The First Amendment Essay Research Paper Persuasive

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The First Amendment Essay, Research Paper Persuasive speech The First Amendment I. “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” II. This is an example of what American citizens said when exercising their right of free speech during the era of the Vietnam War. III. The issue I’ve decided to speak about is the importance of our First Amendment rights. IV. There are three areas of the First Amendment that I am going to discuss. Namely: A. The right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for change. B. The right of the press to print whatever they want. C. And of course the right to practice the religion of your choice. Transition: Loosely translated, the First Amendment states that any citizen is guaranteed the right to believe what they want to believe,

practice any religion they choose, and speak out about what they agree or disagree with. It is our right to assemble peaceably in protest (or support) and, when all else fails, petition the government for change when the system is not working. I. The fact that we can “assemble peaceably and petition for a redress of grievances”, is a privilege that guarantees unto us the right to be heard. Whether or not any progress is made is a different story, but we are allowed in any case to bring our discontentment to light. A. What if we were not allowed to gather together and speak our minds? 1. Such public displays of discontent are met with deadly force in other regions of the world. 2. In June of 1989, in the People’s Republic of China, Tiananmen Square was the site of such a

demonstration by university students. a. They were peacefully protesting for greater democracy and less corruption. b. The uprising was quelled by the military, and the press was conveniently blacked-out so that everything was cleaned up by the time foreign press could investigate. c. The true body count will never be known for certain. B. What if the United States was run in the same manner? What if we were not allowed to openly criticize the government and the way they run things? 1. In the 40’s, the Nazis rounded up those that didn’t conform, labeled them “political enemies”, and sent them to the same concentration camps that they sent to murder the gypsies and Jews of Europe. 2. This practice was also not uncommon to the North Vietnamese who frequently engaged in

“political re-education”, which was simply another term for “killing” during the late 60’s. Transition: I’ve just talked about the freedom to assemble and to talk about the government, what about the press? II. In light of events such as the recent Clinton/Lewinsky scandal in reference to the Ken Starr report, and the tragic death of Princess Diana, some might say that sometimes the freedom of the press is taken too far. A. Arguably, the Ken Starr report is one of the longest and most lurid wastes of taxpayer money ever put into print. 1. Some feel that it isn’t necessary to include every little detail of the President’s sexual indiscretions in a media circus for the entire world to see. 2. Do we really need to know what exactly transpired? We are not his judge or

his jury. B. Also unnecessary is the need to engage in a high-speed chase in order to maintain one’s privacy. 1. On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana was killed in an automobile accident while trying to escape paparazzi photographers-was this really necessary? 2. Does the freedom of the press outweigh the freedom of the individual? III. Also included in this Amendment is the freedom to establish any religion and free practice thereof (so long as it doesn’t interfere with another citizen’s “life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.”) A. This does not hold true in all countries. 1. Recently, Cuba has celebrated Christmas for the first time since the communists took power in the 60’s. 2. The government, having declared itself atheist in nature, decided that such a holiday