First Amendment Voice

So, I am quite adverse towards organizations, since my experience with them seem to always allude to their ulterior motives. Many “Not-For-Profit” organizations are usually the exact opposite, all about profit at any cost. Recently I found out about First Amendment Voice and I was skeptical and I remain skeptical. This however did not stand in my way of reaching out to them to find out what they are up to.

Their Mission Statement:

“About First Amendment Voice

Our essential rights and responsibilities as self-governing citizens are expressed in the First Amendment.  We are launching a comprehensive initiative that reaffirms and promotes our First Amendment rights and responsibilities.

We can accomplish this through education, advocacy, network development, and by promoting grassroots solutions.  It is vital to build a foundation with an understanding of the meaning and application of the 1st Amendment; to address issues and policies affecting these rights through advocacy; to build a broad pluralistic constituency of citizens as this is vital to all, regardless of religion, race, culture, or socio-economic background; and to demonstrate through grassroots solutions the power of self-governing ethical citizens engaged in solving problems facing our communities.

Our Mission:
First Amendment Voice serves to invigorate citizens to understand and exercise First Amendment rights through a collaborative campaign of education and advocacy.

Universal Principles and Values:

+ Commitment to something greater than oneself.
+ Respect and caring for others.
+ Service above self.”

“Ok, seems normal” is what I said to myself. So I asked some more questions and what I got was very eye-opening.

Basically, they are a diverse group of people who volunteer their personal time trying to gain a foot hold in America. They are just starting out and from what I can tell so far, they really want to encourage more dialogue, conversation and discussion. They have members that lean to the right and members that lean to the left, yet they attempt to remain neutral. Why? Because they say they want everyone to use their 1ST Amendment Right, regardless of affiliation.

So, if you get the chance check them out, they even got some space of my sidebar today.

In closing, I am not affiliated with First Amendment Voice in any way. But like them, I seek out adversity and conversation. I dont care what anyone wants to talk about, as long as they are willing to hear out others once they are done with their speil.

Advertisements

53 thoughts on “First Amendment Voice

    1. First Amendment Voice

      Thanks for an open mind, Rakkelle, and thanks to Bottomless Coffee 007 for the plug. We definitely understand and appreciate skepticism. In fact, we encourage critical thinking about how and from whom people get their information. An informed, engaged citizenry is the only way our Republic can continue. Love this discussion area!

    1. bottomlesscoffee007

      It might be Goldie. Then again who knows unless you or anyone asks. In this day and age, we pick apart what we want to and go from there. You could be completely right though. In any regard, it’s always worth asking for more information.

      I recently started to chat with some atheists. They and I don’t really see eye to eye on much, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage with each other.

      I can totally understand and appreciate your skepticism. I am skeptical as well. I hope I am never not skeptical.

      1. Yes, people say that I’m too “skeptical”, but it’s realism. I’d rather you prove me wrong than me get suckered into make-believe.

        Also, let us know how those chats go. I tried conversing with one of them in high school, but they thought I was naive, and I didn’t see their logic, so we didn’t really discuss much. Since then, I might have encountered jaded people, who decided to rebel against religion, but they were so lost that they didn’t know what they were.

        1. bottomlesscoffee007

          It’s easy to get jaded when all you encounter are more jaded people. I totally understand where you are coming from.

    2. First Amendment Voice

      “Caring” is a signal to all that their opinion will be considered and not vilified in the public square. Too much demonization of folks who don’t look or sound like us going on in our discourse nowadays. We intentionally push back on the fear-mongering that goes on in the Outrage Industry. The 1st Amendment belongs to each and every citizen, yet many feel alienated from today’s divisive partisan rhetoric.

          1. Oh heck no! That’s the last thing I would ever accuse you of.
            I kinda feel this group is a load of old crap.
            We have the First Amendment to protect our first amendment rights. Anything else is superfluous. It’s like that Monty Python sketch about the Ministry of Silly Walks. Creating something for the sake of it or to spread fear rather than because it’s actually needed.
            My personal thought is all this does is allow hate speech under the guise of First Amendment rights. If you are making statements that require a group to be set up to protect your right to say that IN ADDITION to the Constitution, the document that defines our Country – then it just might be that you need to rethink either your statement or how you present it.

            Obviously the use of the word ‘you’ is a generalisation. I’m not commenting personally but collectively

            1. bottomlesscoffee007

              Ok, thanks for the clarification Britchy. Honestly though, I wouldn’t take offense if you did though. I would simply take it as constructive criticism.

