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Defending our First Amendment Rights

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free Government.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Defending our First Amendment Rights

As part of a homeschool civics class comprised of students in the 7th through 10th grade levels, students were asked to write opinion editorials on topics of their own choosing which reflect current themes in governance and policy-making.  Over the course of the next few weeks the class will be tracking the views of and commentary on their op-eds with the goal of generating as much meaningful community engagement as possible.  A prize will be awarded to the student who is most successful at generating meaningful community engagement with their op-ed. Thanks so much for partnering with us to create this experience for the children and teaching them to be actively involved in the governance of their community!

Defending our First Amendment Rights

by HSC02

“Without Freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without Freedom of speech.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Freedom of speech is one of the most important rights in the First Amendment. It allows us to voice our opinions without the Government intervening. As American citizens we make a country with our voices. But more than ever our freedom of speech is under attack. The ability to speak up and speak out is, in theory, the cornerstone of American democracy. But that is slowly being diminished. People who are standing up for their opinions are having restrictions put on their individual right to speak up.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States said in the quote above, “and no such thing as public liberty without Freedom of speech.” Our public liberties are what we hold dear to us. Our religion, conscience, security, privacy, and assembly. But if our Freedom of speech is taken away there is no way we can protect our civil rights. That is why we need to put up a fight. We as American citizens need to be voicing our opinions more than ever.

For example. Parents all over the nation are protesting mask and vaccine mandates. They have written rights in the First Amendment to Freedom of religion and speech. Parents are concerned about the affects the vaccine might put on their children. Also, schools are pressing Critical Race Theory, and LGBTQ+ education to be taught to children all over America. Families have rights that protect their religion, and if the Government is going to insist on their children being taught the opposite of what they believe in, they should stand up for what they think is right. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Our Founding Fathers wrote the Bill of Rights to maintain individual liberty. The Bill of Rights is a systematic document giving us what they thought was a top to bottom list of individual liberties. The First Amendment is the first because it is the most important. It states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Framers made it clear that Congress SHALL not abridge the Freedom of speech. Without the First Amendment our nation would have no way to defend ourselves and our beliefs.

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.” -Benjamin Franklin In our nation we have a history of fighting for freedom. The American Revolution, The Civil War, WWI, and WWII. In Benjamin Franklin’s quote he says, “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free Government.” America has fought hard for her freedom. Every successful nation has a firm basis on their government. If the United States’ firm basis, or foundation, is a free government, we need to preserve it and our rights. Freedom of speech guarantees that we can preserve our rights by standing up for them. The last thing we would want to see is our nation, that we and other American’s have fought for, deteriorate and dissolve into tyranny. Democracy almost always ends in tyranny.

So, I ask you to take a stand for our nation. Fight back. Put your voice among the millions of others and stand out. Use your written rights to make a difference. Challenge democracy and tyranny by fighting for what’s right. Use your Freedom of speech.

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” -Benjamin Franklin



Related:   Advocacy Journalism and the First Amendment

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33 Comments on Defending our First Amendment Rights

  1. Great article.

    It is also worth mentioning the next tier…which is defined by two aspects.

    It is said in Universities, “You have to read a work four or five times to fully understand it.” Both in its own context and how it relates to other works you have read.

    That goes for “Wealth of Nation”, “Democracy In America”, “The Law”, Lysander Spooner’s writings, “Nicomachean Ethics, John Locke’s writings, “The Cato Letters”, “The Social Contract”…etc. etc.

    How many of us have read those just one time?

    The next aspect is, “To truly understand a subject, teach it.” Meaning the more you teach on the subject…you will in effect be exposed to its context and how it relates to other things you have read…thereby helping to meet the first aspect as well.

    This exposes another fact…it is almost impossible to have a philosophical or policy based conversation in just one sitting. We should not be afraid to start the conversation…but we should give each other the room and respect to allow for follow up, questions and critiques.

    We should help each other to maturity.

  2. Thank you for reminding us of the privilege of living in the United States where we have a first amendment that protects our right to free speech! Let us continue to fight for the protection of this right!! This is the foundation of our country!! Let us speak up and speak out! Thank you for encouraging us to use our voices!

  3. Good ole Franklin! It’s all about the Benjamins! ? In all seriousness, I agree that we have to stand up for our freedoms if we hope not to lose them. Well done on this.

