Nobody wanted to tell him that he should not be president, that he had slipped, especially toward nighttime. Nobody would tell Marshal Petain that the Victor of Verdun, hero of World War I, the war to end all wars, was no longer the man he once had been. They were kind, they walked in their hopes. As a result, they pushed him to a role he could not fill, flattered him by lies. They were merciful, but cowards. They should have told the truth.
Cowardice is not mercy, but cowardice can hide as mercy.
When sin is called virtue by the elite of the nation, then even those who might not wish to agree are also not eager to disagree lest they seem losers. Instead of openly disagreeing with the spirit of the age, the pandering soul acts “mercifully.” This is not the real mercy that forgives real sin, but a false mercy that pretends the vice is a virtue!
Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery: Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. The modern man is happy not to condemn, not eager to ask for a cessation of sin.
Of course, there are some real sins, like the hideous evil of racism that the coward will denounce. He can denounce this real evil, because those he admires also denounce that evil. The coward is hard on the sins committed by those he despises. He is torn, thoughtful, biting his lower lip over the sins that his betters do not view as sins at all. He must not say too much or the sinner might be sad over his sin.
That would be hard, nasty, hurtful. Mayhap the coward hopes that he will never be seen as hard, nasty, or hurtful. Maybe if he wriggles, then his compromises will be seen as compassion. His foes’ courage in standing against the spirit of the age can be disguised as hard, nasty, hurtful. How delightful! He need not condemn what the elite applaud.
When a man is damning his soul, not pointing out the error is not mercy, but cowardice. Saying nothing, being quiet, keeps us from being hit from those whose opinions matter to us.
Quietude is safe. Few judge the quiet. Say nothing and take little flak. If you posture as merciful, saying kind things, muttering platitudes, then mercy is a cover for cowardice. Instead, we should speak the truth boldly, confidently, doing what is right. When anyone is sorry, needs mercy, is willing to turn and do what is right, we must, naturally, have genuine mercy. We give mercy as we hope to have mercy. What can never be done, God helping us, is to have mercy on those who demand that we applaud their sin and celebrate their evil.
We will not cease from mental fight nor lie to our family or friends until we build Jerusalem in this green and pleasant land. Mercy is forgiving what is regretted. Mercy is not empowering what is embraced. Let us go forward with joy.