              What do you mean by “hate speech” Britchy? Are you saying that what you see/read seems to be some kind of a group set up to protect only “certain” people?

              Please expound on your thought. I am quite interested.

              1. I don’t mean any particular hate speech. It just presents to me as another way of casting aspersions on the government. For all the attack’s on both the current administration and the Obama administration relating to them curtailing free speech, I’ve never seen any evidence. TV personalities, football players, students, women marchers.. we are living in a time when people are practising their first amendment rights without impunity and sadly in many cases, without thought. I don’t think the US needs it’s right to free speech protected as much as it’s Citizens need THEIR right not to be assailed with constant vitriol from all angles.
                I’m a steadfast believer in free speech BUT if you can’t make your point in a respectful and considered manner and be able to back it up with facts and not finger pointing, ranting and cries of persecution.. then piss off!
                I don’t mean that lady bit, I just couldn’t resist being flippant!
                Seriously though, ‘your’ right to free speech shouldn’t impinge on my rights to peace and quiet. If I pay $$$ to go to a show I expect to be entertained not indoctrinated.
                As it stands, the first amendment is used very freely. Look at the crap on tv and in newspapers. I don’t see people afraid to voice their opinion so a group set up to ‘protect’ that seems designed to creat an atmosphere that evidence shows isn’t real.

                1. bottomlesscoffee007

                  Ok, now that I can understand. So, do you think this organization is just a front? A money making scheme?

                  I get what you’re saying. “Your rights end where mine begin” right?

                  1. No I don’t mean your rights end where mine begin, more that your rights shouldn’t trample all over mine.
                    In the case of entertainment for example, their right to their opinion doesn’t matter when I’ve paid to hear them sing or play a sport. Under those circumstances, they are there to provide a service not a sermon.
                    As for the group – who knows? They good be rose tinted idealists or scheming fake news spreaders. Either way, my opinion is that the group is unnecessary and alarmist because people’s right to free speech is already protected at the highest level and there is no evidence that free speech is curtailed

                    1. bottomlesscoffee007

                      Thanks for explaining Britchy, now I really understand what you’re saying.

                      Yeah, why do we need a non-profit for a right we already have?

                    2. First Amendment Voice

                      This is a great discussion thread, and we wish we weren’t needed. The unfortunate situation in the U.S. is the result of two different trends that we have identified (and probably others but I’ll simplify for the sake of this conversation.)
                      1) Apathy – a lot of folks are ambivalent about the importance of the principles in the founding documents. We believe this is partly due to a lack of civic education in the U.S. and a general loss of confidence in institutions (the media, churches, government, schools, etc.)
                      2) Fear – people fear stating their opinion given the extreme partisan nature and politicization of many issues. As a result, the sit on the sidelines, or the fence 😉 and are afraid to offer their voice to the public discourse.
                      Both of these trends contribute to a lack of civic engagement. We exist to encourage citizens to take ownership over their liberty. A favorite quote, “Citizenship is not a spectator sport.”

                    3. bottomlesscoffee007

                      That’s a true statement. I blog and podcast anonymously. I too am scared to be forthright with my thoughts, observations and stances in public. I know what can happen if someone doesn’t like what I have to say. The effects could be devastating for me and my family.

                    4. I agree that Citizenship isn’t a spectator sport. I’ve been a Citizen for three years and I actively take part in everything I can.
                      I’ll agree with apathy. You only have to look at how few vote to see that. I think that’s more to do with people truly not caring than that they have an opinion and just don’t discuss it. Those are people who are (respectfully) irrelevant. If they chose not to participate then there isn’t any speech, free or otherwise to protect.
                      As for those afraid to speak because of rudeness on both sides of the political spectrum – How do you fix that? Protection of free speech isn’t an issue from the government but from the media, sites like Facebook and our peers. How do you/we change that? I’m firmly against any more bloody laws. We have far to many as it is and you can’t legislate people into good manners so how do we create a forum of respect?
                      Please excuse any typos. I have eyesight problems at the moment and don’t always pick up on them.

    1. First Amendment Voice

      Love this comment! To be clear, FAV does not sit on the fence. While we don’t usually take a position on a particular issue, we aggressively defend all citizen’s rights to have a position. We firmly stand behind the principles espoused in the 1st: freedoms of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition. Thank you for helping clarify that point.

          1. bottomlesscoffee007

            That’s what I’m asking as well Britchy.

            Let me put into perspective my skepticisms.

