Amendment I

NARA | The National Archives Experience: “Congress shall make no law respecting an 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.”

Too often, interest groups use government as a tool to legitimize one point of view and stigmatize any opposing opinions. It is incongruent, yet too frequently true, that proponents of one clause of Amendment I so adamantly oppose another. It is convenient and necessary for absolute secularists to focus myopically on, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” and patently disregard, “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The rights of one view are as plainly established and as inviolate as the other. As shown by readability statistics, the First Amendment is not a difficult read. Clever rhetoric cannot obscure its clear vision: everyone has the right to be free.

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