1st Amendment vs. Censorship


Gov 1302 4-9-04

The right to free speech in America is a fundamental liberties protected by the constitution. Today the government is trying to regulate what people can say on TV or the radio. This amendment protects freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition. This amendment is slowly starting to crumble; the government is taking away the right for people to say as they were promised. Even though the things people may say may not be appropriate, they still have the right to say it. Without the first amendment, religious minorities could be persecuted, protesters could be silenced, the press could not criticize the government, and citizens could not change society. The First Amendment ensures that "if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein," as Justice Robert Jackson wrote in the 1943 case West Virginia v. Barnette. People debate whether or not flag burning or inappropriate music from music is right. This all comes down to opinion.

The censorship comes with good principles. This gives parents the ability not to worry about what their kids are always watching on TV. This allows the radios to censor things being said on the radios. Supposedly, this demoralizes people and influences them to talk the same. Censorship allows the government the right to block the things people such as Howard Stern have to say (vulgar words and inappropriate words).

In another view, who is to say what is inappropriate. Today, censorship is all created by opinion. To one person vulgar language just may be another part of life, and to another it is disgusting. In my opinion I do not think it is appropriate, but just again itís my opinion. If someone does not want to hear these things, there is a parental block on TVs so you can block a channel so the children do not see this. What is the difference between hearing these things on TV and on the street, will the government begin issuing tickets if someone in public says vulgar language? This all goes against the first amendment. I believe that this censorship is just an excuse the government has to take away more rights by people. First the television and radios, then the issuing tickets on the streets, then the government is monitoring everything being said in households and arresting them for saying things that they (The government) does not want people saying. The government tries to say that the lyrics in music influence kids to go and kill or smoke or become drug addicts. This has nothing to do with it; it is all nurture growing up in a household. The ones that influence them are the parents not Television! If people want to let the government take control of the society and tell them what they can and cannot hear then we might as well let the government become a dictatorship. I may not like the things people say but I do not want our country telling me what I can and cant hear.