The freedom of assembly is another right guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States which Christians have used to defend their right to gather in church buildings and other public areas for the purpose of worship and fellowship.
It is unlikely that the founding fathers had religious assemblies in mind when they wrote about the right to peaceably assemble, as religious assemblies would more properly fall under the right to practice religion. The right to assemble more likely had in view the right of people to assemble for political reasons, such as for peaceable protests and demonstrations.
Nevertheless, the church sometimes has claimed the right to assemble for purposes that are contrary to the example of Jesus and the values of the gospel.
Churches have sometimes used the right to assemble to obstruct the rights of other people. Some churches picket businesses which engage in practices the church condemns. Some churches try to hinder other groups of people from gathering to celebrate their lifestyle or religion. A few churches have even used their right to assemble for the purpose of interrupting funerals and blocking parades.
Then, of course, there are the churches that want to build a giant building right in the middle of a quiet residential area, and even though the entire community is upset about the traffic this mega church will cause during the nights and weekends, the church uses their freedom of assembly to defend their right to construct their building anywhere they please.
Christians would be wise to remember that one of our primary purposes for existence is to be a blessing to the world. Yet far too often we are viewed as a curse. People are more likely to associate us with screaming, yelling, fanatical sign-wavers, than with loving, serving, humble ministers of grace.
We do have a right to assemble in this country, but as followers of Jesus, we must be ready and willing to sacrifice that right for the sake of others. Our assembly as the Body of Christ is primarily a spiritual gathering into Christ, and so whether we gather in large groups or small, we can still know that we are assembled with all other saints around the world and throughout time (For more on this understanding of church, see my book, Skeleton Church).
The truth of the gospel is that we are already assembled in Jesus Christ. And for this assembly, we need no permission from the government, nor do we need to fight for such a right, because in so doing, we turn the blessings of the gospel into a curse.