North Texas Daily

Regarding the First Amendment, let’s have a conversation

Regarding the First Amendment, let’s have a conversation

Regarding the First Amendment, let’s have a conversation
January 30
11:55 2017

In the words of the philosopher Epictetus, “Only the educated are free.”

While I do not intend to disseminate my political beliefs, I will refer to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and discuss my other thoughts.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

As of today, I have not seen a violation of anybody’s right to practice their religion in the United States. I will admit that there has been a hatred and bias toward particular religions in this country. For instance, the Islamic religion has become more topical since Friday. Just because a person is Muslim, does not mean he or she is a terrorist.

Religious studies scholar Reza Aslan, in an interview with Midnight Mayhem, has great insight into the Muslim religion.

On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries. However, this should come as no surprise as he stated his plan here, and in fact, voters go to the booths so their president can stick to their word. He had a plan, he stuck with it and his voters got what they expected.

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted a link to his official Facebook stating his intentions for the ban:

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

Any person — regardless of race, religion or ideology — has the freedom to speak. But people will continue to hold others accountable for a poor choice of words.

I believe work speaks louder than words, and if someone is willing to put in the effort to research and understand different viewpoints, then this person, above all, will have my attention.

When speaking, be clear in what you have to say. Do not stumble. Be confident. No person benefits from stifling themselves.

In addition, make sure to research, research and research. I have been on the forefront of arguments, covered numerous protests and have seen the complaints that a liberal agenda can bring to the table.

Now I do feel for the people who are directly affected by the situations they are fighting for, but nothing makes me less enthused as a journalist than to hear unintelligent responses to questions like: “Why are you here?” or “Why is this event important?” or “What is the common goal of this protest, and what is your role in it?”

Journalists are essentially educators, and their job is to voice your response to the issues at hand. So the next time a journalist asks you a question, I hope you have done your research on the cause of your activism, instead of shoving journalists out of the way. We’re there to document, inform and educate, not embarrass and humiliate.

“Congress shall make no law respecting… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Without bias, journalists understand this law to its fullest extent. Any person has the right to assemble on public property to address the government of its grievances. Therefore, you have the right to protest and other Americans have the right to disagree with you.

If you understand that at some point in your life, there will be a disagreement, the best thing you can do is prepare to argue.

How do you do this? Educate yourself on the facts. Stand firm in your beliefs, but also understand the other side.

As open as a liberal is to welcoming other countries into their societies, conservatives are open to listening and understanding liberal concerns.

Agreeing to disagree isn’t a bad thing. As a matter of fact, arguments are beneficial because they push each participant to their fullest, challenging the agendas and striving for an understanding of one another.

There are going to be opinions on this article — both good and bad. However, I am ready to take them on and continue my research, education and understanding of other people’s beliefs.

I understand that no person hinders my ability to move forward in this American society. We are a mixture of people, and each person paves their own way to success.

If you’re an activist, I encourage you to research your topic of choice and not go off on solely personal experiences.

As an American people, we need to find solutions to problems we have in this country. Opposing opinions different from our own won’t do any good. We must strive to educate each other, pushing everyone around us to be better citizens.

The president does not hold the key to the future, nor does the government. We “the People” do.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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Tomas Gonzalez

Tomas Gonzalez

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