The importance of the First Amendment

During this Constitution Week, we celebrate the rights we have been given for living in such a great country.
The foundation upon which our country was built upon is the First Amendment. It’s what initially attracted (and still does to this day) immigrants coming to our country with the hopes of a prosperous future. The First Amendment establishes our freedoms of speech, religion, press, and the right to assemble.
We believe this amendment is the most important one that our country possesses. It’s what ultimately sets our country apart from the others. We have the right to practice any religion we please, change it as often as we want, or simply not practice any religion at all.
Our freedom to assemble is also listed under our freedoms. Don’t like something the government is doing and want to protest it? Well, guess what? You can. Try doing that in Iran! Want to come together in support of something? You can.
The freedom of speech and the freedom of religion, coupled together, simply provide us the right to be independent humans with our own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs unique to ourselves.
If there’s anything about which a journalist feels very strongly, it’s freedom of the press. We, as editors of The Eagle, have our right of freedom of the press protected by the First Amendment.
Our right to publish opinions and express our ideas and thoughts is very near and dear to our hearts. It’s a right that is often taken for granted.
We exercise this right every day and have made it our passion to keep students and faculty informed of what events are going on on campus and around the world as well as sharing our opinion on certain issues. Without the First Amendment , we would be severely restricted in as student journalists.
Thomas Jefferson thought it (the freedom of the press) so important that he said, “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
Jefferson believed so strongly in the role of a free press to keep the government power in check, that he would prefer not having a government without the presence of a free press.
So, during this Constitution Week, please take a moment to reflect on our First Amendment and how vital a role it plays in our everyday lives.
Take advantage of the rights that we as citizens of this beautiful country have, and live them to the best of your ability. Take part in Student Senate, get involved on campus, have your voice heard, and stand up for what you believe in.

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