The First Amendment, Misunderstood

The U.S. Constitution is the document that defines the United States of America. It was written with the intent that it be interpreted as needed throughout the future history of the country. The open interpretation of the U.S. Constitution has allowed it to survive as a document and a roadmap for the country for over two hundred years.

But the men who fashioned the U.S. Constitution in the late eighteenth century realized that it could not be a static document. Even allowing for interpretation, they knew that the document would require amending if it was to remain applicable to the nation they had created.

The Bill of Rights was the name given to the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These first ten amendments were created in order that the original thirteen states would approve the Constitution before them, thus creating the Unites States of America as a nation, united together in a grand experiment in Democracy – an experiment that is still ongoing over two hundred years later.

Those that devised the Constitutional framework of the United States knew that the freedom of speech, in all its forms, was paramount to the success of the nation. Therefore, they created as the First Amendment the right to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and right to petition the Government.

This fundamental Right applies to all citizens of the United States, but the biggest source of “violations” of the First Amendment relate to freedom of religion. Recently, the interpretation of the First Amendment as “separation of Church and State” has gone to the point where people feel that any display related to religion violates their personal Right to freedom of Religion.

But the freedoms to practice religion gives all people, whether they work for the government or work for a government contractor, or do not work at all, the freedom to express, as they see fit, their religious beliefs.

If one takes a literal interpretation of the First Amendment, it is clear that the Founders had not intended for there to be a division between Church and State. For when one reads the words, it is apparent that “separation of Church and State” is not included anywhere in the text of the Amendment. This interpretation of the First Amendment is a modern creation, established by numerous Liberal groups to keep Religion out of the United States.

These groups often mimic a “freedom of religion”, when they are actually representing a “freedom from religion”. They are of the belief that setting up Nativity scenes on Government property is an obvious violation of their establishment that the Church is separate from the State. But because the First Amendment does not call for a distinct line between Church and State, these Government bodies are free to represent whatever religion they want at any time of the year. These groups want to convert the United States into a Godless State, instead of a State where even those with no god are welcome to live.

This country was founded by Christians, but does not discriminate against citizens of other religions. By placing “In God We Trust” on coins, the government is not telling Muslims, Jews, or Buddhists that their religious beliefs are not to be valued.

Government entities have the same Rights as every other citizen to practice their religions as they see fit. Just as all citizens have the freedom to assemble and speak their mind, all people in the United States have the Right to live their religious beliefs as they see fit because that Right is fundamental to the First Amendment.