“Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right to petition the government for a redress of government.”(Ravitch, 118) As stated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the people of this nation have the right to exercise their beliefs out loud, or in writing. With this in mind, does the government have the right to undermine the foundation of our nation, and censor what we read, watch, and listen to? Many people think not, but there are those who believe that censorship is better for the people.
Some Americans believe that censorship is a benefit to society. These people think that the government should decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for the people to see, and do away with the inappropriate music, articles, and novels. There have been alterations made to music lyrics to make them “acceptable” for the public to listen to. An example of this would be a song performed by Cole Porter entitled “I Get A Kick Out of You”, in which the lyrics “I get no kick from cocaine,” were change to “I get perfume from Spain” (A Brief…1950’s, 2). There have also been attempts to prevent the young from obtaining inappropriate material such as music. In 1992 the Washington State government passed a law that required all music storeowners to place an “Adults Only” label on music that was deemed “erotic” by a state judge. This law made it illegal to sell the labeled material to minors, people under the age of eighteen. Those persons who believe censorship is a good thing, try to ban certain books that they fell are “dangerous” to the youth of America. This act is done during the final week in September, also known as Banned Books Week. During this time, a list of books that are felt dangerous, as well as one of books that have been banned in local libraries and public school systems is published for the public to read. Many people favor censorship, as they feel it benefits the nation.
There are also a great number of people who disagree with this, but in order to format your own opinion about censorship, some information needs to be known. Censorship affects books, newspapers, magazines, movies, radio and television programs, speeches, music, and various other arts. Governments and private groups take advantage of censorship when they feel threatened by free expression. Every society, including the United States, has used censorship when the leaders felt it would be beneficial to the nation or themselves. (Censorship, 345) There are four main types of censorship: moral, political, military, and religious. Moral censorship is the most common, as well as the most controversial. Moral censorship occurs when a specific person or group feels it can force its ideas and beliefs on others. An example of moral censorship is the practice of banning books. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain (also known...