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In our nation?s history, our forefathers drafted one of the most important documents that America has ever seen. This document, The Constitution, was adopted in 1787 with the purpose to ?revise? the Articles of Confederation of 1777. It would become the means of a supreme law to be abided by the American people, and form more structured limitations used to protect and the rights and liberties of the people. Of these important rights later came forth the Bill of Rights; amendments which were adopted by the House of Representatives in 1789, then soon ratified by joint resolution to the Constitution in 1791.
Since then, the Bill of Rights has played a key role in America?s judicial system, and has become the cultural symbol for this country and what it stands for. These rights are ?what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference. (Jefferson).? Out of these Bill of Rights stands one that is?expressed most in our society, that being the first amendment: The Freedom of Expression. The amendment states:
?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 (Bill of Rights).?
The amendment says that Congress cannot make a law against religion, nor takes away the right of a person?s practiced religion. Congress also cannot take away the right of free speech, documentations of the press, peaceful petition, and public assembly. Two of these rights, though have protected many citizens in their expressions, has also caused much controversy through the ages.
Religion may very well be the most of all touchy subjects when it comes to public expression, spanning even before the Bill of Rights because of conflicts between each person?s own beliefs (or non-beliefs) against another person?s beliefs. This has generated much debate in terms of government since the days of our forefathers of how matters should be handled politically. The matter was such an issue that it affected areas of the public, even schools. The most notable of conflicts in this matter spawns from the case of Everson v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court declared, ?The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable (Barton),? invoking the phrase ?separation of church and state,? and thus parting the businesses between one?s beliefs and their public matters. Though this phrase is invoked, it still becomes an issue that comes up today, from assemblies in our towns and cities displaying beliefs, to prayer in schools, to taking the word ?God? out of the Pledge of Allegiance. These matters will always be problematic within the separation, but it will always be as long as religion is expressed, as that doesn?t look like it will let up anytime soon.
Media is everywhere! Without it, many of us would be living in a bubble, only knowing what we see with our own eyes. It has become a very convenient and very valuable tool for us for as long as we can remember, but with such a great convenience comes some great risks. To quote human rights activist Malcolm X: ?The media\'s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that\'s power. Because they control the minds of the masses (X).? When we receive information from a source, such as news broadcasts or news publishers, we are not guaranteed a reliable source, or whether the source is just being opinionative. The point is with freedom of the press it that media from a source, or just an opinion, can be made anywhere at any time about anything, as long as it is in a public area. The damage from it is that we all can be lead false. Take campaign ads for example: We always hear during election time about how good or bad a presidential candidate is and whether or not they are good to lead our country. In the earlier days of media, a person could be put under serious consequences for making bad remarks about their government, now it is almost welcomed to raise or bury political opinions. The majority of
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