Let’s start learning about our Constitution. It begins with the Bill of Rights. There are 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights and we will learn about all 10. The Bill of Rights was passed in 1791.
Let’s restate that and fill in the blanks : The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of __________________.
The Bill of Rights was passed in _______________ and includes additions to the Constitution which protect people’s rights. Great work!
The First Amendment is all about freedom. The people who wrote the amendment believed that their freedom had been threatened or taken away by the British which caused the Revolutionary War. We won the war and won freedom from Britain. The Bill of Rights or the first 10 Amendments keep threats against our freedom from happening again.
You will learn all about them so you can help protect them. Freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think morally (as God commands) without hindrance or restraint.
Do you feel free today? What does freedom feel like?
The First Amendment: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting (to not allow) the free exercise thereof; or abridging (shorten a piece of writing without losing the sense) the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble (to gather), and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (gives each citizen the power to institute change and create a better future).’
The First Amendment was written by James Madison. He also wrote the rest of the Bill of Rights. How many Bill of Rights are there?
Freedom of Speech: Freedom of speech gives U.S. citizens the right to express themselves freely. People can share their opinions without worrying about the government interfering. This freedom is unique and powerful in our Constitution. Why is it important to protect your freedom to speak? If you could say something to the President, what would you say? Practice your freedom of speech.
Ask your teacher to record you and send it to your Governor and local City Councilmembers.
This is local Oceanside California: https://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/council/default.asp
The United States Constitution:
Draw a picture of how you feel about the President today:
Freedom of the press: Media gives people the right to express themselves in writing or publications like newspapers, magazines, online, or television. Social media is not the press. It is a privately owned platform with very controlling rules and regulations. Press means you pay money to a public platform to say what YOU want to say. You are not regulated by their laws. The Founding Fathers believed that a free press could protect against tyranny, communism, socialism and dictatorships. They also thought it could improve human understanding of society including arts, sciences, and humanities. There are certain limits to the freedom of the press. For instance, libel is not allowed. Libel means false statements that may hurt or damage someone’s reputation (what you are known for). If the media is telling people the wrong thing – is that okay?
The United States Constitution:
Can the media also harm? How does the media today make you feel: Draw that below
Freedom of the press: good or bad? Propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Propaganda is the dissemination – the action or fact of spreading something, especially information, widely. of information to influence or control large groups of people. In Communist regimes like Nazi Germany, propaganda played a significant role in consolidating power in the hands of the controlling party.
Shortly after rising to power in 1933, Adolf Hitler created the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (RMVP), headed by Joseph Goebbels. Nearly all aspects of German culture were subject to the Propaganda Ministry’s control, including films, theater, music, the press, and radio broadcasts.
Given tremendous power by Hitler, and using modern techniques and technologies, Goebbels quickly set out to indoctrinate – teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs without thinking for themselves. the German people in Nazi rules and to influence the behavior of the entire society.
The rules of Nazism, including the hating of Jews at the core of much of its ideas, were included into nearly every newspaper, radio broadcast, and film produced in the Third Reich (Nazis). Does that remind you about media and what they can do to our society?
These carefully-crafted messages were designed to brainwash the German population to support all Nazi military and social efforts, including the deportation of Jews and others to concentration camps where they were abused, tortured and killed. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/ministry-of-propaganda-and-public-enlightenment
Freedom of Religion: Freedom of Religion means that the government can’t force one religion as the national religion. What if they chose a false religion and forced everyone to worship that? That would be terrible! Do you remember an example of that in the Bible? All citizens of the United States can practice any religion they choose, or they can choose not to practice religion at all. Is this Biblical? Yes, the first thing God gave us was CHOICE. We are not robots, we have to choose to love God – that is so important. We must not act against God’s command. This freedom was extremely important to the Founding Fathers because many of the people who first came to America did so in order to have religious freedom, just like God commanded.
The United States Constitution:
How does religious freedom make you feel: Draw that below
Right to Assemble and Petition American citizens have the right to protest the government. If they feel that they are imprisoned by the government, they can peacefully assemble or gather in groups to calmly discuss political, social, and economic issues. Citizens of the United States may also gather for religious purposes. Praise the Lord!
Do you remember when the government told people of the church they could not gather? Did we still gather? Yes, the Constitution protects us and we may always gather to worship God! In addition, people have the right to sign petitions or even to sue the government. We did that in California. The church sued Governor Newsom and won! We may always gather for church services.
How does protest make you feel: Draw that below
A settlement reached by a California church and Gov. Gavin Newsom this week allows an injunction against COVID-19 restrictions on churches. Under the settlement, the state of California may no longer impose discriminatory restrictions upon any houses of worship. It’s the first statewide permanent injunction in the country against COVID restrictions on churches and places of worship.
The governor must also pay Liberty Counsel $1,350,000 in reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs.
In all, this case involved three emergency injunctions pending appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, two oral arguments before a panel of three judges, two orders from the U.S. Supreme Court, including an injunction pending appeal issued by the High Court on Feb. 4, 2021.
Now, churches and places of worship may never again have discriminatory restrictions places on them that are not equally applied to this long list of “essential services” or “critical infrastructure” as outlined in the settlement agreement.