segunda-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2016

Freedom of speech guarantees other freedoms


Quotation on freedom of speech attributed to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the most notable people in the U.S. history, known by being one of its Founding Fathers in 1776. His image also appears on the 100-dollar bill
(Picture: Reproduction)

It is undeniable to say that, in a typically democratic society such as the United States, freedom of speech is an absolute element to guarantee to all citizens several other kinds of civil liberties. Among these rights that are also considered essential for them, we must mention freedom of religion and freedom of peaceful assembly.

Thanks to freedom of speech, people have the right to exercise freely their own religion. Any person may express his or her belief at home or in public, especially in churches, mosques, synagogues, stadiums, etc. without any government’s interference. Moreover, freedom of religion is necessary to respect different beliefs and accept them, aside from minimizing diverse cases of religious intolerance.

As well as freedom of religion, other basic right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution*, in which people can assemble peacefully, also depends on expressing their own ideas and opinions. Based on this principle, they can get together anywhere for a certain purpose under peaceful circumstances.

Therefore, guaranteeing the free exercise of religion, peaceful assembly, and other types of freedoms is just possible through an essential and unalienable civil liberty that is called freedom of speech.

The Bill of Rights (1791), in which include the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution
(Photo: Reproduction)

* Note about the First Amendment

Ratified in 1791 as a part of a set of the first ten constitutional amendments of the United States called Bill of Rights, the First Amendment gives American citizens the five basic rights or civil liberties–freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

Besides its 27 current amendments, the U.S. Constitution–ratified in 1789, but valid nowadays–, consists, in its main part, of seven articles. The entire transcription of the First Amendment is given below:

“Amendment I

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.”

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