The Five Freedoms

More so than any other part of the U.S. Constitution of Bill of Rights, the five freedoms of the First Amendment embody what is most sacred about America’s historic commitment to create a free and responsible society. The Freedom Forum’s 2022 Update to its survey “The First Amendment: Where America Stands” shows “Americans strongly value the First Amendment, but there’s uncertainty and tension when it comes to how these freedoms are exercised in today’s world.”

 Religious Liberty

Since 1791, the first sixteen words of the First Amendment — “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” — have enshrined religious liberty as a fundamental, inalienable right for all human beings.

Learn More | 5 Things You Can Do


With the right to freedom of speech comes responsibility: the responsibility to be respectful in how we speak, and the responsibility to protect others’ right to freedom of speech, regardless of whether we agree or are interested in what they are saying. And, something we forget or frequently misunderstand, the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to not be offended.

Learn More | 5 Things You Can Do


Without a free and vigorous press to keep government honest and guarantee the free flow of information, open societies cannot flourish. As the great journalist Edward R. Murrow once wrote, “a nation of sheep begets a government of wolves.”

Learn More | 5 Things You Can Do


Over the course of our history, the right to assemble peaceably has protected all sorts of individuals and viewpoints. Suffragettes, union workers, civil rights advocates, anti-war activists and Ku Klux Klan members have all taken to the streets and sidewalks to make themselves seen and heard.

Learn More | 5 Things You Can Do


The last of the First Amendment’s five freedoms, the right to petition is, in many ways, the chief procedural means Americans have for making their desires known. It guarantees our right to ask government at any level to right a wrong or correct a problem.

Learn More | 5 Things You Can Do