  4. Right on! For too long we have been silent. Never thinking this evil would progress so far and so quickly. You are right to say it’s time to stand. And firm! We cannot allow our freedom of speech to be taken away. We must educate our youth and not erase our history or we will fall to the evil that tries to overtake us. Do not be fooled. It is God they wish to erase. God bless the youth of our nation with the desire to learn and stand for our constitutional rights.

  5. Good job kiddo! Gandolf would be proud. Can’t think of a more beautiful right and freedom than the ability to speak freely. Our great Nation has given us the ability to operate, assemble, worship, express ourselves and speak without restraint. It seems that many are shooting themselves in the foot on a freedom that allowed them recognition in the first place. Aside from voting, the ability to speak has to be our 2nd most precious right. People act as if the battle is over and we must now comply. Not! They say we must “reach across the aisle”, collaborate and unify in the political climate. Not! Good legislation always came from extreme vocal fireworks. Our anthem says; “and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air “, not “and the masses did glare when marijuana was shared”. Stupid, I think not. Our nation needs good legislators that are free to fight and speak for morality. Good job, The truth always sets us free

  6. Great job! It is very wrong for our rights to be trampled upon. I agree 100%. Our rights are being heavily violated, and not just our 1st. We should make a stand.

  7. Very good article! We need to not let cancel culture keep us from speaking truth. We have just as much a right to Proclaim the truths of the Bible as anyone else has a right to Proclaim the opposite. Keep up the good writing!

  8. That’s so good!! Honestly it really makes me feel more encouraged to stand up for our freedom. Sometimes it feels like nothing is working. this made me remember that we do need to stand up for not only us but future generations.

    • E****, I’m impressed with your understanding and articulation of this topic. And what truth you spoke! I do agree that the freedom of speech is foundational to all other freedoms. Certainly one worth standing for. Well said.

  9. This young person has a good grasp on freedom of speech and the first admendment. We are seeing more and more censorship ala Facebook, Twiter etc. Freedom can only exist when we have open and free debate.

  10. It is so very encouraging to see young people acknowledge the importance of the gifts from our Founding Fathers. We must exercise and defend our Freedom of Speech or we will no longer be free. Thank you for encouraging and challenging us all to speak up and fight back!

  11. Our ability to think, reason, and rationalize, is what makes us human and humane. When people stop thinking for themselves they become cogs in a wheel of automation. Life is meaningless without expressing and sharing our ideas and values. Wisdom comes from listening to others. We must protect the right to voice our opinion in public. The free exchange of ideas leads to productivity and growth. Defending speech in every form is what makes the United States the land of the free. We should celebrate when our young people understand this. Kudos!

  12. How wonderful to see a young person standing up for freedom. You are dead on with your points here. An engaging and encouraging read!

  13. We are amazed at the passion and insight from someone your age! We wholeheartedly agree that our country is in jeopardy of loosing our basic God given right to speak freely without fear of retribution! Please continue your good work of standing up for truth! We are proud of you!

  14. I am encouraged and amazed by this article. Such insight to our freedoms. So many Americans do not know or appreciate all that you have written about. Well done.

  15. Wow! What a great message! It was beautifully written! I wholeheartedly agree with you! I’m so proud of you! I love you!

  16. I’m so humbled to read such a patriotic article written by a young person. Most young people these days sit on their butts playing video games. Our founding fathers would be proud of you, just like I’am. I pray you continue to support and defend our country’s heritage. I hope the next article is about our second amendment rights hoorah!

  17. Excellent job! We already seeing truth labeled as hate speech and the censorship of a standing US President.

  18. Great perspective from a young person. Encouraging to know this will be the future of our country! Free speech is what challenges democracy and keeps it accountable –the freedom for a diversity of opinions, whether we like them or not, challenges our competition of ideas and tests our ability to live up to the aspirations of our freedom.

  19. “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
    ― George Washington

    So glad you have the opportunity to practice free speech by writing about free speech little sis! Proud of you!!

  20. I agree! Free Speech is absolutely essential to our Constitutional Republic. The government, media, education, medical, and many other public systems are trying to squelch all speech they don’t agree with. The citizens who believe in the tenets this country was founded on need to stand up, resist tyranny, and let their voices be heard.

  21. Wow! Great quotes!
    Absolutely agreed. Free speech is vital to a free society. As soon as individuals within a society can be silenced, the truth also can be silenced. If one cannot know the truth, then how can one live?

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