Sounds odd? Read on.
Whether you’re an American reading this or not – it really does surprise me. You may ask why.
God love them and I do mean that – but so many Americans will, if asked, only remember the part of their Constitution that is applicable to them, if at all.
The annual State of the First Amendment survey, held by the First Amendment Center (www.firstamendmentcenter.org), questions adult Americans on their attitude towards the rights spelled out in the First Amendment. This year it found the following:
• 39% would extend to subscription cable and satellite television the government’s current authority to regulate content on over-the-air broadcast television.
• 54% would continue IRS regulations that bar religious leaders from openly endorsing political candidates from the pulpit without endangering the tax-exempt status of their organizations.
• 66% say the government should be able to require television broadcasters to offer an equal allotment of time to conservative and liberal broadcasters; 62% would apply that same requirement to newspapers, which never have had content regulated by the government.
• 38% would permit government to require broadcasters to report a specified amount of “positive news” in return for licenses to operate.
• 31% would not permit musicians to sing songs with lyrics that others might find offensive.
• 68% favor government restrictions on campaign contributions by private companies, and 55% favor such limits on amounts individuals can contribute to someone else’s campaign.
Is it then; that Americans don’t see the US Constitution the same way or in the same spirit that is was written or that the US culture and the essence of the US has outgrown the Constitution?
Many around the world see the US Constitution as an inflexible thing because it is written, not only on paper, but a perceived document etched in stone. So many an American will tell you, if you should speak to them about the Constitution, that this or that is their right under which the Constitution gives them that right. Yet, as we can see – not that many really know what is there as the five basic freedoms.