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The First Amendment Our Guarantee of Individual Rights In 1777 the Continental Congress adopted a set of rules known as the Articles of Confederation From these meager beginnings sprang thirteen states and a promise of a representational government Twelve years later congress ratified ten amendments which provided civil liberties to all Citizens these first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights Over the years I have come to associate many of these rights to the First Amendment The First Amendment guarantees our rights to religion speech press and assembly By exploring these freedoms I will demonstrate how this amendment is the most important to me The First Amendments guarantee of religious freedom was influenced by the colonial practice of relative religious freedom Pilgrims and Puritan dissenters from England seeking religious freedom formed many of the early colonies Religious leaders such as John Winthrop Roger Williams and eventually William Penn arrived in the New World to promote their idea of religious beliefs based in Scripture and not political agenda Today we honor and respect this basic right With the events of September 11 2001 still exploding in our hearts and our memories religious tolerance was tested Some took it upon themselves to lash out unjustly against a religion and will be brought to justice for their crimes The First Amendment protects the Muslim faith as it protects all faiths The founding fathers of the Bill of Rights James Madison George Mason and Thomas Jefferson made it clear that a government should function according to basic human decency and morality not religion Freedom of Speech has been a subject of discussions for years and probably for years to come True freedom of speech did not exist until 1925 when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Gitlow v People of New York that freedom of speech must be included in the Fourteenth Amendment This decision reversed an earlier indictment by the New
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