As a Tea Partier, and a Libertarian with strong Conservative values. I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. I also believe in the idea that our rights come from God himself. They do not come from our government, or man, they come from God period. Or if you don’t believe in God, they are known as our natural rights. That’s why I believe in the three aforementioned documents, and champion them so much. So with that being said. I am going to tackle that which is what I feel is the most controversial amendment of the constitution. The first amendment which is the freedom of religion, assembly, press, and free speech. It’s pretty clear, cut, and dry if you as me. However, it seems that our current political landscape from angles. Is twisting the first amendment around into something that resonates with their viewpoint. Then trying to cut down, and criticize others who don’t view it the way they do. Especially when it comes for free speech. One example of this is Flag Burning. As a true patriot, and proud American. I find this practice to be absolutely abhorrent. It personally offends me, and deeply hurts me. However, I must also remind myself what that flag represents to me. It represents freedom, that includes the right to express myself as long as I hurts no one. If cannot respect that. Then all I’m doing is reducing that symbol of undying freedom, to a piece of cloth. If we are not living out what the meaning behind the American flag means. Then in essence we sub-consciously burning it anyway. Again I say I find this practice to be offensive, but I must respect ones right to free speech. With that being said I also have the right to openly speak my opinion on how I feel about this practice. What I also find interesting is how certain people get offending over that, but don’t get offended at other obscene practices used with the American Flag. Such as American Flag welcome mats. I personally don’t like the idea of wiping my feet on the American Flag. Another example is American Flag underwear. Nothing says patriotism like skid marks on ole glory. The American Flag is a great landmark, and a personal cornerstone to freedom. If we are living out it’s meaning we have no right to get offended at people burning it. Another example is Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. As a proud devout Christian. I find what Fred Phelps and his congregation does is utterly appalling. The protest of dead soldiers funerals is absolutely despicable. I also state for a fact the Fred, and his congregation are furthest thing from Christians in my book. However, in most of their protest they have complied with city laws, and law enforcement. I will say that just because you have the right, doesn’t mean that what you are saying, or doing is right. That is definitely the case with Fred Phelps and his congregation. As sad as it is to say. The right of free speech gives that right to people, who will inherently abuse that right. We must sometimes accept that which is almost unacceptable. I know that some of this may be a bitter pill to sallow. Believe me, it is for me sometimes. However, we must celebrate, and champion free speech. Because it is a right of the people under our constitution. More censorship, laws will not fix this problem. If you don’t like what someone says, you have the right to state your opinion peacefully, or ignore them altogether. Sometimes the first amendment means having to avert our eyes, and ears sometimes.