Nearly 40 Percent of Americans Can’t Name a Single First Amendment Freedom

Freedom_of_Thought_Ben_FranklinAmericans may cherish their freedoms, yet many don’t know even what they are. In the State of the First Amendment survey, conducted by the Newseum Institute and USA Today, 39 percent of respondents couldn’t name a single one of the five freedoms at the core of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

“More needs to be done to explain how our foundational rights can be fully realized in today’s complex society,” according to Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum.

Explaining these freedoms is the first step for people to appreciate, support and defend those liberties. Only informed citizens can defend these freedoms that are at the very core of democracy. And this is the most complex question that comes from the survey: What can we collectivity do to form more knowledgeable citizens? It is a question that encompasses several areas: family, school, and media could all aim to better inform people about their rights.

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