First Amendment - 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.
When the Founding Fathers included this in the Bill of Rights they were doing so within the context of their experience under the rule of a British Monarchy. The British Monarchy at times officially sanctioned the Catholic Church and at other times the Anglican Church. All other religions not so 'approved' of by the British government were persecuted with members sometimes arrested and imprisoned. The whole of the first amendment, in fact the whole of the Constitution is a limitation on the powers of the government.
The fear was that the new Colonial Government would choose a denomination or sect of Christianity to the exclusion of all others. This first amendment forbade the government from interfering in the rights of the church and from the free exercise of the church. Today this has turned into the unconstitutional separation of church and state. The Progressives in our Country have sought to minimize the role that God and His people can play in the leadership of our nation. From Woodrow Wilson who derailed Harvard University from it's role as a seminary training preachers to those in power this day who are openly hostile to Christianity and the ideals of our Founding Fathers.
This limitation was not solely for the church but also for the free speech clause. In the context of the Founding Fathers, this was political speech. Citizens were given the right to speak against the government. Today this clause has turned into a blanket protection for everything from pornography to hate speech. It is a sad day when an American Christian citizen can't quote the Scriptures in a public school the same school that has chosen to honor Joseph Stalin with a statue in their lobby.
It is no coincidence that the right to free speech and freedom of religion is in the same place as the freedom of the press. Remember that England had sole rule over what the papers were allowed to print, what people were allowed to write and often jailed dissenters. The Founding Fathers' goal for the citizens of this country was that they have FREEDOM. Sadly, today the freedom of the press refers more to the freedom the press has to choose which side of a story to print, or report on. The slight hints leaning leftward of the early 60's and 70's reporters has given away to the completely hostile to any Christian ideals and finally to lies and fraud with the Rather-gate scandal and the Climate-gate coverup. The press is to have the freedom to publish and report the truth, but the responsibility to live up to reporting the whole truth has been neglected completely.
We are also given the right to peaceably assemble to address the Congress of our grievances. It is a reminder to the Congressmen and women that they work for the people, not the other way around. It is odd and not at all surprising that when the mobs of people protesting a conservative action begin rioting, comitting violence and crimes against others that these scenes are no where to be found in our FREE press.
But for those who truly assemble peacefully, to ask that our government leaders read a bill they are about to pass into law, or at least pay attention and know that 'we the people' don't approve of the job they are doing. For those people the story from the mainstream FREE press is the waiting for violence to occur. They wait for some sign of violence or bigotry, and when it isn't evident or present, they create the scene themselves and blame the protestors.
In the early 70's, Christians didn't believe that the government would ever approve legalizing the murder of unborn children, so they failed to take a stand. No Christian believed that prayer would be taken out of our public schools, so they failed to take a stand.
Today we are hanging on to the First Amendment by a thread. We are looking at the very real possibility that our right to peaceably assemble will be removed. We are looking at the very real future that will have the Government dictating to the church about preaching on homosexuality and abortion. We have a President who believes the Bible to be a book of intolerance and hatred and the Koran is a book of understanding and peace.
We have a choice to do as the Christians in the early 70's did and simply not believe that this is possible. Or to take a stand to defeat the Progressive agenda that will weaken our churches and our rights as Americans. What will you do?