Monday, October 13, 2008

clemency, forgiveness, mercy

To grant clemency, to extend forgiveness, to show mercy are honorable and commendable actions especially in Christianity. The truth is that there is none other in the world and in course of time who overdid Christ in being merciful, forgiving and clement. The fact that He taught his followers to say but one and only one prayer, seeking to “…forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us…”

This being the case, it can be rightfully said that clemency, forgiveness and mercy are the composite elements of the Flag of Christianity, with the necessity however of junking the mandate of justice, the imperative of equity.

In fact, the most salient substantive content of the asking portion of the signal and distinct Prayer “Our Father” as above cited, is the following: That as surely as we offend others, others also offend us. That the petition goes this way: As the Good Lord generously forgives our trespasses against Him, so too we forgive those who trespass against us – especially so when these are repentant for the wrong they did to us.

The right paring wherefore is the offended forgiving the offender, or the victim shows clemency, extends forgiveness, show mercy to his or her victimizer. Needless to say, this is difficult but somehow heroic to do as it should be done according to the Christian code of conduct.

The easiest and neatest thing to do is for someone to grant clemency to someone who has not in any way hurt or violated such a “benevolent”, “compassionate” and “understanding” persona. This clemency—granted merely by a political prerogative—is so far from the “real thing”, i.e., the act is far from the paring of a really offended individual vis-à-vis a deliberately offending character. In this case, the “merciful, forgiving and clement” Chief Executive acts with a sense of omnipotence, more so, a feeling of divinity.

No! This is not to argue against the prerogative itself of granting executive clemency that is attached to a given public Office. Yes! This is to question the exercise of the prerogative of executive clemency by reason of transaction politics, on account of social status, by virtue of preferential treatment.

In this case, instead of the consecrated maxim that “those who have less in life should have more in law,” its exact reversal is practiced: Those who have less should also have less in law. What pity! What a farce!

In such an event, while the supposedly clement supreme reigning public official could experience the extent of power and the force of influence, and while the criminal thus freed has much reason to celebrate, the victim remains dead, the latter’s family feels betrayed and remains grieving.

Reason: The prerogative of executive clemency was exercised against its mandated procedural norm, against basic reason, against elementary prudence. This is why the otherwise exalted prerogative is now being questioned, depreciated if not ridiculed.


+OVCruz, DD
October 13, 2008