Relief Society and the First Amendment

I was so excited about the candidate quiz yesterday that I neglected to mention something that disturbed me greatly in Relief Society on Sunday.

I was visiting my parents over the weekend, so instead of hanging out in the primary, I was subjected to a Relief Society lesson. (Every time I go to Relief Society, I appreciate Primary a little more.)

At some point in the lesson the teacher asked if anyone knew the First Amendment (don’t ask how this relates to the lesson which, as you might know, should have been “I know that my Redeemer lives”). I was disturbed that no one raised their hands.

Here’s how the rest of it played out:

I half-heartedly wave my hand. “I don’t know the exact wording,” I qualify, “but I know what’s in it.” That’s what’s important anyway, I think. That you know what’s in there.

I start my list: “Religion, speech, press, assembly -” She cuts me off. “That’s not the First Amendment,” she says. And proceeds to read a portion of Kennedy’s inaugural address from 1961. Later in the lesson she expresses gratitude that the First Amendment “is about” freedom of religion.

Back at my parents’ house, as I regale them with the tale (my mom is a primary teacher), I find out that this woman is a teacher.

So, here are the basics of the First Amendment and what it protects:

  1. Religion
  2. Speech
  3. Press
  4. Peaceful assembly
  5. Petition the government

Here is the text of the First Amendment to the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the 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.

And, for fun, do yourself a favor and read the Constitution. And do it more than once. Do it regularly.

Tags: relief society, read the Constitution, First Amendment, Kennedy inaugural address,
Relief Society lesson

0 thoughts on “Relief Society and the First Amendment”

  1. Reminds me of the time a sister got up in sacrament meeting and bore her testimony about how thankful she was that George W. was re-elected for president three years ago. My jaw all but hit the floor…

  2. no kidding…

    maybe she has a testimony that G.W. is meant to bring about the Apocalypse. If anyone can start the chain of events leading to the 2nd Coming, it’s G.W.

  3. your RS teacher needs a lesson in teaching, it sounds like. i knit in church, because those knitting needles are magic. (they keep my mouth shut, for the most part)

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