The first amendment is characterized by 5 things:The first amendment is characterized by 5 things:
1- Religion: freedom to believe what you want to.
2- Speech: freedom to say what you want to.
3- Press: no censuring news reporting. 4- Assembly: we are free to gather together.
5- Petition: we can request governmental change.
All of these are rights, as long as these rights are not extended to infringe on the rights of others. If they did this, it would limit the rights of some people, while having the rights of others protected.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
The founders had come from Europe where they had experienced all sorts of infringements on freedom and liberty, and they didn’t want to see the same thing happen here. The first amendment does not allow the government to control religion, nor religion to control the government. They were more concerned with the religion controlling the government, which is what we see in many religions today such as Islam. Women weren’t even allowed to drive there until September 2017 because of religious rule.
This was in no way meant to say that GOD should be excluded from government. In fact, God is mentioned in many state Constitutions, and often enactments concerning God were made. In freedom of religion, all beliefs are tolerated as long as they don’t compromise people’s rights. It was only organized religion that was feared and was held at arms-length.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS
Many foreign governments would not allow people free speech because they were afraid the government might be over-thrown. Here, we don’t have a fear to this degree, but many non-governmental groups do try to limit freedom of speech.
One example are college campuses which are becoming more and more LIBERAL, and they try to eliminate or at least restrict CONSERVATIVE opposition. USA TODAY ran an article about this on November 3rd, 2003.
It is now over 10 years later and things have gotten worse.
This is a political matter, and freedom of speech and press and religion allows us freedom in these matters. But there are some who would do anything to limit these freedoms and to force people to agree with them and their bigoted opinions.
This is something we must watch very closely.
FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND PETITION
People here are allowed to assemble, but they cannot do so for any type of riot or violence. This is a prime way to request governmental change.
Recently, even Google, Apple and Twitter have been accused of trying to limit the free speech of people, and their first amendment rights. These groups have a huge influence on our society.
Twitter has also sued the U.S. government over 1st amendment violations against it. I doubt this has any real validity, but with courts so unpredictable today, who knows?