Do You Understand the First Amendment? Presented By Will Witt.
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Do You Understand the First Amendment? Presented By Will Witt.


Do you like being able to speak your mind freely or practice whatever religion you want? People in America take these rights for granted, but these rights only exist because of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment states, “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 peacefully [sic] to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. America is the most free and most prosperous country in the world. But why is America different and why should we preserve these values? Let’s take a look. One: The First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion. If you are a Muslim, a Christian, an atheist, you can freely practice your beliefs in America. The founders did not believe that religion should be divorced from politics, but they prohibited the government from establishing a national church. You see, Liberty can only be kept if Americans remain a good and moral people, and the Constitution promotes the free exercise of religion and doesn’t eliminate religion. Two: Freedom of speech is one of the most important rights in our Constitution. It allows Americans to speak their opinions without fear of punishment or regulation. This means the First Amendment not only protects speech that is widely accepted; it also protects speech that isn’t popular. In fact, freedom of speech would be meaningless if it only protected speech that we all liked. Three: I’m sure you’ve heard all about fake news in the media recently, but what if that fake news was coming directly from your government? This is why we have a free and independent press. The press searches for truth and promotes virtue and unity. The press is also a check on the government and helps to advance American values. Four: the First Amendment also protects the right for people to gather peacefully. It guarantees the right for citizens to petition the government to protest or give an opinion on an issue. So all these people you see marching in the streets with picket signs for God knows what are only able to do so because of the First Amendment. America is a country where citizens can practice their faiths and speak and gather freely without government intervention These freedoms, guaranteed under the First Amendment, are critical, and we must preserve them at any cost. I’m Will Witt. Thank you guys so much for watching. If you want to see us continue to make videos on every amendment in the Bill of Rights, and answer other civics questions, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to PragerU today.

100 Comments

  • david shepherd

    There is no such thing as, free and independent news media….Period! They are owned and controlled by the globalists. Hell, truth itself is awol from the media and doesn't look like it will be back anytime soon.

  • david quintana

    Maybe someone should give a copy of this to the democrats. they need a freshen up on Free Speech.. As far as fake news.. That is up to the individual to sort out. If only we had a class that could teach Common Sense … Because we have a large deficit in that department.

  • Vincent Porcelli

    So 38 fascists downvoted this. Probably on the orders of their marxist professors. Even one downvote is indicative of the sorry state we find ourselves in. Can't wait for the frothing at the mouth when the second amendment is discussed.

  • Oswaldo Capriles

    So clear , so simple and yet Youtube , Facebook , Twitter and others don't get it . Or may be they get it but they don't give a shit .

  • canyonmann1

    Thanks for the video Will. Keep up the good work. Most of us do understand the First Amendment apparently however YouTube, Facebook and Twitter don't have a clue.

  • Dwight Hartmark

    The key word, in the right to assemble, is peacefully. You have the right to assemble, but you do not have the right to disrupt another from exercising their right to do so, by any manner, whatsoever.
    You can disagree, or you can protest, but you must not interfere with another's First Amendment rights. Period. We've all seen this, on college campuses and by those who protest outside of a Trump rally. Disruption of someone else's rights is illegal and law enforcement must move in and arrest those that engage in such actions. We cannot remain free and strong as a nation, if law enforcement agencies stand idly by and do nothing. It is the government's Constitutional duty to protect everyone's rights.

  • Knuckle Head

    “I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”
    -Thomas Paine 

    “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
    -John Stuart Mill

    “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Truth is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless, by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

  • Daan Schlüter

    Thanks to one of those prager ytp’s I always think megalovania is gonna play when I see the prageru intro

  • Yiffox

    This makes the classic mistake about rights in the US. Rights do not come from the Bill of rights, they come from god or nature, take your pick. You will always have a right to life and to defend that right no matter what a government says. The bill of rights places checks on the power of government to infringe on those rights.

  • Daniel Strauß

    I would beg to differ on

    America being the Freest country

    How would u define being free?
    For example, there are various european countries which enjoy more freedom of the press.

    Germany or Austria come to mind

    America being the most prosperous Country

    Simply not true
    But if u disregard Capita/person, sure yes.
    But that's not really a accuarate way to depict statistics is it PragerU.

    Qat 'ar (dont have the slightest clue how to spell it) various european countries aswell as Japan, South Korea etc.

    I still support basically every other argument regarding free speech, the right to choose a religion and all that other good stuff

    just a simple chap making use of my free speech privilige

    Gd or Gn Lads

  • Napoleon Bonparty

    America is not the most free country, not even close. Look at the freedom index. What do you mean with "the most prosperite country? Economic prosperity? America is not the richest country and it has a massive debt not only federal but although of private households.

