A Timeless Struggle: The Importance of Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states that “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.” Freedom of speech is one of the most important rights we have as citizens of the United States, and it’s also one of the oldest. At the time that our Founding Fathers drafted our Constitution, freedom of speech had already been recognized as an intrinsic right of every citizen in England; in fact, it was included in both their Bill of Rights and their Magna Carta, which laid out the fundamental tenets of their society’s legal system.
The origins of freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is one of America’s founding principles. In fact, it’s been called the bedrock upon which all other rights are built. Freedom of speech applies to everyone and everything from ideas and theories to books, movies, protests and controversial statements made by public figures. While freedom of speech is an important part of American culture today, it wasn't always that way. Our modern interpretation has been shaped by a long history of tyranny, oppression and censorship. There have been many victories in the struggle for freedom of speech, but there have also been losses. Freedom of religion came first because we saw how religious persecution led to tyranny. But in order to protect freedom of religion, we needed freedom from government-imposed tyranny as well - that meant guaranteeing freedom of expression. To keep our democracy strong and maintain our freedoms, we must continue fighting for these values and this liberty every day. We need to defend them against those who would undermine them and never stop trying to improve them. We need a renewed understanding that freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from want and fear – these are not just noble words in documents written more than two centuries ago; they're living ideals that inspire us even now. They're what we aspire to achieve for ourselves, our children and future generations yet unborn.
Why is freedom of speech important?
The idea of freedom of speech is essential, because it protects citizens' rights to say what they want to about their country's policies and other public matters, as well as freedom of religious belief, even if the people being listened to aren't in line with the popular opinion. Without the right to freedom of speech, there would be no America. America was built on the notion that every individual should have a voice and be heard and that there should never be a single voice dictating what everyone else should think or do. We need to be able to express our views as outlined in the Constitution if we hope to maintain our Republic. We must be able to openly criticize our elected officials and the political system to prevent the government from becoming a tyrannical one. That's why freedom of speech is important- it keeps our citizens free by giving each a voice. Freedom of speech is integral to the democracy, but it is not the only issue important to Americans. Freedom of religion is just as important because it grants individuals the right to follow the rules they are personally accountable for. It was America's founding principles-- these same freedoms-- that helped create this country, and these freedoms are still worth fighting for today.
How can I support freedom of speech?
Freedom of speech is a timeless struggle. I fear, however, that as our Republic has aged and technology has advanced, we are beginning to lose some of the freedom that was granted to us by our Creator and protected by our Constitution. Now more than ever, speech is being censored and cancelled. What's more disturbing is that the censorship is not impartial. It seems that those who control technology have begun to censor and silence those of differing political and religious beliefs and backgrounds than they. More specifically, conservatives are being censored at an alarming rate as the major social media and technology companies are led by those of a more liberal worldview. Christianity is under attack and conservative traditional values are being threatened on a daily basis. The same traditional conservative values that helped to hold our country together since its inception by providing a social framework of justice and societal norms to guide everyday interactions and prevent violence and dangerous behaviors are under attack. We must begin to make our voices heard if we are to protect our Republic and pass on Freedom to the next generations. There are many ways to support freedom of speech and show your own personal commitment to this cause.
- Speak up when you see someone being silenced or discriminated against for their beliefs or identity and do not cower to the woke mob.
- Talk to friends and family about the importance of freedom of speech and how it impacts them in their life.
- Sign up for advocacy alerts, so you can be notified when there's an issue that needs your help.
- Share posts on social media with your followers to educate others on what freedom of speech means and why it's important.
- Talk with representatives at the local level. Speak up during town halls or other public meetings if they make comments that might suppress free expression or act in opposition to freedom of religion.
- Get involved in your local school districts and get involved in what is being taught to our children.
- Contact officials in Washington DC, including members of Congress and presidential candidates running now (look out for petitions). Express your concerns about their positions on freedom of religion/expression as well as other human rights issues.