Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

First Amendment to the Constitution

“Congress shall make no law respecting 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.” The First Amendment to the Constitution restricts government from discrimination of religions, and this is beneficial to our nation in many ways. Particularly because the United States was established on the basis of the emphasis on freedom, this amendment holds important value to both our government and nation.

First and foremost, the First Amendment to Constitution strengthens the moral of our governments, providing a free environment for all kinds of people and cultures. The Pilgrims left England to seek religious freedom, and they discovered a haven in North America; however, other minorities, such as the Jews, were not so lucky. For instance, the Holocaust of World War II alone nearly eliminated the whole population of European Jews. A few centuries ago, certain people would be prosecuted for their religion; in opposition to this, the purpose of the First Amendment was to end religious discrimination and give everyone an equal standing in belief. The First Amendment proves its effectiveness through Supreme Court cases as well. In McCollum V. Board of Education, Vashti McCollum sues the Champaign school district for taking time from the school day to offer “voluntary” religious classes. As a result of this case, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of McCollum, stating that the classes were unconstitutional. Due to its effectiveness, the First Amendment holds great importance in our nation even to this day.

Because the First Amendment marks the U.S. as a sanctuary for religious freedom, many talented people are attracted to this country. In many countries even today, religious minorities are kept from reaching high positions in any career. As a result of this discrimination, that country fails to make use of all the extraordinary people that it might have. Consequently, these talents immigrate to countries where their talent will actually be appreciated. One instance of this advantage is Sergey Brin, co-founder of the expanding technological company Google. The history of Brin begins in Russia, where his Jewish parents are denied any privileges or rights. In that time period, Jews in Russia were oftentimes denied entrance to colleges; “Nobody would even consider me for graduate school because I was Jewish,” as Sergey’s father stated. Because of this unjust oppression, Sergey and his family immigrated to the United States, where they actually weren’t discriminated for being Jewish. In the new environment, Sergey was able to demonstrate and contribute to society with his talent in engineering and computer science by co-founding Google, and internet search engine. To this day, Google helps millions of people by providing and storing information with the most advanced technology of this era. In truth, there are actually many people with potential in any environment; it’s just that in some instances religious prosecution prevents us from realizing it. The First Amendment not only enables our nation to make full use of talent and potential, but also attracts intelligence from foreign nations.

Finally, the First Amendment increases the scope of our view and beliefs, enabling us to understand more than what is told or seen. In many strictly religious communities, individuals are exposed to only what they are told; consequently, they unknowingly form a biased view of a certain subject. In World War II, Hitler attempted to influence the mindsets of children by modifying certain parts of information in the history textbook; this resultantly made Hitler seem like a hero during the war. Fortunately, in the U.S., individuals are spared this confusion. Because of the religious diversity that this country gathers, we are exposed to all viewpoints of a cause, and this, in turn, allows us to use our own judgments to make decisions.

In many aspects, the First Amendment to the Constitution has contributed greatly to the nation; indeed, this law has been the cause of many great events. This law also strengthens national pride by advocating for freedom. The First Amendment not only strengthens the power of our country, but also holds great importance in human and religious rights.




Join the Discussion


This article has 1 comment. Post your own!

Anonymous said...
Dec. 9 at 5:07 pm:
Great article, but needs more major points in my opinion.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback