Freedom of Religion
The First Amendment prevents the American government from establishing an official religion.
Citizens have the freedom to attend the church, synagogue, temple or mosque of their choice – or not attend at all. The First Amendment allows us to practice our religion the way we want to.
Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment keeps the American government from making laws that might stop us from expressing rational opinions. People have the right to criticize the government and to share their opinions with others.
Freedom of the Press
A free press means we can get information from many different sources. The government cannot control what is printed in newspapers, magazines and books, broadcast on TV or radio or offered online. Citizens can request time on television to respond to views with which they
disagree; they may write letters to newspaper editors and hope those letters will be printed for others to see. They can pass out leaflets that give their opinions. They can have their own Web pages and offer their opinions to others through the many means made available by the Internet.
Freedom of Assembly
Citizens can come together in public and private gatherings. They can join groups for political,
religious, social or recreational purposes. By organizing to accomplish a common goal, citizens can spread their ideas more effectively.
Right to Petition
“To petition the government for a redress of grievances” means that citizens can ask for changes in the government. They can do this by collecting signatures and sending them to their elected
representatives; they can write, call or e-mail their elected representatives; they can support groups that lobby the government.
Right to Self Medicate:
I know,this is the wrong amendment,in which to place this,but here goes…..
Citizens of this theoretically free country may not use certain medicine’s without the written permission,by doctors.That was not true before 1914. Until then, adult citizens could enter a pharmacy and buy any drug they wished, from headache powders to opium. They needed no one’s permission. They were, in a phrase, pharmacologically free. When they felt it necessary, they sought advice from physicians or others who had greater experience than themselves.
That freedom was abolished as the paternalist ethic gained currency. Citizens were told they were no longer able to make those kinds of decisions, and they surrendered their authentic right to health care. The prescription law was just one piece of a larger conspiracy against the public. At about this time, the United States got its first laws to license doctors and accredit medical schools. Historian Ronald Hamowy has documented what was on the minds of the doctors: income. They were concerned that free entry, and hence unrestricted competition, into the medical profession was driving down fees. Only government regulation would allow doctors to charge higher payments.
It is certainly helpful to know what one is doing before treating oneself. Sources of information would include doctors, medical societies, insurance companies, Prevention magazine, Consumer Reports , newspapers, and more. Competition and the civil law against fraud and malpractice are the best assurances of drug quality, information and service. People must have the right to enter into any mutually agreed-on contracts for medical services that they choose. Anything less makes a mockery of the idea that we are free.
Thanks to Sheldon Richman, senior editor at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. whose other opinions I do not necessarily share.