Not to be confused with the modern saying, “married without benefit of clergy” The reference here relates to punishment dispensed during medieval times for offenses against morality, common misdemeanors and other crimes. 

A cleric or member of the aristocracy while in theory subject to the same rules and punishment as the common folk, could provided the offenses were committed against the common folk claim benefit of clergy if a charge were brought before a local magistrate.

The cleric would naturally prefer his bishop melt out justice and the noble knew he faced in a fellow member of the peerage a judge who would be merciful. Benefit of clergy more then anything served to temper the consequences faced by those who were guilty.

I. Lewis “scooter” Libby recent commutation represents a modern application of the benefit of clergy concept. A politician guilty of offenses against the people who avoids the severity of punishment that would otherwise be imposed on a common man.

Senator David Vitter who as law maker crafted laws intended to equally govern and regulate the common good and morality, Feels his lapse in morals ought to be treated as a private matter with a public acknowledgement of guilt and forgiveness of God sufficient satisfaction to allow for continued public trust as one who makes the laws that others must follow.

A congressman who sponsors laws to protect young people online is himself exposed as a pedophile. Prowling the halls of the capitol preying on teenagers, does the law he crafted become a sword in the hand of justice, Or is he allowed to use the same pen that created justice to tender a resignation and slink off for “Rehab and Healing”.

The Attorney General who stands as the symbol of American law enforcement and prosecution of equal justice under the law is exposed in so many straight faced lies his own party calls for his resignation.

We continue to choose as our leaders those whose character is the complete antithesis of that which we attempt as parents to cultivate in our children.

The democrats were swept into power on a tide of voter resentment and promised change at record pace, They in a sense made the same promise that put the republicans in place a dozen years prior. Yet the same voices that derided the special interest’s influence of the GOP were as quick to seek out the pork barrel as the bums who were shown the door a few months earlier.

Revolutions seldom erupt from a single event or serious of abuses by the powers that be but seem to simmer slowly to a boil. Americans have no need to establish rifle clubs and meet quietly in the shadows. We have an inherent constitutional right to hold a coup every couple year’s the GOP discovered just this last November to their utter shock and dismay.

I think the people are still simmering, that unless the politicians of both parties begin to practice what they preach the voters will turn them out as quickly as they vote them in

which would begin to effect positive changes in how seniority determines who controls budget’s and committees. The power of money for reelection that creates the influence of special interests would evaporate overnight.

What value would be the support of a powerful lobby if the legislator knew he or she got elected because the person who held the seat prior failed to live up to the promises made during the campaign.

The election last November may be a signal that politics in America is undergoing a change, those who seek office may have to start keeping the promises made during the campaign and the benefit of clergy in its modern incarnation may be coming to an end.





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