Freedoms of speech, religion and assemble
Democratic society is built upon freedoms. Without the freedoms of its citizens the society would become autocratic and manipulative, and would lose the flexibility and its own freedom.
The USA was the first country in the world with the strict preservation of democratic rules. It was the USA that promoted development of democracy in many European countries, particularly in the Western Germany after the world war II. The difference in two state systems can be seen very well on the example of Western and Eastern Germanys: while Western Germany promoted democracy it developed into well-established industrial country with good level of social defense, life quality and democracy. At the same time the Eastern Germany being under the influence of the Soviet Union regressed and became noticeably ill-organized at all the levels of social development, including democracy, social support and economic stability.
The USA is the state with old traditions of democracy. There are many conditions of democracy, for example, the division of three governmental branches: executive, legislative and judicial, which assures their reciprocal control. One of the most important basic principles of democracy is freedom based on the constitution and protected by it. There are many constitutional freedoms. In this work we are going to examine three of them: the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and assemble. They can be called the basic freedoms of the American constitution and of a democratic society.
These freedoms are fundamental for keeping democracy in balance. They also help to provide reciprocal control of the democracy in the state. It encourages double-sided relationship between the government and the population of the country. This provides that the citizens can give their feed-back through freedom of speech, mass media, freedom of assemble and of religion.
I think the achievement of these freedoms and control for their constitutional fulfillment is very important for the normal functioning of many aspects in the state, and many things such as the economical prosperity, social support system and spiritual health depend on functioning of constitution. And I believe, this is great that the USA achieved such level of fulfillment of rights and freedoms of its citizens, and without it this country could go much worth and destructive way. It is also a great responsibility to keep to the democratic standards our society has achieved, first, because we must not regress and misuse these standards, second, because our state is example for many other developing countries and we influence them, even if do not want it, and this influence can b both good and bad.
Freedom of speech is one of the old statements of freedom found in the American constitution. As I understand, it is provided by the mass media. The mass media must not be censored in order to keep the citizens informed of the inner and outer politics of the state and to reflect the people’s reaction through press, TV and radio. But besides right for freedom of speech the citizens of the democratic society have also the responsibility to inform themselves, otherwise they can be manipulated by the mass media and led in the wrong direction. That sad fact happened in the Germany of the 20s of the last century when the population followed Hitler and started war with Europe and the persecution and killing of the Jews. It is sad, but it also can happen in our time when we do not analyse what we hear and believe every information. In order to develop the independent point of view the citizens must follow the news and to use different sources of information, because the mass media can also be not completely pure from the ideology and impose some certain ideas. So by comparing one can get a clearer world picture.
Freedom of speech also includes freedom to express ideas and beliefs that are not conformed to the rules or restrictions of the state and its politics. this freedom was introduced into the constitution long ago, but to my mind, it is to be fought for at almost every disputable point. This very important for the development of the society because some examples are known in the history when the people with the new ideas were oppressed, even burnt at the fire in the Middle Ages what brought to the breaks in the development or even going back of the society.
This freedom is indispensable in the constitutional democracy, however, there are different points of view concerning the restrictions and censure for this freedom. There are many disputes, and it is hard to make an objective conclusion, because every one has its own reasons. To my mind, there is must be some restriction of this freedom, because the misuse of it can damage the physical or emotional balance of the society, but it must be regulated constitutionally, so that it could be fair and right.
This freedom is also important for the feed-back of the population, and it provides the communication between the government and the citizens. It gives also right to express the ideas through art, public speeches, demonstrations, and other public relations actions. It gives the people the choice and the basis for their own point of view. But it also can be a reason of disputes, besides one must be really careful and selective in this ocean of information and ideas in order not to get lost in it and not to lose his own ground.
Freedom of speech is a basic constitutional freedom and is peculiar for the American culture. Because America as the state and society was built by the representatives of many cultures, including people from the different vulnerable religious groups that were oppressed and persecuted in their own lands and found their home in America. So these people influenced the development of American legislative process, and the USA was one of the first to introduce this freedom into its constitution.
It is extremely important in such multi-cultural environment as the USA because it was compound of many nations and this process did not end with the great immigrations of the last centuries, the people from the whole world keep on coming to America bringing their cultures, life styles and religions. Therefore it is very important to build and preserve the tolerance towards various beliefs and religions in order to prevent disorder, arrogance and other intercultural problems. It is also necessary for every culture to find its place and to participate in the social life with equal rights. This all is provided by the freedom of religion.
