Professor Denis Daniels
11 February 2013
First Amendment Many people reflect their First Amendment rights, being one of the most important amendments. The First Amendment is very broad and confuses many Americans about how it applies and when it doesn’t. Detailed exploration through discussion and reading essays on the First Amendment increases one’s understanding of how the First Amendment works along with real-life experiences. The clause on freedom of religion in the First Amendment is probably the most difficult to try to understand. The U.S, being one of the most diverse countries in the world, has a wide variety of religions among its people. This makes it difficult to deny a person the right to a religious practice. For example, the Wilde essay about the pledge of allegiance made a good connection to the topic about religion. Many people have been outraged since the word “God” was added into it and they did not agree to say the Pledge of Alleginace at any events. It was wrong because not everyone has similar views when it comes to the word “God.” Some people believe in God, some people believe in more than one God and some people just do not even believe in a God. Wilde quotes “the words under God is inappropriate, and they are needlessly divisive—an odd addition indeed to a Nation that is said to be indivisible”(Wilde 51). She completely disagrees with the word being added and many others do as well. Personally, I would have to say the statement “under God” should have never been added in or just early omitted. When I was in elementary school I always felt uncomfortable saying the pledge because my parents were both Muslim, and they both felt the pledge was something said by people who practiced Christianity.
Another situation where religion played a role in a case was when a woman did not want to take a picture to go on her I.D due to religious reasons. As a Muslim, she did not want to show her face in the picture because she had a scarf covering it. In her religion their practice should never be broken and revealing yourself to others is against the religion. She took this case to the Supreme Court hoping to win and see that the U.S would make an exception in her case due to the information she provided the court. Long days of providing intense amounts of information trying to sway the court came to an end, and decision was still no. Truly, it’s sad to see someone work so hard for what they believe in and get shot down at the end of the day. What makes it even worst is the fact that a situation like this happened before, but that person won in court and did not have to take a picture that went on their I.D. So situations like these should be looked at a lot more attentively so that people may be treated equally and not have to worry about others feeling unfairly treated.
The most important freedom of the First Amendment would by far be the freedom of speech. Initially, it would most important due to being brought up the most in a lot of cases. For example, Derek Bok wrote about these two students who put a Confederate Flag in public view on their campus so other students may see. A student who saw this decided to protest the flag by displaying a swastika. Bok quoted “I share this view and regret that the students involved saw fit to behave in this fashion”(Bok 66). Bok really did not agree with these students by any means clearly. “The display of swastikas or Confederate flags clearly falls within the protection of the freedom speech clause of the First Amendment and cannot be forbidden simply because it offends the feelings of many members of the community. These rulings apply to all agencies of government, including public universities,”(Bok 67) said Bok when under the Supreme Court’s rulings. Practically, it was okay for these students to do what they did. The law cannot disclaim against them because they hurt the feelings of others. To me this was completely out of