Why do people not understand the 1st Amendment?

What's confusing about it? Specifically article 6. I've no idea why it gets misused so often.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • It may be so misunderstood because it was written in a time that didn't have as many different social implementations that we have now. Because of this, it is left to interpretation. And as all text written in a time long past, it can be interpreted in a variety of ways to suit different ideas. I highly doubt that when the Constitution was written, the founding fathers were thinking that one day it would be used to justify things such as The Westboro Baptist Church's protesting at funerals.

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    • That is true. In fact, as a literature student, I would argue that ALL texts can be interpreted in different ways, regardless of how old or young they are. If two people read a novel by T. C. Boyle or say, Cormac McCarthy, they may end up with a very different opinion and interpretation about its plot and its characters.

    • @BlueCoyote exactly. From the Bible to a text message, even spoken conversation can fall prey to this.

Most Helpful Guy

What Girls Said 0

The only opinion from girls was selected the Most Helpful Opinion!

What Guys Said 3

  • The first Amendment doesn't have any articles.

    Like @Ntnrmlchck said, all texts are up to interpretation. The Amendments of the US constitution don't make an exception. That doesn't mean you can completely ignore them but it does mean you can look at these provisions from different angles. For example the USA generally takes a very literal stand on its constitutional Amendments. Here in western Europe, countries have similar constitutional articles just like the first Amendment in America. However, many European countries interpret them a little more abstractly. For example in Germany, you are not allowed to do the Hitler Gruss or wear anything that depicts the Swastika. Some Americans would argue that this is an unnecessary limitation of the freedom of speech but here in Europe, we would argue that one's freedom only goes to the point where you're not harming your fellow people. Hence, certain limitations are necessary. None of these two opinions is superior to the other, they're simply two different interpretations of very similar texts/ideas.

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  • I think you're the one misunderstanding the 1st amendment, as there is no article 6. The 1st amendment has no articles. It's just a single sentence.

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  • Which one's that? It's pretty freakin' old.

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