Not Yours To Give

I received the following in an email and thought it was worth sharing...

In the early 1800's Congress was considering a bill to appropriate tax dollars for the widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in support of this bill. It seemed that everyone in the House favored it. The Speaker of the House was just about to put the question to a vote, when Davy Crockett, famous frontiersman and then Congressman from Tennessee, rose to his feet.

“Mr. Speaker, I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity, but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Sir, this is no debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

There was silence on the floor of the House as Crockett took his seat. When the bill was put to a vote, instead of passing unanimously as had been expected, it received only a few votes.
The next day a friend approached Crockett and asked why he spoken against a bill for such a worthy cause. In reply, Crockett related the following story:

Just a few years before, he had voted to spend $20,000.00 of public money to help the victims of a terrible fire in Georgetown. When the legislative session was over, Crockett made a trip back home to do some campaigning for his re-election. In his travels he encountered one of his constituents, a man by the name of Horatio Bunce. Mr. Bunce bluntly informed Crockett, “I voted for you the last time. I shall not vote for you again.”

Crockett, feeling he had served his constituents well, was stunned. He inquired as to what he had done to so offend Mr. Bunce.

Bunce replied, “You gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. The Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions.”

“I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000.00 to some sufferers by a fire. Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away public money in charity? No Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose.

“The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. You have violated the Constitution in what I consider to be a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the People.”

“I could not answer him,” said Crockett. “I was so fully convinced that he was right.” I said to him, “Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. If you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law, I wish I may be shot.”

After finishing the story, Crockett said, “Now sir, you know why I made that speech yesterday. There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a weeks pay? There are in that House many very wealthy men, men who think nothing of spending a weeks pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of these same men made beautiful speeches upon the debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased, yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

End of Email - Taken from Latter-day Conservative email newsletter.


Separation of Church and State

Over time the meaning of words have come to know a different meaning than their original intent. The word "gay" for example thirty years ago meant "happiness", but today has a completely different meaning. The same thing has happened with the phrase "separation of church and state."

Did you know that the words "Separation of Church and State are NOT FOUND in any American Founding Document?

"[In] the Congressional Records from June 7th through September 25th, 1789 (when they framed the first amendment) the founders explained clearly and succinctly that all they wanted to preclude what they had experienced in Great Britain. They did not want the establishment by the Federal Government of one single domination and the exclusion of all others. There is not going to be, by government decree, one national denomination in America. This is why the wording in the first amendment prevents Congress from the establishment of religion, or in the words proposed by James Madison, the chief architect of the constitution, "the establishment of a national religion."[1]

The First Amendment denied Congress the power of establishing any particular religion or restricting the free exercise of any religion. The people and statesmen who gave us the First Amendment did not want a union of church and state in the sense of a national established church. But neither did they want to divorce Christianity from our national counsels, fundamental law, or laws made pursuant to the Constitution. ...they wanted a separation of church and state without a separation of Christianity and civil government, law or public life.[2]

The Separation of Church and State never meant to separate God from government — Chief Justice Roy Moore, Alabama[3]

"No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint, and each is permitted to worship his maker after his own judgment. The offices of government are open alike to all. The Mohammedan, if he will come to live among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political institutions." — John Tyler, 10th President of the US[4]

I find it amazing that most people don't know the original intent of the Founders...they are probably turning over in their graves of how far we have gotten away from the Judean/Christian principles that guided inspired men to sign their death warrant, as an act of treason, to the Declaration of Independence to be followed by the Constitution of the United States with the First Amendment securing our religious freedom. There is a movement growing that is trying to erradicate religion and God from everything that made this country what it is today. If that day ever comes, may God help us all.

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[1] 1992 Video "Separation of Church and State," Wallbuilders, Inc., PO Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008

[2] Reclaiming the Lost Legacy, various authors, Coral ridge Ministries, 2001 (P O Box 555, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302)

[3] Coral Ridge Hour, TV Program, 10/14/2001

[4] "Our 'noble experiment' is being tested," Terry Eastland, Dallas Morning News, 11/5/2001
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