America developed primarily as the Christian state that found the place in the national constitution. Though there were representatives of different Christian communities. At the same time other religions got their place for development, and nowadays America can be considered one of the most tolerant states for the religious minorities. However the process takes place that is stated by many critics. The problem is as follows: in order to give more freedom to all the religions and to atheism the traditional religion is being restricted in expressing of its ideas. And many Christians suffer it, because they are not allowed to show their belief in order not to offend other faiths and thus they are offended and restricted. this is really a disputable point, and it is getting actual nowadays.
Freedom of religion gives right to the citizens to confess any faith, to express it, to celebrate the religious holidays, to gather for meetings of believers, to share their faith with others without offending their freedoms. It also allows the following the rules of the certain beliefs unless it offends the constitution and the state laws, the believers are free to follow their rituals.
This freedom also provides the defence of the believers from the persecution at the work and school because of their belief, it allows them to use the equal rights.
I think this freedom can assure the loyalty of the citizens: there is more probability that minor religious groups can be loyal parts of society when they are not oppressed, when they are treated with respect to their religion. It is easier to get the hostile attitude of believers when the state shows disrespect or mistrust to some religious group. But the question still remains if some religious groups grow more hostile and make them apart from the society when given more freedom.
Another essential freedom is the freedom of assemble that is also closely connected with the freedom of religion and of speech. It gives right to any groups to gather, to share their ideas, to create their programs, etc.
It is very important for evolution of the society because the assembling groups can provide new ideas for social and cultural changes, for lobbing, they are indispensable in the robust, healthy community. It is also well seen in the history that the oppression of the assembles did not destroy them, for example the Bolsheviks made their revolution in spite of the cruel persecution and censure of the royal government of Russia, and it provokes the thought that, maybe, this revolution could be prevented when freedom of assemble had been given at that time. essays in 24 hours
The effects of the different assemble can be both positive, and negative. The regulation of their freedom and activity is to be performed on the constitutional basis.
I think it can be very helpful for the government when the groups can take part in the political life of the state, to give the fresh ideas, to lobby some laws. It is a useful feed-back, and also it reflects the attitudes of the population towards the state’s functioning. It would be very good when the Americans would be more active about the life of the state and not be just passive consumers of ideas and information.
At the same time it can be dangerous because not all assemblies have constructive purposes, and can harm some processes in the development of society.
There are different people and different ideas, and it is well known that an idea can be multiplicated through number of its followers, so this freedom much be really in balance with the fulfillment of other freedoms, otherwise there can be domination of some ideas and that can restrict the other ideas.
It also gives freedom to the public celebrations of some special holidays, demonstrations and strikes, and other forms of public activity as well, according to the existing law basis.
Considering these aspects we must keep in mind that these freedoms are interrelated and interdependent. It means that their fulfillment must be performed in balance so that the use of one freedom would not reject or in some way harm other freedom. Particularly, freedom of speech is related to the freedom of assembly, together they allow for people with different ideas and programs to gather and to express their point of view.
The freedom of religion is connected with the freedom of assemble that gives right for different religious groups to gather, to celebrate their holidays, to perform rituals, etc.
The freedom of speech is also related to the freedom of religion that makes possible for any believer to express his faith without danger of persecution or rights’ offending.
In all this the old idea must be preserves: the freedom of one ends there where the freedom of another one begins. It is very necessary for balancing social and personal freedoms. it means I may not use my freedom of speech if it offends the freedom of others to have their own attitude, I must not misuse my freedom. This question is very difficult and as we see in the modern law processes it brings to many problems and new cases. buy essay
It can bring to the situation where the choice of freedoms may result in the same problems that happen in societies without these freedoms. This happens in America now with the questions of political correctness and of restriction of church activity in the state activity, in the dividing spiritual and political spheres. All this finds its reflection in the legislative basis of the USA and in the social moods. But this process is as important as creating new laws, and lobbing new articles. To my mind, these struggles can bring
to the benefits. It is common for some achievement or improvement to come through the crisis or problem. This can also be true for the life of the society and the state. And it can be an activating factor for the citizens to consider their social and political partaking.
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