  • Napoleon Bonparty

    America is not the most free country, not even close. Look at the freedom index. What do you mean with "the most prosperite country? Economic prosperity? America is not the richest country and it has a massive debt not only federal but although of private households.

  • Napoleon Bonparty

    America is not the most free country, not even close. Look at the freedom index. What do you mean with "the most prosperite country? Economic prosperity? America is not the richest country and it has a massive debt not only federal but although of private households.

  • byw

    Will's presentation lacks a conviction and sincerity. It sounds like he's just reading a script, kind of like a highschooler doing a presentation infront of his class. Will put some more emotion and authority in your next one.

  • Daneleemusic

    You idiotically say “do you like being able to PRACTICE your own religion?” And then admit that the First Amendment says “…free EXERCISE thereof.” You clearly do not recognize that there is a very big difference between the two!!

  • Mr. Baghdad

    What happened? Why did the left switch places and start to censor most free speech than the right did back in the 80's?

  • dr techtek

    "..If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it ios the freedom of free thought, not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought we hate…" Oliver Wandell Holmes Jr.

  • swapnarka arnan

    America is a wonderful and free nation. But liberals take it for granted. They don't appreciate what they have. I am indian and I love american and conservative value

  • völgyes ístvan

    FL passed an anti-semitism bill. Illegal to criticize Israel. Illegal to boycott Israel. Boycotts are protected free speech. Ask Prager U about that?

  • Melissa Juhnke

    Wish I could meet Will. His values are strong and much appreciated. I hope he keeps making videos so I can keep my values strong in while I attend an University.

  • ωαvεγ

    Except the press is not currently being used for any of the things listed. That’s why we have to listen to individuals on the radio rather then the main stream dinosaur media.

  • driveman

    The 1st amendment is like shopping at a mega super-store……..buy one, get 4 free!!

    (While supplies last, some restrictions apply, see store for details, cannot be combined with other amendments, not available in Hawaii, Alaska, parts of Tennessee and West Dakota)

  • Rod Martin, Jr.

    The characterization of the Press is outdated, especially when the mainstream press is run by Treasonous Globalist-Leftists who also have agents within the government running how the agencies work (Deep State Civil Service, that can't be fired).

    With corrupted government and Crony Capitalism (Leftist Capitalism), you get legislation that betrays Freedom of Speech, restricting speech on the Internet, keeping publishers like TheyTube, Twitheads and Fakebook protected as if they were platforms (which they're not, by their own behavior! )

  • Keith Montoya

    Freedom of speech does NOT exist in New York. Try referring to a queer by other than their preferred pronouns and a fine can become your new reality.

  • Your Daily Torment.

    LOL, Will Witt does not look as relaxed in this video as he does in his other videos where he interviews indoctrinated college kids.

  • Ssylphie

    Okay imma pick this apart using the power of my AP Government and Politics class. Also research. So hold on.
    •America isn’t the most prosperous country in the world my dude. Though I can’t say for sure what it is, I’m sure Norway or Sweden beats us.
    •You can exercise your first amendment rights freely (including speech and religion) as long as it doesn’t impede on others’ right to life. Such as you can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre.
    •Founding fathers (or at least Jefferson) wanted a separation between the Church and state.
    •Freedom of Speech being one of the most important rights in our constitution is completely subjective. One person can say it’s the least important right. Another can say it’s the most. REGARDLESS, you can still be punished for what you’re saying. For example, if ABC tells XYZ they are going to kill them and their family, they can be prosecuted. You have the freedom to say what you want, but not from the consequences of saying what you said.
    •I’m pretty sure that most of the press isn’t run solely by the government. In regards to fake news, why would the government be criticizing itself? (I’m sure it’s referring to people calling like CNN or MSNBC ‘fake news’, but they aren’t run by the government. They’re run by companies.)
    •Yes the first amendment protects your right to petition and protest. Technically it’s to Petition and Assemble peacefully, though.

  • Arctic John

    Thoughtful and succinct, but not well articulated in one vital respect. We don't have these rights because of the first amendment; we have these rights because we're human beings. We enjoy the exercise of these rights because we live in a country where our governments are prohibited from infringing upon these rights by a functional Constitution.

  • Gary Hillis

    These rights do not exist because they are written down. That is among the most outrageous and dangerous assertions I have ever heard about the Bill of Rights. People live in places where their rights are respected, but are not guaranteed in writing, and people live in places where their rights are written down, but not respected. This video suggests that rights are given to people by the government. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are a contract that tells the people and the government what their limitations and obligations are and what they may expect from each other.

    This is the worst video I have seen from PragerU.

  • FedUpin L.A.

