Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Davey Crockett Constitutional Congressman After Returning to Congress Upon Meeting Horatio Bunce

You may know of the political conversion of Davey Crockett by the dedicated Christian Horatio Bunce (if you do not you can read the first two installments in this series by clicking on the links below this story). The Congressman Davey Crockett learned the value of government based on law, the Constitution, over governing by the dictates of sentimentalism from the enlightened backwoods farmer, Horatio Bunce. In his book, The Life of Colonel David Crockett, Edward S. Ellis relates “the rest of the story”.

Davey Crockett was reelected to Congress. It was not long before he was faced with a vote similar to the “Georgetown vote”. A bill had been introduced to give $10,000 to the widow of a naval officer that had recently passed away. Crockett took to the floor against the bill proclaiming that, “Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity.” Claiming that, “Every member upon this floor knows it.” And reminding the members that, “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 so to appropriate a dollar of the public money...” He finished by proclaiming his intention to give one week's pay to the widow, and challenging the rest of the members to, “do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

Even after waxing eloquent about the debt of gratitude that the nation owed this honored veteran, not one other Congressman accepted Davey Crockett's challenge to give a week's pay to the widow. He excoriated them, saying, “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.”

The founding fathers attempted to break free from the Religious Humanist policy of the
lordship of government. From the very beginning of the republic you see the tendency to look to this “great lord” to be the “great provider”. In 21st century America the state has grown to “behemoth” proportions. Even most Christians call on this man made god to provide their needs, and desires. It is not a surprise that this blatant idolatry would capture the minds of a Secular Humanist culture, but it is a mystery as to how the church has turned to government rather than God as their provider.

All is not lost though. The Christian can still repent of the sin of idolatry. A reformation of the church will defeat the march of the tyrants. Tyranny cannot stand when the church exerts its authority over all of culture. The Christian must turn to God, learn his Constitution, stop depending on government to provide his every need, and take up his responsibility to care for the “widow and orphan.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Horatio Bunce Sets Davy Crockett on the Path to Protect the Constitution

In the first installment of this series about Davy Crockett you learned how his meeting with Horatio Bunce set him straight concerning the use of Constitutional power by a Congressman. What was the force acting upon Horatio Bunce that gave him the ability to think so cogently about government and an understanding of the “chains of the Constitution”? Davy Crockett reveals the probable answer to this question as he tells of his lifelong relationship with Mr. Bunce.

The following admission from Davy Crockett makes it evident that Horatio Bunce was a Christian:

“I have told you Mr. Bunce converted me politically. He came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. He did not make a very good Christian of me, as you know; but he has wrought upon my mind a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and upon my feelings a reverence for its purifying and elevating power such as I had never felt before.

“I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him – no, that is not the word – I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.”

As a lively Christian, Horatio Bunce understood the depravity of the soul of man from a Biblical perspective. He once said to Davy Crockett, “The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to men...” In this statement you can see that Horatio Bunce understood that civil magistrates must be checked by a higher law than their own. He understood the covenantal nature of the American government, and he understood that Davy Crockett, and indeed, all officials of the American system must be chained by the charter of the covenant – by the Constitution.

Finally Horatio Bunce understood that he had a responsibility to know the covenant that chained his elected officials, so that he could maintain a check on them. It is only through a populace that knows the charter of the nation that the civil authorities will be held in check to that charter. Christians should know that just as the church and her officials must be governed by the Holy Scriptures, government officials must be governed by their Constitution.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Meeting With Horatio Bunce Converts Davy Crockett to a Constitutional Congressman

Anyone who has seen the Disney classic Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier knows that he was a Congressman from Tennessee. After serving a term in Congress Davy Crockett met a man by the name of Horatio Bunce. The story of this meeting, as portrayed in the book, The Life of Colonel David Crockett, by Edward S. Ellis, illustrates two important points in the battle to regain Constitutional law in the American republic.

Davy Crockett rode up to a farmer plowing his field to ask for his vote in the upcoming election. As he began to introduce himself the farmer stopped him, “Yes, I know you: you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.”

Crockett was taken aback, as any politician would be, and he asked Mr. Bunce to explain the problem. Horatio explained, “...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. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.”

Davy Crockett agreed with Horatio Bunce in all he said, but protested that he must be mistaken, “...for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any Constitutional question.” Mr. Bunce then reminded Davy Crockett that he had voted to appropriate relief from the treasury to victims of a fire in Georgetown. Crockett admitted that he did, and again protested that he thought that would be the last vote that would cause him any trouble from his constituents.

To this Horatio Bunce replied, “Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away public money in charity?” Once again the backwoods farmer convinced the Congressman of his error, but again Davey Crockett protested, claiming that the amount was so small and the treasury so full that, Mr. Bunce, had he been there, “would have done just as I did.”

The reply of Horatio Bunce to this is quite enlightening:

“It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man...So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000...You will easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. 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.”

Davy Crockett changed his position, and asked forgiveness of Horatio Bunce. This story reveals how far the American government has strayed from the Constitution, exposing the immorality of stealing the people's money under the guise of charity. But more importantly, this story illustrates the answer to America's Constitutional woes – The backwoods farmer understood his Constitution and was willing to defend it with the power of his tongue and the power of his vote.