We have the right to exercise freedom

Sept. 28, 2017

By Denise DuBois 

“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.”
- First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

All over the country, we’re seeing examples of people expressing their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully. The biggest example that comes to mind is the NFL and players taking a knee during the national anthem. 

Locally, at the annual Backyard Brawl, students expressed their freedom of speech by loudly saying The Lord’s Prayer before the football game after Lee County Schools faced a lawsuit threat for a student praying over the loud speaker at a previous football game.

At the Brawl, the student sections led the prayer and attendees joined in. 

Whatever your opinion of these national and local events, you have to be thankful we live in a country where we have these rights. 

In light of the national anthem protests, we must be prepared to suffer the consequences of our protests. NASCAR team owners are warning that employees could be fired for protesting. Richard Childress, team owner of drivers Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon and Paul Menard and long-time car owner of Dale Earnhardt, is one of them. 

“Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America,” Childress said via the Associated Press. 

Richard Petty is another giving fair warning. 

It’s beginning to look as if NFL fans are becoming sick of politics encroaching on football games. At least, it looks that way on social media. Regardless, we the people have the right to these freedoms. We the people also have the right to support or not support organizations we agree or disagree with.