MERCY2   3'1m*f RT: Salvation, grace, mercy, justice, fairness

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

KING -- (enters wearing ornate robe and crown, crosses to
podium) Good morning. I have a brief announcement to make. As
you know, my palace guard has recently crushed a rebellion in my
kingdom and all ten rebels who were not killed outright were
given a fair trial and were convicted of treason and were
condemned to death. This morning eight of ten of those rebels
were put to death as prescribed by law.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, you said only eight of the ten were
put to death?

KING -- Yes.

REPORTER -- What happened to the other two?

KING -- I'm about to set them free.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, why aren't the two remaining rebels
being executed with the other prisoners?

KING -- I have decided to spare their lives.

REPORTER -- But THEY ARE going to be executed... some day,
aren't they?

KING -- No. They're not.

REPORTER -- That doesn't seem fair.

KING -- That's because you don't understand the gift of mercy.

REPORTER -- Can you explain the gift of mercy, Your Majesty?

KING -- If you gave a contribution to two charities, how would
you feel if a third charity came along and sued you because you
didn't give them a gift too?

REPORTER -- That wouldn't be fair if it's my money, I can give
it to whoever I want.

KING -- That's right because the concept of fairness does not
apply to the giving of a gift. As king and sovereign over this
kingdom, I have the power to give life as a gift to whomever I
want. But I'm not obligated to give the gift to ANYONE.

REPORTER -- So, you're just setting these two rebels free?

KING -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Are there conditions for their release?

KING -- If there were conditions, it wouldn't be a gift. It
would be an obligation. I have no obligation to these rebels.

REPORTER -- Surely, you're not releasing the rebels

KING -- That's exactly what I'm doing.

REPORTER -- But why?

KING -- Because I thought that these particular rebels could be
useful to me.

REPORTER -- How can rebels be useful?

KING -- I have some work to do that I don't want to do myself. I
saved these rebels so that they could do my work for me.

REPORTER -- But if the work is not a condition of their release,
how can you be sure they won't just skip town?

KING -- Along with a gift usually comes gratitude. I'm counting
on their gratitude to motivate them to do the work.

REPORTER -- Why not save ALL of the rebels and put them to work?

KING -- It's a matter of justice. If my subjects saw that I
spared the lives of ALL the rebels, they would conclude that
there is no penalty for rebellion. Extending mercy to SOME looks
like mercy. Extending mercy to ALL looks like a lack of justice.

REPORTER -- But what about the other rebels, the ones you put to
death? Weren't they just as capable as these?

KING -- I didn't extend my mercy to these two rebels because of
their intelligence or for their capability. I chose them for
their loyalty, for their perseverance and because they're TEAM
players, people I know will want to do my work and who will work
WITH me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put my converted
rebels to work. (exits)

REPORTER -- Thank you, your majesty.

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