President Obama’s Parting Gift
Article II of the Constitution defines the responsibilities and powers of the executive branch of the federal government. Within that Article, it states that the president “shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” Granting reprieves and pardons is an act of mercy. The founding documents of the USA contribute to the greatness of our country. The Constitutional authorization of the President to exercise mercy is one reflection of God’s nature and glory inherent in this historic document.
President Obama has chosen to exercise mercy more than any other president. He has granted 1,385 pardons. Those who argue that these individuals whom he has pardoned do not deserve such clemency are exactly right. That is why this act is called mercy. The act of mercy is the act of withholding punishment from those who deserve punishment. Mercy is one of the graces of God. God revealed Himself in Jesus and in Scripture as the God of mercy.
Twice in his epistle, James refers to the New Covenant as the Law of Liberty:
“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)
“So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:12–13)
According to the Law of Liberty, we should not just talk about showing mercy, we should do it! We exercise mercy because “mercy triumphs“! When I exercise mercy I become a better person. When the President exercises mercy, we become a better people. Thank you, President Obama, for helping to make our great nation a little greater. The mercy you have exercised will triumph!