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 words to the first amendment are as important today as they were nearly 250 years ago. Some out there may wonder, why is this the first amendment? It is fairly simple to answer this question and to do so, I will ask a question in return. How else can a nation truly be free if they are not free to share their thoughts and ideas? Conformists are what allow monarchies and dictatorships. When the people have the right to choose their religion, speak their mind, gather unapologetically or even tell the government “you are doing it wrong”, then, and only then, freedom can exist and flourish.
Even the order which these freedoms are laid out was important. Religion came first, it had to. To be a sovereign nation, no other entity can be allowed to dictate policies. By not establishing a national religion, this accomplished just that. However, it also allowed for people to choose their religion, or not choose. I know, I know people still scream for the separation of church and state when some uber religious person is elected into office, or votes how their religion tells them they should vote, yada yada yada. Did I come off as professional for a moment there? My apologies. All those who like to scream for the separation need to remember that while our government bows to no church, those who make up the government might and they are free to do so. We have the freedom of religion, not from religion, so shut up.
Speaking of shutting up, don’t. In fact I encourage each and every one of you to speak your minds. No matter how twisted and sick it may be, don keep that inside, spread it around. Why? Because you have the freedom to speak your mind without reprisal from the government. You may be socially ostracized, but by and large speaking is not a crime, with a few exceptions.
Slander, or what we witness every four years between presidential candidates, is when you verbally lie about somebody with malicious intent. This is illegal, don’t do it, it is not just wrong, it makes you an asshole. Libel, same thing as slander except written. Also illegal, and even harder to try and hide, sure you may whisper into an ear here and there and get away with it, but you write that shit down and spread it with your name all over it, much harder to deny it. Oh and it still makes you an asshole. The last is a call to action.
A call to action is not necessarily illegal, unless you are calling upon people to cause harm, or calling for an action that you know will cause harm such as yelling fire in a theater. You really shouldn’t do this, not only are you an asshole, now you are an asshole that is the root cause of injury or death. Moral of these stories, don’t be an asshole.
I know there are some social justice warriors out there, screeching about hate speech or the patriarchy or something, but they are very anti free speech. They may say some stupid shit like “free speech ends where hate speech begins”, but I ask what is hate speech. According to the SJWs it is anything that disagrees with their viewpoint, or challenges their belief that the recently got from some professor somewhere. Hate speech doesn’t really exist. It is just a different view point, what one person find to be hateful another may find to be completely reasonable. Nobody said you have to agree with everything all the time, unless who label yourself a progressive, then no speaking out of turn and no speaking out against progressive causes.
The beauty of freedom of speech, just like religion, you can make a choice. You don’t have to listen to anything you don’t want to, so if you want to hear hate speech on our campus, how about not buying a ticket to hear it. How about staying in your room and instead of pretending to drink the male tears, you can literally drink your own tears because somebody out there doesn’t agree with you. Sometimes they even try to protest the event and not let other people in. Now we are starting to have an even bigger problem.
See, your freedom to assemble ends where it begins affecting the rights of others. If you barricade a venue to prevent people who want to go inside and hear a certain person speak, you are not exercising your right to assemble. You are just being an asshole and throwing a temper tantrum. Also, you are blocking the exits from those inside the building, which is technically illegal. If you wish to protest across the street, now you are getting the idea. Preventing others from exercising their rights is not protected, so when you shut down a highway, a speaking engagement, or try to ban people from publicly funded sites this is illegal and it is not your right to do so.
Good thing that there is the right to petition the government, because when college campuses start banning people, then those people can tell the government that a place that is publicly funded is preventing a citizen from exercising their rights. At least in theory, in practice it is much different mainly because very few people petition the government for a redress of grievances anymore. Now its all about the freedom of information act.
So there you have it, my long ass take on the first amendment. Yes it was long, no I don’t care, it was my right to do it and I did it. Don’t like it, don’t read it, but if you do like it, show some love and share it with your friends, who knows you may just open up some eyes or ears.