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Published:December 4th, 2006 08:12 EST
The Freedom of Speech

The Freedom of Speech

By Anita Helton

Soren Kierkegaard once said " People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."  In America, we have several freedoms, among which is freedom of speech.  This is a first amendment right that several do not take full advantage of like they should.   Our forefathers felt so strong about the ability to express thoughts through words freely they put it into the bill of rights   "Congress shall make no law …prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…" This freedom of speech, along with freedom of the press, was introduced by James Madison to the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789.  After a lengthy debate in the house and the senate the words above were adopted into the constitution.  

The First Amendment, by its terms applies, only to laws enacted by Congress, and not to the actions of private persons.   Yet Americans take it as an inalienable right, which it is not.  I think that people need to use the freedom of thought before their freedom of speech, because many abuse this privilege.   Despite the abuse, I am glad that I live in a country that gives me freedom of speech.  I am also glad for others that I use the undefined freedom of thought before I use the defined freedom of speech.