Government

Assignment-1

Chapter 4 in your textbook goes over a wide variety of civil liberties. On pages 115-120, the freedom of religion is explained, with emphasis on the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.  For this assignment, you will need to read the above-mentioned pages, in addition to the following web links and then answer the questions below in essay format:

https://civilrights.findlaw.com/discrimination/federal-religious-freedom-restoration-act-overview.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/gop-reintroduces-bill-pitting-religious-freedom-against-gay-marriage-n855836

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/us/politics/supreme-court-sides-with-baker-who-turned-away-gay-couple.html

1.) What do you think the founders original intent with the first amendment, specifically the freedom of religion, was?

2.) When Congress passed the RFRA in 1993, what was this designed to do? How have the many states reacted to this? Does Texas have any laws with regards to RFRA?

3.) In 2018, Congress introduced FADA.  What is the purpose of this law?  What current events and judicial court decisions may have lead to such a bill being introduced?

4.) What recent decisions did the Supreme Court make with regards to religion and politics?

5.) What civil liberty and/or civil rights issues may arise as a result of these most recent laws?  In your opinion, are civil liberties/rights in danger?

6.) Now having a decent amount of knowledge on the 1st Amendment, RFRA and FADA, what are your thoughts on these laws and proposed bills?  How might these impact our culture, politics, rights, etc?

This assignment must follow MLA guidelines, be typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, and be a minimum of 600 words with a works cited page.  The works cited are not included in the minimum word count. Any videos/ articles given in the assignment prompt MUST be used within your paper and cited in your works cited.  You must also use additional sources, as indicated in the prompt.  For more information on these topics, view the 4th Amendment folder in the current news and controversies folder, under Student Resources. 

assignment-2

What role do political protests play in policy making or policy changing?  For this assignment, you are going to read about and research both historical and modern day political protests and then explain how these protests may impact decision-making in the government or social change.   You will need to through the web links provided, and then do any extra research necessary to answer the questions below in essay format:

https://www.bustle.com/p/do-political-protests-actually-change-anything-29952

https://www.businessinsider.com/largest-marches-us-history-2017-1#the-million-woman-march-in-philadelphia-pennsylvania-october-25-1997-7

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/05/31/these-are-the-four-largest-protests-since-trump-was-inaugurated/?noredirect=on

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-googled-political-protests-2017-12

1.) After reading about the most influential protests from past and present, do you see any striking similarities between them?  Any differences in the way they were conducted or their effectiveness?  How does the government classify the difference between a protest group, political violence, and a terrorist organization?

2.) What significant protests are missing from these lists?  In light of history repeating itself, what protests do we see being reinvented as a result of changes not being made fast enough or for problems that were not resolved in the past?

3.) Do you believe that most protests are more effective in making a social change versus a political one?  Explain.

4.) Are protests effective in helping lawmakers more quickly act on issues simmering in society? Why or why not? Does the emotionality of political violence of terrorist organization activity prompt lawmakers to act faster than with peaceful protests? Why or why not?

5.) How has technology impacted the need for physical protesting?  Do you think social media “protesting” is as effective as physically showing up?  Explain,

6.) Are there any issues in our country today that would tempt you to get involved with a protest?  What issue and why?  Would you be more willing to protest online versus in person?

This assignment must follow MLA guidelines, be typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, and be a minimum of 600 words with a works cited page.  The works cited are not included in the minimum word count. Any articles/web links given in the assignment prompt MUST be cited in your paper and works cited.  Any additional research must be cited as well.  

assignment-3

For this discussion, we are going to look at a topic that has literally been all over the media outlets: Is the media public enemy #1? While a distrust of the media has been rising in the past decades, we are at a new crossroads with news reporting and information sharing.  Read pages 434-435 (What’s at Stake?) in your text as well as the following articles and then do any additional research as necessary and then answer the following questions:

https://www.macalester.edu/news/2017/04/how-news-has-changed/

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-politicians-use-media-to-win-elections-2315204

https://journalism.uoregon.edu/news/six-ways-media-influences-elections

https://reportgarden.com/2017/09/18/social-media-political-landscape/

1.) How has media changed over time?  Does the way information is delivered impact the message being delivered?  (think about the game of telephone we used to play as kids–does word of mouth, reading a newspaper, watching the evening news, reading an online news article or getting information on social media impact the message?)

2.) How do candidates/politicians use the media to get his or her messages across to us?

3.) Reading “Whats at stake” in the text, what does this tell us about living in the information bubble?  How do you feel about this?

4.) We keep hearing about the media being an enemy to democracy.  Is the assault on the media new?  What has changed causing the media to be more “to blame” in politics?

5.) Because candidates and lawmakers have unlimited access to social media, has this changed the exchange of information between citizen and politician? Explain.

6.) What about the “fake news” claims?  How valid are these claims and how seriously should these claims be taken?  If there really is a rise in fake news, how should we, the voters in this country, respond?  How can you spot the fake news? How will you as a conscientious voter (or potential voter), delineate fact from fiction and spot the bias in most news organizations.

7.) Finally, as a citizen, potential citizen, voter, potential voter, what are your overall thoughts about the media?  Do you trust the information being delivered is the truth? How will you decide who you will vote for, knowing how information is delivered and the potentiality of it being fake, biased, etc?

This assignment must follow MLA guidelines, be typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, and be a minimum of 600 words with a works cited page.  The works cited are not included in the minimum word count. Any articles/web links given in the assignment prompt MUST be cited in your paper and works cited.  Any additional research must be cited as well.  

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