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.