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The good in Good Friday

There is much good in Good Friday. Here I would like to mention one incident that is often overlooked -

Jesus was now brought before the governor; 'Are you the king of the Jews?' the governor asked him. 'The words are yours,' said Jesus; and when the chief priests and elders brought charges against him he made no reply. Then Pilate said to him, 'Do you not hear all this evidence they are bringing against you?' but to the governor's great astonishment he refused to answer a single word.

The right to silence was fought for in the 16th century by John Lambert, who died for refusing to answer religious questions that would force him to condemn himself. In the 17th century John Lilburne fought for the principle, and endured whipping, the pillory, and imprisonment. They took their stand from Jesus, who refused to answer his interrogators. Later the right to silence was enshrined in Common Law, and in the US Constitution.

Torture has frequently been the response of interrogators to silence. The law that protects the right to silence also protects us from torture. More fundamentally, it protects us from condemning ourselves, and compels justice to prove its case.

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