Essay about How The First Amendment Rights Have On Advancing Democracy

Essay about How The First Amendment Rights Have On Advancing Democracy

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Democracy is a form of government that limits the national government, while expanding the rights of the people. “Americans have long believed the limits of the power of government are an essential part of what makes America free” (Bardes, Shelley, 2014). In the Bill of Rights, the most famous of the first ten amendments was the First Amendment. The purpose of the paper is to evaluate the impact the First Amendment rights have had on advancing democracy in the United States. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of religion, speech, press, assemble and petition to the national government. It advances democracy because it provides a tool for self-governance in a democratic society.
The First Amendment protects against the government 's interference with religion by requiring two main principles: the establishment clause and free exercise, both from the First Amendment. One can practice their own religion in any place they want. According Bardes, & Shelley (2014), “The establishment clause guarantees the free exercise of religion to people, but are restrained when their religious practices interfere with public policy” (p.118, 119). Restrictions the government has concerning with religion are the aid to church-related schools, school vouchers, school prayer, prayer outside the classroom, the Ten Commandments, and the teaching of evolution. The government cannot respect any religion. The Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) details that the government’s actions are based on secular legislative purpose, the actions must not have an effect on religion, and actions must not result in “excessive government entanglement” with religion. In other words, “the government cannot support religious schools, but can support services, such as textbooks...


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...into existence. Precisely because opinions have the same basis as religious beliefs. Congress shall make no law to establish state religions or curtail the freedom of speech or of the press. The abridgment of either or of both has to be left to customs, to common sense, to public gatherings and assemblies, or whatever, in order to achieve a degree of balance derived from popular consensus and not from enacted laws or regulations. Americans has the right to question the government and its policies, also sue or lobby the case. The First Amendment advances democracy because it protects public participation in government. Americans gather to express, pursue, defend, and pursue a common interest. It has come to symbolize the right of a single majority to express their opinions that differ from those of a popular majority in the matters of speech, religion and expression.

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