The First Amendment gives the people the right to exercise freedom of speech, to assemble peaceably, to petition their government for redress of grievances, and to practice one’s religion. These are rights that should be cherished. These are rights that should be protected. These are rights that make our democratic form of government so amazing.
We are fortunate to live in a country where we have these rights. A country where we can voice our approval, or disapproval, of government. A country where we can assemble and roam freely. A country where we can practice Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and other world religions. A country where we can speak freely.
A country where, yes, people have the constitutional right to burn the American flag, the Bible and the Koran. But just because the people have the right to exercise free speech does not mean that doing so is the right thing to do. There are times when finding a means to exercise free speech in a manner that does not incite hatred or put American soldiers at risk is the right thing to do.
Pastor Jones, this is one of those times.
Jill Sigal is President of Jill Sigal Associates, a consulting firm specializing in policy development, strategic planning, government relations, communications and stakeholder and community outreach. She recently added Internet identity theft and Internet harassment to the portfolio of issues in which she gives strategic and public policy advice.