The First Amendment to the US Constitution is an important initiative that regulates not only the life of American society but also the functioning of state bodies (Stone et al. 21). According to this document, residents of the country have the right to confess any religion that they want, and the state cannot prohibit citizens from following their worldview (Stone et al. 21). In addition, the Amendment provides for freedom of speech and press. Moreover, due to this initiative, residents have an opportunity to assemble freely and apply to the Government when needed. Despite its value, the initiative has been criticized largely. The purpose of this paper is to provide arguments to prove that the First Amendment is relevant for the modernity.
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The First Amendment is a domain that unites and links all the people residing in America. It provides citizens with the joint understanding of freedom and solidarity. The main cause for the creation of this modification was the need to cease the religious oppression from former colonies. The country needed to solidify its values; therefore, the initiative was created to gather these values in a systematic and organized manner (Stone et al. 11). Despite the fact that, the affairs in the state were subjected to centralized governmental control, the Amendment ensured that the citizens were protected. That is to say, the creation of the modification has allowed avoiding the settings in which citizens’ rights are infringed. The main effect of the Amendment is the possibility given to people to maintain their essential right of expression.
Despite the values that the First Amendment reflects, it has been subjected to severe criticism. For instance, experts in the field believe that the initiative is frequently exposed to absolute interpretation. In particular, certain controversial forms of expression are protected by the Amendment because they fall within the general categories discussed in it (Gajda 71). In addition, since the introduction of the modification, new social structures have emerged in the US that are not reflected in the document. Moreover, the emerging forms of communication continuously lead to critical discussions regarding the freedom of speech (Gajda 74). Individuals can interpret the document in the way that is more convenient for them, which results in the abuse of freedom.
Despite the arguments proving the irrelevance of the Amendment to the contemporary American society, it should be stressed that they often address the subjective side of the issue. When people consider merits of expression, they tend to bring their individual values to the discussion. Importantly, such form of reasoning becomes subjective. It also reflects personal interests of individuals while the Amendment strives for universal objectivity (Stone et al. 73). Since the time when the modification was introduced, it had undergone several revisions to reflect the realities of the world (Stone et al. 101). At present, it protects the rights of the majority of people and ensures that they can express their values with no persecution. If the Amendment is withdrawn, it will result in greater subjectivity and favorable interpretations. The Amendment should undergo changes to be more reflective of the current worldviews; however, its relevance lies beyond temporary or alternating movements.
Thus, it can be concluded that the First Amendment is a crucial initiative that secures basic rights of American citizens. Although the Amendment guarantees important fundamental freedoms, many people criticize it since the initiative no longer reflects the realities of the contemporary world and improperly regulates the life of society. Nevertheless, frequently enough, the criticism is not objective. The Amendment should be adapted to be illustrative of the modernity; nonetheless, it reflects essential rights of people that cannot become irrelevant.
Gajda, Amy. The First Amendment Bubble: How Privacy and Paparazzi Threaten a Free Press. Harvard University Press, 2015.
Stone, Geoffrey R. et al. The First Amendment. 5th ed., Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2016.
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