            I am a firm believer in the 2A. Awhile back (like 15 years or so ago) I became a life member of the NRA and then eventually the Gun Owners of America (GOA). In the past 15 years it seems as if the NRA has done more and more damage to the 2A.

            So like you, I also don’t understand the need for another 501c “possible lobby group” to pay zero in taxes yet influence legislation and regulation.

            It’s a fair question.

          2. First Amendment Voice

            FAV is not attempting to supplant the 1st Amendment. We attempt to empower those who feel they have no voice or are afraid to add their voice to the public discourse. We’re still trying to figure out how to best do that, but we believe encouraging citizens to actively take ownership over issues in their community is part of the solution. Too many people discount the impact that they can have. I don’t think that applies to you Britchy or BottomlessCoffee007, who need no prodding to contribute to issues in this forum. However, I would ask if you are adding your voice at the school board, local government, calling your member of Congress on issues, etc.? That is the active participation FAV believes this form of government requires. FAV is not anti-government. However, the ultimate rights (and therefore responsibilities) rest with the citizens. If they do not exercise those rights/responsibilities, the government may go down a path that ultimately limits them. Bad for all.

            1. Oh you can bet your ass I’ve been down haranguing my representative, Tom Reed! I think he must get a nervous twitch every time he hears an English accent! I go to town hall meetings, I make a point of contacting local candidates standing for election and I’ve inspected at every election since I’ve been a citizen. I know I’m being called for jury duty after Christmas as I just had to postpone it due to hospital appts but I cannot wait to be called. I actively encourage everyone to do the same! I couldn’t agree more with you about use your rights so you can’t lose them. I had to take a Citizenship test and I carry a small booklet copy of the constitution in my handbag. I think this is an amazing country and I’m extremely proud of my Citizenship of it. There are things here that aren’t right but it’s better than every other country I’ve lived in and I’ve lived in a few 😊

              1. bottomlesscoffee007

                That’s the thing about immigrants. My wife is an immigrant as well. You immigrants, when you come here the legal way you people seem to thrive. I guess because you can truly see the value that the U.S. Constitution and America hold. Since it is foreign to you at first.

                Great job Britchy. You’re an outstanding American!!!

              2. First Amendment Voice

                Great response, Britchy! While you, newly arrived to this country, have the benefit of experiencing other forms of government, many natural born Americans take their rights for granted or are plain ignorant of them. Many have never read the Constitution and do not understand the basic responsibilities that go with citizenship. From your response, you are conducting yourself as a model citizen, holding leaders accountable. There’s no “fire and forget” (to use a military term) at the voting both in our form of government. You should vote your conscience and then hold elected officials to task. Write letters to the editor, ask tough questions during meetings and town halls, and engage in order to ensure your voice is heard. Many people feel as if their voice does not matter. FAV aims to inspire them to contribute to conversations wherever they find themselves.
                Thank you for your service as an active citizen. FAV would love to get your insights about our programming and how to better engage others who may not be as conversant in understanding civic responsibilities or maybe unsure about how to exercise them. Feel free to reach out on our website firstamendmentvoice.org or follow us on Facebook/Twitter. We currently have a contest on Facebook where you could win a $100 Amazon giftcard just for signing up for our free monthly newsletter.

        1. First Amendment Voice

          Bottomless Coffee 007, thanks for learning about FAV and notifying us of your blog site. We’re just a small group who have been trying to educate and advocate on behalf of all citizens’ first amendment freedoms.
          Thank you also for commenting on a topic many of your followers are passionate about. We are too. We’ll follow the discussions and contribute to the dialogue.

          1. bottomlesscoffee007

            Awesome, thanks. I think this is a fair “shake” if you will. I can understand the desire to encourage more engagement. That is my goal as well with my Blog and Podcast.

            With that being said, I am open to criticism and question.

            I think you have good intentions, but only time will tell. The same is true of me and my platforms and goals.

            I plugged your organization, because from what I can tell you’re fairly small so therefore accessible. Too many 501c organizations are too far removed from the public for the public to actually engage with them.

            Please do not take this the wrong way, but whenever I hear about any organization offering “education” I immediately think “re-education”.

            Your organization will continue to have space on this blog as long as FAV remains accessible to the readers.

            If you truly want to succeed, you must hear others out and be open to their questions and criticisms.

          1. I’ve been blogging a long time as well but some things I just never did before. I basically have one writing blog and the other two are where I post free picture tubes/clip art. Not too hard to keep up with, especially with no more traffic than they get. But I love designing and posting free stuff.

Leave a Reply to rue202 Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.