The third pillar of the First Amendment's temple of liberty is the "abridgement" clause: ... freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The "abridgement" clause comprises three distinct but intimately related parts: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.
-- Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press is arguably the area in which the United States is distinct from all other nations in the latitude permitted the press, electronic and otherwise, in the dissemination of opinions. It is true enough that virtually all other nations, especially those whose ideological DNA can be traced back to the 18th-century European Enlightenment, have free media, a
I always read the Patheos web page with interest, usually agreeing, sometimes disagreeing. Once in a while, though, Patheos has a tendency to “view with alarm”, and thereby to give us one more item to worry about – which would not be a problem if the given item were worth worrying about it. Often the alarm being raised pertains to something that really is worth worrying about. But not always. In the “not always” column goes Patheos’ recent – well … not all that recent: 2014 -- “viewing with alarm” of Justice Clarence Thomas’s assertion that States probably do have the prerogative under the Constitution of establishing an “official” State religion. That assertion is (a) just true enough to engender alarm, but (b) not true enough to merit worry. Patheos’s heart is in the right place, bu