An argument from silence

Be careful with arguments from silence: sometimes they are valid.

A circle of respected elders accuse the woman and test the teacher. She has committed adultery, she was caught in the act. What do you say about that, unauthorised wannabe rabbi? We know the rules, and the scripture behind them, and the traditions through which the Bible must be read. Do you?

The powerful young man says nothing. His crowd of followers waits for him to respond to the extraordinary interruption. He writes in the earth. They insist. He challenges them to act on their beliefs, and writes again.  They leave, in order of seniority.

Again, accusers accuse. This one believes that the Creator made an unfolding world. This one has taught her children about dinosaurs. This one scoffs at the Foundation Clause – we caught him in the very act.

The young man watches: his Father has already written in the earth. Written in the stones, written in their strata, written in the coal, in the chemistry, in the snow and ice, in the stars. In every cell of your body, sister. In every moment of your heart and mind, brother.

Listen.

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