Consider Pontius Pilate. Consider that many Americans have become Pontius Pilate. Note how Pilate at least feigns Mercy, is hesitant to have Christ Jesus crucified. He wants to be merciful, at least it seems. Many barriers seem to be in his way to simply releasing Jesus, barriers of fear and cowardice that he has put there, or that he refuses to try to climb over with faith. It is much more comfortable to remain part of the status quo, to remain dead moving with the stream instead of alive, moving against it. He simply wants to keep the crowd happy. The majority wants to kill Jesus, but as we all know, a majority, voting or otherwise simply supporting something doesn't make it right. Whether it bears witness to the Truth, is in accord with Truth makes it right. But for Pilate, less than the Truth is good enough if it keeps him comfortable and safe.
Observe that Pilate is unable to actually be merciful even though he recognizes that Jesus has done no evil, even at the pleadings from his own wife that she recognizes he is a righteous man. Pilate himself states that he finds no crime in Jesus, yet allows him to be cruelly scourged practically to the point of death, crowned with thorns and mocked hideously. Pilate dialogues with Jesus, he recognizes that this is no ordinary man. Pilate is unable to truly be merciful because he refuses to see and accept Truth. Like modern America, he states "What is Truth?" (RSV-CE Jn 18:8) to Truth himself. Whereas the Christ bears witness to Truth, Pilate bears false witness against it, pretending as if Truth is a creation of one's own personal imagining, having from his first encounter with Jesus, tried to escape having any responsibility for the fate of Jesus, thinking that washing his hands before the crowd and claiming that he was free of the blood of the righteous man would negate his responsibility. Pilate’s behavior is not unlike Cain, when, confronted by the Lord as to the whereabouts of Abel his brother whom he had murdered, states haughtily, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?"(Gen 4:9)
Pilate did not truly hear the voice of Truth, of the Christ, for as Jesus tells Pilate in the Gospel of John, those that are of the Truth hear his voice (John 18:7). He would not, as Jesus promised those that bear witness to the Christian Faith, be Blessed "when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven."(Matt 5:11). Pilate was neither blessed, nor rejoicing, nor glad, nor had reward for he was bloated with indifference, his lukewarmness that far from making him innocent, made him very complicit in the darkest deed ever done, the killing of God made man himself. And if a man like Pilate could think himself innocent then and there, how much more easily do we think we wash ourselves clean of the evils of our time, pretending that our bearing witness against the Truth to encourage people in comfort, in actions fatal to our souls, instead of greatness is somehow a Mercy when without Truth, we can't really be merciful at all? Encouraging others to sin, celebrating their sins, legalizing their sins, contradicts both the Gospel and the Law of God inscribed on every human heart. Recognizing Truth, but not heeding it, and instead choosing the easy path, and feigning mercy, pretending we are being kind, loving, and compassionate by encouraging others to do "whatever makes you happy", patting them on the back right into the Abyss, and at the same time ignoring actively standing up to the darkness and evils of our times are the same shadows that dimmed Pilate's heart and mind, blinding him to the Divine Radiance. America, we are full of Pontius Pilates. Take Heed, and be truly Merciful by being truly true to Truth Himself.