    …or the right of the people to "PEACEABLY" assemble…..Not, break the law, trespass, interfere with others passage, block traffic, riot, loot, vandalize….that is not a right. It is a crime.

  • John Galtman

    Please define the press, because the enemies of free speech constantly say it only pertains to the press. I say it's anyone with a voice, a printing press, or an ability to talk to others, but I am told you need to go to school to be part of the press. Your thoughts?

  • jajsjsjdhnsksisjdjje

    so the first amendment states all religion should be respected but trump speaks freely about wanting to get rid of all muslims, and america is still the best country in the world. right

  • Markku Hänninen

    USA is 17. freest country in the world by Cato Institute human freedom index. https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/human-freedom-index-files/human-freedom-index-2018-revised.pdf

  • Rational Thinker

    Wrong. Wrong! WRONG!! The 1st Amendment gave us nothing. Free speech, and all our rights, are given by God not men. 1A merely recognizes that truth.

  • beacher425

    …make no law respecting an establishment of religion…. So misunderstood. At the time of the Constitution, most states had in their state constitutions an established state religion and the states did not want the Fed gov to have a Federally established religion. They didn't want the state religion of the more populated states to be pushed on them. Look up the original state constitutions. Now a days this part of the first amendment is used to supress all religions except Secular'Humanism… which is a government recognized religion. So the first amendment has come full circle from protecting all religions to supressing all except one.

  • musicmansuperman

    You should mention how Kaitlin Bennett gets shut out of almost every single gathering of the left she attends. The left spurns freedom of speech!

  • EandG Portland

    WoW lOoK at tHe LibERalS TrYiNg To taKE AwaY tHe FiRst ameNdmENt.

    It is completely within the constitutional right of a college to not accept a student for being a racist or “exercising freedom of speech.” Just because you can’t be arrested for hate speech doesn’t mean a private corporation is obligated to accept you regardless.

  • Dan Ridenour

    Do you understand the First Amendment? There is a lot left out.

    The crucial, crucial thing that people miss almost always is that government (and it's institutions like police, public schools, IRS, etc.) cannot do these things. Once you step off of the public square and onto private property, your speech, religion, and ability to protest can be heavily regulated or completely prohibited. Additionally, the things you say in the public square can be used against you in private settings. A private company can tell you that you can't have a political poster at your desk or say certain things in the office. By choosing to work there you agree to certain restrictions; since you aren't forced to work at any given company, if you disagree, you can always leave.

    A good example were some of the Charlottesville protestors who were fired from their jobs when pictures of them participating in the white supremacist protests were seen online.

    There are other laws of course that protect you in these private settings but those protections can vary and are subject to change unlike the First Amendment.

  • Marvin James

    We need to put All on our States Ballot. Our Govenor wants the state all all municipal employees to be immune from state taxes.

  • Chemical_X_ and co

    This is so hilarious because prager u does not understand the first amendment- Google censored some of their videos so they made a video complaining about it, like how can they not understand this, freedom of speech only applies to the government. This is a great example of how prager u warps facts to make you think the way they want you to.

  • Bart Sibrel

    WAKE UP! The press has not been FREE OR INDEPENDENT for a VERY LONG TIME!
    See two examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNzMjhtf2fg
    http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/land-moon-1960s-technology/

  • Dean Stout

    NO, these rights do not exist because of the 1st Amendment. (At .08). The Amendment was put into place to protect the existing rights from federal government powers, NOT to create a right.

  • TymP321

    Sir, you missed it. The press DOES NOT have to search for truth. They have the freedom to report misinformation. You might not like it, but while we expect the news to be truthful- it frequently isn't. Today it's perceived as a control mechanism rather than an unbiased information service.

  • TOUGH MAN RANDY SAVAGE

    New amendment in California "The right to shit and piss anywhere you want" and us Californians will fight and die for this right

  • Matt Holton

    Remember this is the same amendment that guarantees a separation of church and state. Remember then when you try to get the so called 10 commandments into schools.

  • meymey Gonzalez

    "america is the most free and most prosperous country in the world".

    you know for a supposed educational tool, they sure do like to make easily disprovable and incredibly broad claims. Sue maybe at one point in time this was true but not in today's world

    our boy will here also claims that America is somehow different because of the first amendment despite there being countless examples of other countries with Constitutions that have articles and statements addressing freedom of expression.

    what PragerU has failed to mention is that not all speech is protected by the constitution. Any Speech that has the realistic potential to bring harm to someone's well being, be it physical or mental is explicitly stated to not be protected as it infringes on other people's rights. these include Obscenity, Fighting words (as they are likely to cause harm to others), Defamation (including libel and slander) Child pornography, perjury (undermining the rule of law), blackmail, true threats, solicitation to commit crimes etc.

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