The 1st Amendment Definition of the US Constitution, The Bill of Rights
The 1st Amendment definition is of utmost importance to freedom in America. The US Constitution’s 1st Amendment is considered to be one of the most important measures of the Bill of Rights. (1) Because of its guarantees the citizens of America must take great care to protect this amendment. To even think of repealing the 1st amendment is considered an act of treason by some.(1.1)
Below we look at the exact wording of the First Amendment and briefly review the truth of the 1st Amendment definition.
1st Amendment definition
1st Amendment definition
An amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing the rights of free expression and action that are fundamental to democratic government. These rights include freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. The government is empowered, however, to restrict these freedoms if expression threatens to be destructive. Argument over the extent of First Amendment freedoms have often reached the Supreme Court.(2)
The 1st Amendment reads as follows (word for word):
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. (3)
Notice the 1st amendment makes no distinction whatsoever as to where this freedom may be exercised. Nothing is said as to private, public, school or government property. The only restriction pertains for “people peaceably to assemble …”
The 1st amendment definition is clear from the above. Freedoms listed in the first amendment begins with religion. There is to be no establishment of a national religion and there is to be no prohibiting of the free exercise of religion. In other words there is no mention of the separation of church (organized religion) from the state (government). In fact most Presidents, and a host of other government officials, conducted many prayer meetings, Bible study, preaching and other religious activities on government property.
The Cultural Dictionary speaks to the above with a definition regarding these freedoms.
separation of church and state definition
The principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality toward religion.
Many view separation of church and state as required by the First Amendment.
The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion.(2)
Princeton University – WordNet – A lexical data base for English and the 1st Amendment definition
(n) First Amendment (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly and freedom of the press and freedom of religion and freedom of speech) (4)
The 1st Amendment Definition
- The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.(5)
The 1st Amendment definition at its writing was straight forward and clearly understood. In today’s culture we focus on the exceptions or on turning a phrase to meet our own agenda. All too often we stray from the truth or do not even think about the truth of a given matter. Some are so focused on every possible ramification they lead us away from the truth.
These days we are at the mercy of the courts to determine truth. Truth has been relegated to the determination of a Judge. The Judge has been appointed by a political party who has their own agenda. The Judge is appointed on the basis of their agreement with those making the appointment. Our system needs some work so that we the people can arrive at the truth.
- Vocabulary.com see 1st Amendment Definition. This is an excellent resource to improve vocabulary and to review definitions.1.1 Would the repeal of the 1st Amendment be an act of treason?
- Cultural Dictionary, 1st Amendment Definition. Meaning of words and phrases within the cultural in which it was penned or most often used in its original sense.
- Cornel University Law School, Legal Information Institute First Amendment: An Overview.
- Princeton University, WordNet on the 1st Amendment
- Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_amendment