sense to me.
Have any of the phrophecies in that book actually ever come true before? I mean I could say there will be an earthquake in 2004, but of course there will be an earthquake.
Prophecies being fulfilled is merely a matter of opinion and interpretation.