The First Amendment
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is part of our countries Bill of Rights. The first amendment is perhaps the most important part of the U.S. Constitution because the amendment guarantees citizens freedom of religion, speech, writing and publishing, peaceful assembly, and the freedom to raise grievances with the Government. In addition, amendment requires that there be a separation maintained between church and state.
Our first amendment to the United States Constitution 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. The First Amendment was written because citizens demanded a guarantee of their basic freedoms.
Without our First Amendment, religious minorities could be mistreated, the government could possibly set up a national religion, protesters could be harmed or jailed, the press would not be able to criticize and report facts regarding the government, and citizens could not organize for changes they believe are needed.
Although the first amendment was written into our constitution, the translation of the meaning of the written word is often challenged. Some people believe freedom of speech should not include hate words, pornography, and vulgar language in our music or on the radio or public television. In addition, there are people who believe in freedom of religion but only if the faith is similar to their own and there is a constant debate regarding freedom of the press and what newspapers should be able to report. Because interpretation of the first amendment is sometimes challenged, some court rulings on important cases regarding freedom of speech, religion, and press have changed some perceptions.
For example the court case Schenck v. United States (249 U.S. 47, 1919) in regards to the