(IntegrityMag.com) – Our Bill of Rights in the US Constitution is granted to all American citizens. Each one of the first ten amendments in our constitution grants us these different rights, of which none shall be infringed upon. The first and foremost being our right to freedom of speech, assembly, religion, press, and petition.
The First Amendment
This most important amendment, the First, grants us the right to peaceably assemble, speak freely, petition our government, worship freely, and have an impartial press. We can’t be forced to worship or follow any religion and we can speak against our government should we disagree with it. The press is free and able to report what it pleases just as we are able to peacefully protest and assemble in the name of a cause.
Freedom of Speech
Our freedom to speak that which is on our minds is extended to the press. This freedom can be enacted through both voice and action. Our freedom of speech and that of the press allows us to freely say what we want without the interference of the government. Substantial evidence must be brought forward by the government to interfere with our freedom of speech, which will be decided by the US Supreme Court.
Freedom of the press shares these same principles, as a person is free to express themselves through publication and dissemination. In short, our freedom of speech and freedom of the press are basically one in the same, simply different methods of expressing ourselves.
Freedom of Religion
The federal government is prohibited by the Establishment Clause from passing legislation preferring one religion over another, or establishing an official religion. This clause also enforces the separation of state and church.
Now, there have been cases of the Supreme Court ruling religion related government activity as constitutional. This constitutional right also prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s worship or practice of religion.
Freedom to Assemble
With this right American people are allowed to gather both peacefully, and lawfully. The US government is allowed to prohibit people from associating with groups that engage in and promote illegal activity. This freedom does prohibit the federal government from requiring groups to disclose their members, as well as denying government benefits to those who have previously been, or are currently, associated with certain groups.
The right to petition plays a part in the right to assemble. It allows citizens the right to petition the government for grievances. In other words, the American people can ask the government to provide relief for wrongdoing through litigation.
The government may choose to take other actions as well. The right to petition works with the right to assemble in allowing American people to peaceably and lawfully band together to request changes when needed.
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