I want to thank Kellyn Brown for welcoming me to the Flathead Valley with his editorial in the Jan. 28 Flathead Beacon (“Appealing to ‘Real’ Montanans”). 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 five heads of households, and a total of 18 people –11 of whom are here now, and seven 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 U.S. 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!
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