During the 70’s, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, was imprisoned, shot and paralyzed defending the First Amendment. Upon posting $55 thousand bail he was quoted saying, “I’m sure every one of you are just as proud of being an American as I am. We’re the strongest county in the world today, only because we are the freest country in the world today. And I don’t want any American, anywhere, to ever forget that that strength lies in our principles to be free.” Many believe censorship is a violation of the First Amendment. But there are some that believe that censorship is necessary in order to protect the ideals of the majority. This topic remains to be one of the most controversial and debated issues in America today. [THESIS] As citizens of the United States of America, we have the right to exercise our First Amendment and express ideas and opinions even if it may be considered to be in bad taste, unpatriotic, immoral, or false. [THESIS]
The First Amendment states that “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The U.S. has experienced an evolution of freedom of speech in America over the past 50 years. The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment to allow the desecration of the national flag in protest, the burning of the cross to express bigotry and hatred, and invasion of personal privacy if deemed “newsworthy”. It is safe to say that everyone in America believes in the freedom of speech as an ideal. It is however, not so clear to say that everyone believes that it means the same thing.
We as a society want to maintain order, protect our children and provide a secure and safe environment. When others express opinions that threaten these aspirations we have a social instinct to eliminate the...