On January 11, 2011, I spoke before a packed house of some 500 people who had braved below zero temperatures to hear me speak here in my adopted hometown of Kalispell, Montana. Among the journalists who were there were the Flathead Beacon’s Dan Testa and the Daily Inter Lake’s Caleb Soptelean.
Soptelean’s report on my speech was published on January 13, 2011, in the Inter Lake. Testa’s report was published in the Beacon’s January 17, 2011, edition. The day after Testa’s report appeared in the Beacon, the paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Kellyn Brown, wrote an editorial column about my speech.
After reading Kellyn’s column, it was apparent to me that I needed to respond with a column of my own. Kellyn agreed to publish my response, and my column is in the current edition of the Flathead Beacon.
I believe it would be beneficial for my readers nationwide to read, not only the two newspaper reports and editorial regarding my move to Montana--and the speech I gave on that Tuesday night--but also my response to the Beacon’s Kellyn Brown. Therefore, what follows is the column that I wrote for the Flathead Beacon.
[Start of the column sent to the Flathead Beacon] I want to thank Kellyn Brown for welcoming me to the Flathead Valley with his editorial in the January 28, 2011, Flathead Beacon. I am honored that he would devote an entire editorial to my speech. I wish, however, that Kellyn had been a little more accurate in his assessment of what I said. After all, he is the paper’s Editor-in-Chief.
Kellyn opened his column saying, “Chuck Baldwin moved to Montana a few months ago and has vowed to mold the state into what he thinks it should look like.”
Kellyn, where and when did you hear me say that? My family and I (including 5 heads of households, and a total of 18 people--11 of whom are here now, and 7 more arriving this spring) did not move here to mold the wonderful State of Montana into anything. We came here because we love the mold that makes Montana what it is: an independent, self-reliant, freedom-loving State. If we wanted to mold Montana into someplace else, we would have moved (or stayed) there!
Kellyn then takes great liberty with one statement I made (out of an hour-long speech) by saying, “The litmus test for becoming a ‘real Montanan,’ according to Baldwin, is determined by whether you agree with him.”
No, Kellyn. My litmus test is Montana itself. In my opinion, Montana truly is “The Last Best Place.” This is especially true for people who love independence and liberty. And I think Kellyn’s comments prove that what I said is true.
During the past two years, I have traveled over 60,000 miles to virtually every crack and corner of America. And after seeing this vast “fruited plain” from coast to coast and border to border, I am convinced that we made the right choice to move HERE. What caused our family to uproot ourselves (at great financial cost--even loss, I might add) and come to the Flathead (to stay) is the very spirit that Kellyn himself demonstrates in his column.
Historically, Montanans are not content to be lumped in with every other State or area. Montanans have always been known as rugged individualists. They don’t like people in other states or cities telling them what to do. And that includes Washington, D.C.! It’s not that Montanans are snobbish; they just don’t appreciate people moving here from other places and then trying to turn this State into the State they came from. Hooray! If my family and I had wanted to turn Montana into Florida, we would have stayed in Florida!
Unfortunately, not everyone born in a place appreciates the heritage and principles that make that place unique. For example, not everyone born in America appreciates the independent spirit that founded this great country. Observe how many US citizens work to bring America under the power and influence of the United Nations, or the World Bank, or some other international cabal; or how many people look to Washington, D.C., for all sorts of handouts, etc. Samuel Adams sure had some scathing words to say regarding those who chose to kowtow to the Crown, rather than stand for independence and freedom.
Consider, too, how many people born in Montana chose to leave Montana. Plus, how many people call Montana home only during the summer months? Compare that to the number of people who chose to make Montana their home by migrating here from other states. It takes more than one’s birthplace to make one a genuine contributor to what makes a place unique.
Did not our Lord say basically the same thing when he said of non-relatives, “Behold, my mother and brothers”?
I was born in Indiana, but haven’t lived there since 1971. Am I really a Hoosier?
And, yes, Kellyn, I do believe we have a “church problem.” I think I’m qualified to make that statement. After spending 35 years as a pastor, I’m well acquainted with the cowardice and compromise that is pervasive throughout mainstream “Churchianity.” That’s why Liberty Fellowship, which we established here in Kalispell, is anything but a mainstream church. I don’t blame people for not wanting to go to church. If all I had to choose from were these churches that teach this fallacious Romans 13 “Obey-The-Government-No-Matter-What” nonsense, I wouldn’t want to go either!
Was I proud to receive Ron Paul’s endorsement for President in 2008? Absolutely! Will I be a candidate for governor--or some other office--here in Montana? Many Montanans are urging me to do this, but I am a long way from making my mind up about that.
I want to do whatever I can to help Montanans preserve and maintain their independence and individuality. How I can best do that is yet to be determined. In the meantime, I’m just proud to be a MONTANAN! [End of the column sent to the Flathead Beacon]
To give readers an update: in the six weeks that Liberty Fellowship has been meeting, we have averaged between 150-200 each service, and I can tell you that the spirit of freedom is alive and well at every meeting. I can also tell you that every week we meet or hear about people who have either just moved here, or who are visiting here in preparation for a move, or who have written telling me that they are moving here. EVERY WEEK!
Last Sunday, a man was in the service that had just moved here from Seattle. There is a family attending Liberty Fellowship (LF) that just moved here from Australia. They have been reading my columns for years. Another family attending LF just moved here from Sacramento, California. A couple of weeks ago, two families were here from Michigan: they are moving here. Another family was here from Illinois: they are moving here. A young couple attending LF just moved here from Arizona. The list goes on and on.
Obviously, not everyone is going to feel led to move to the State of Montana (And those of us who live in Montana are glad of that!). There is no doubt in my mind, however, that God is putting it in the hearts of tens of thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of people to prepare for a future (maybe near future) upheaval. An illustration of this feeling of imminent danger is this CNBC report.
As I have said repeatedly, the only hope for freedom’s survival is for individual states to draw a line in the sand and be willing to stand and fight for their own independence and sovereignty. And let’s be honest: not all states are going to be willing to do that. And if you don’t think yours will, you might want to relocate to one that will. That’s exactly what thousands of people all over America are doing. And if you think you cannot afford such a move, what will you be able to afford if and when the bottom falls out? Just a thought, folks.
Plus, people are sick and tired of these corporate churches not taking a stand for anything. That’s why we have people from all over America watching our live-streamed services at Liberty Fellowship every Sunday afternoon. (And that’s why so many people are even moving to Kalispell, Montana!) By the way, I will be preaching my fourth and final message on “The Truth About Romans 13” this Sunday, February 27, 2011, at 2:00 pm (MST). Technical difficulties prevented me from delivering this message last Sunday. Plus, this Sunday we will start broadcasting the ENTIRE SERVICE, not just my message. To watch the service at Liberty Fellowship this Sunday, go to this link.
The newspapers and other corporate media outlets may not understand what is driving freedom-loving people to do what we are doing, but that’s OK. The truth is, we are fighting for their freedom too! Plus, I hold out hope that the Kellyn Browns of America are beginning to have their own eyes opened as well. Who knows, maybe one day Kellyn will write another column praising and thanking me for moving to Montana! Wouldn’t that be something?