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Freedom of Speech

By clharrison1202 Sep 06, 2010 662 Words
Freedom of Speech

America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, believed so strongly in the right to free speech that they wrote it in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states in part, “Congress shall make no law restricting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the rights of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This right was considered so important it was the first of the ten freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights. Since 1920, the ACLU has worked to preserve our freedom of speech. Imagine a time when one could be fined, imprisoned and even killed for just simply speaking 
one’s mind. Speech is the basic vehicle for 
communication of beliefs, thoughts and ideas, that people can speak freely without being stopped, or censored. With varying opinions and beliefs, our society needs to have unlimited freedom to speak about any and everything that concerns us in order to continually improve our society. The United States First Amendment states that people have the right for absolute freedom of speech, which raises concern for when freedom of speech should be limited. It protects the freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. Freedom of expression is made up of the right of freedom of speech; press; assembly; the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances; and the implied right of association and belief. This right is not restricted to the spoken word but encompasses other mediums of expression that communicate information known generally as “symbolic speech.” People are not using their right to free speech because they feel as if they cannot. This is not the case, just because there is a major conflict doesn’t mean they cannot let their voice be heard. Being able to speak is very important. Without the right to speak one’s mind freely would be forced to agree with everything society stated. With freedom of speech one’s own ideas can 
be expressed freely and the follower’s belief will 
be stronger. The words sound so simple, but 
without them the world would be a very different 
place. Without the right to speak freely one would not be able to debt, nor would one be able to 
receive full coverage on world issues. There would 
be no interesting newspapers, no free religion and 
no free thoughts. This amendment seems so simple but, the boundaries of which issues and incidents 
are covered are so complex and varied. What is 
legal and illegal? What can be said and cannot be 
said? Does this amendment include spoken word only or does it include action also? What, if any, 
limits should be put to this amendment? 
As long as the government has existed, people 
have battled over censorship. Censorship takes on 
all different shapes and forms: banning of books, television guidelines, laws that curb specific types of speech, and imprisonment or even death for openly speaking. For a good government, it is the people that need to voice an opinion to help with decisions and laws for the country. If people cannot speak out against things they don’t agree with, we don’t have a democracy and don’t have a choice in how we operate. We need to have right to our own opinions, because if we didn’t speak up and just went along with whatever we were told, we wouldn’t be our own people. Freedom of speech also goes into rebellion. If we feel the need to protest, we are legally able to do this in a peaceful manor. In many cases, protests are necessary to get any action taken on certain subjects. On the other hand, the government feels it needs to suppress the right to freedom of speech. Many limitations have been put on our right.

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