Judicial independence, free speech

“If there is no judicial independence, everyone is put in jeopardy; if there is no free speech, every single life has lived in vain.” ~ Ai Weiwei

When I read this, I couldn’t help but hear echoes from other people who spoke up. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the first that came to mind. That Lutheran minister and pacifist who spoke up against the Nazi regime. He spent much of the Second World War imprisoned in Germany, administering to his fellow prisoners and dissidents. Ultimately, he lost his life within weeks of the Allied forces liberating the prison where he was.

And then I heard the voice of another Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller, who became a pacifist and an opponent of the Nazis. His famous poem about not speaking up when they came for others (Socialists, Trade Unionists, Jews) reverberated in my mind.


4 thoughts on “Judicial independence, free speech

  1. Bless your heart, Amy! At first my comment was “shape of the playing field” and going on to mention players…but I actually abhor sports, and it didn’t seem very authentic. So I rewrote the comment before hitting the button-of-no-return.

    You are creating great, original thoughts and messages with your blog…please do keep up the good work!


    • Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I write because it is a creative outlet. It gives me solace. It lets me think out loud. It…does many things for me. To touch someone else with my words? That is an honor.


  2. There must be some barrier of resistance, then sadness, then…possibly….release, when one finds that purpose on the other side of injustice. I can only imagine it. But I can imagine that Bonhoeffer was in fact free–freer than his captors, freer even than the liberators who missed him by weeks. Such as Bonhoeffer, WeiWei, and now YOURSELF, realize that the injustice is not the focus. It is only the theatrical set. The focus is on the characters with whom we interact, with whom we negotiate that peculiar, obstacle-strewn stage.

    This was a tremendous, essential post you have made. I so hope many more discover it–well done!


    • Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your insights. You have given me points to ponder. I like your descriptive juxtaposition of the theatrical set vs. the characters…the inanimate vs. the animate…the situation vs. the people…and how you highlighted that the focus needs to be on the people, not the injustice. That the purpose is not in attacking the injustice per se but moving beyond it to the people affected by it.


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