Tag Archives: montana

Big Mountain Jesus Survives Lawsuit. Again.

Update: As of November 2015, the full Ninth Circuit refused to re-hear the FFRF appeal, effectively ending the case.


The Montana ski resort statue known as “Big Mountain Jesus” has survived the most recent challenge to have it torn down (from the appeal argued in July). The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a small atheist group that scours the country for signs of religion over which to be offended, sued because the statue is technically on federal land, though the land is perpetually leased to a ski resort. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty defended the statue.

The statue was built in the style of European shrines by the Knights of Columbus to honor the 10th Mountain Division.  The Division’s soldiers fondly recalled the many shrines they saw during their combat in World War II. In that regard, it was not raised as a religious shrine itself, as the FFRF claims, but as a memorial that invokes those shrines as an homage to the 10th Mountain Division.

The Appeals Court panel found, in a 2-1 ruling, the statue was essentially secular in purpose — including as justification its “irreverent” use:  Read more

Becket Fund Defends Big Mountain Jesus

In 2014 the Freedom From Religion Foundation appealed the dismissal of their lawsuit intended to remove a statue of Jesus from public land (which is leased as a ski resort). The affectionately named “Big Mountain Jesus” statue was erected as a memorial to the 10th Mountain Division, who recalled seeing many similar shrines during their campaign in Italy during World War II.

A 3-member panel of the 9th Circuit Read more

VA Flies LGBT Flag instead of Old Glory

A local radio host highlighted the Montana Veterans Administration flying a rainbow-colored gay pride flag on its grounds rather than an American flag. Johnny Ginnity, VA director for Montana, said in reply:

I don’t really consider it a flag, it’s really a banner…

I have a mandate that tells me I have to observe the holiday…

Ginnity ultimately defended the gay pride flag in a statement.

The rainbow flag has flown over many US embassies (including Israel, which is relatively liberal on the issue, though the flag has apparently not been raised in any other Middle Eastern country) and even in Afghanistan, as well as in “modified” US flags on US bases.

Also at the Independent Record and the Stars and Stripes.

ADVERTISEMENT



Big Mountain Jesus Goes to Appeals Court

The atheist attempt to pull Jesus off the mountain will now to go the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:

The lawsuit was brought by the Madison, Wisconsin-based group the Freedom From Religion Foundation…

Last June, Chief Judge Dana L. Christensen of the United States District Court for the District of Montana, Missoula Division, dismissed the FFRF’s lawsuit.

In a statement regarding the dismissal, Read more

The Story of Big Mountain Jesus

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sued over a war memorial — a statue of Jesus on a ski slope in Montana — which they claim violates the US Constitution.  The FFRF lost and has appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty produced a video to explain some of the history of the memorial — history the FFRF calls a conspiracy. Meet Gene Thomas, a member of the Knights of Columbus, one of the men who has been caring for the memorial for 40 years.

ADVERTISEMENT



Atheists Appeal Victory of Big Mountain Jesus

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed an appeal after a court recently ruled that the Jesus statue on Big Mountain ski resort could remain standing.  The statue is on public land, and

The group argues the statue violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on Congress making any law regarding an establishment of religion.

The original court ruling had cited the historic value of the statue, and even made a point of saying the statue was more of a tourist attraction than religious monument.  The FFRF apparently thinks that’s all part of a conspiracy:  Read more

1 2