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You Can’t Say That

In a time of such progress and cultural diversity, one would thing that certain human rights would be honored and kept unfettered by laws. These human rights are some of the most basic elements having your own free will. But as time goes by, some of these rights are diminishing. When our forefathers wrote the Bill of Rights, they put the more important of these rights first, freedom of speech.

Back in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, people had to watch what they say about the government, make sure they were practicing an approved religion, and could not voice there personal views for fear of being persecuted. Before the Bill of Rights, failure to adhere to the “standard” was grounds for punishment. Our forefathers say this travesty lay upon the people of other lands and swore that in the new land there would be no prejudice on personal views. By inputting these beliefs into the Constitution, they also laid the grounds for other human rights laws. If the freedom of speech amendment were not in the constitution, many of the theories and statements in the document would not “hold water.”

In today’s society we hold that amendment almost sacredly. Every day someone else is trying to ban something they do not like or feel it is unsuited for society. These people are taking away what was given to us over two hundred years ago. The amendment calls for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble peacefully and freedom to petition grievances. With this being ratified in 1791, the writers knew that as the years went on it would take on different meanings, that is why it was written so generally. But if it is written so generally, why are people trying to censor things?

The hardest hit industry in the war on censorship is the media. Newscasters are not allowed to say certain words on the air even though it is the exact description of what happened. Works of art and masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” is being censored because it is considered “vulgar.” But who makes these decisions? What may me considered vulgar to one person maybe considered modest to another. That is another reason our forefathers wrote this amendment. Allowing all forms of art, religion, media, and other person-to-person mediums allows people to learn about each other. The more people learn, the less they hate and fear. As Tommy Lee Jones said in the Sony Pictures release of Men in Black, “A person is smart, understanding and realistic, People are dumb, panicky, and apprehensive creatures.” Even though this quote is from a movie, it brings out a big truth. A person can make up there own decisions, but as soon as someone else takes away that one feature that separates us from the rest of the animals on this planet, society reacts violently.

In conclusion, our forefathers knew that freedom of free will, which is what freedom of speech, religion, gathering, and protesting is all about, is one of those features that humans are given at birth. To remove a man’s right to think for himself is a fate worse then death.

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