Freedom from or freedom of?

Posted: December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

“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.”
That is the text from the first amendment of the Unites States constitution. This amendment allows for personal expression in public places. I find this amendment to be one of the most powerful because, it keeps the state out of the citizens minds and hearts. That is what the freedom of speech means to me.
The nation of France has a constitution. The French constitution is known as “The constitution on the Fifth Republic”.

” France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis.
Statutes shall promote equal access by women and men to elective offices and posts as well as to professional and social positions.”
That text is the first article of the “Constitution of the Fifth Republic”.
On March 15th 2004 the French government passed the French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools. Basically the law bans wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French public (i.e. government-operated) primary and secondary schools.
Freedom of speech and religion is so important. The French law was then and is now a can of worms for the French. A controversial law at best. It seems to me that the law was put in place to avoid discord but may have had the opposite effect.
Freedom is important and should be exercised, as much as one can with reaped for all citizens. Part of me is just taken back by the French law however having seen the violence in the name of freedom part of me sees where reasoning for the law comes from. Let me be clear, I do not support the French law but I do think that respect goes a long way when exercising ones rights.

“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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