Monday, 06 October 2008

John Birch Society Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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JBS 50th John F. McManusThe John Birch Society (JBS) celebrated its 50th anniversary in grand style at a resort near its headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, from Thursday, October 2 through Saturday, October 4.

Members and guests were both entertained and educated by numerous seminars, panel discussions, and featured speakers.

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The keynote speaker on Friday night was Dr. Charles Baldwin, founder of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, and the 2008 presidential nominee for the Constitution Party. In his presentation, "Christians and the Freedom Fight," Dr. Baldwin reminded the audience why it is the duty of Christians to support and protect the Constitution and pointed out that there is no contradiction between the Bible and the Constitution. In fact, he was able to disprove the claim that there is no mention of God in the Constitution by quoting from Article VII:  "done in Convention by the Unanimous consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven."

There were three featured speakers on Saturday night, beginning with Hid Welch, son of JBS founder Robert Welch. In his address, "We Hold These Truths!" Mr. Welch offered his personal insights about our founding documents and reviewed the timeless truths so many have fought to keep. He described the Declaration of Independence as "the promise" and the Constitution as "the fulfillment," declaring that they "are the most important documents struck by the hand of man since the Bible."

Next up was Dr. Ron Paul, Texas Congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate. In his speech, "Restoring the Republic: Lessons from a Presidential Campaign," Dr. Paul lectured on how our republic can be restored, and how groups such as the JBS and his own Campaign for Liberty are leading the way. He started out by describing his entry into politics in 1974, his first successful election in 1976, and his first press conference at the Capitol Hill Club, during which he was asked, "Are you a member of the John Birch Society? Have you ever been a member of the John Birch Society?"

Dr. Paul recalled his response: "No, I am not a member of the John Birch Society, but many members of the John Birch Society are friends of mine, and they have been very helpful in my campaign."

Dr. Paul gave credit to the JBS for keeping alive support for the Constitution through its programs to educate and motivate the American people. He went on to point out that the JBS had planted a lot of seeds over the years and that his presidential campaign was able to tap into the sentiment that sprouted from those efforts. Dr. Paul concluded by congratulating the JBS for all that it has accomplished over the years.

The evening's final speaker was Arthur Thompson, CEO of the JBS. Mr. Thompson gave the audience a look into "The Next 50 Years" to see how vigilant and proactive the JBS will need to be to keep alive the spark started by America's Founding Fathers. He said that the JBS must utilize Robert Welch's  plan to get 500 to 1,000 members in a congressional district because that would result in a constitutionalist being elected to Congress. He emphasized the importance of starting with one-district states because they come with the bonus of gaining two constitutionalist senators as well. In conclusion, Mr. Thompson cited Virgil's wise words that "the future belongs to the bold," and exhorted his audience by declaring: "We're going to win this thing whether the other side likes it or not!"