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Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:01 PM

'Big Mountain Jesus' gets the OK from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

'Big Mountain Jesus' gets the OK from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals



The statue of Jesus Christ at Whitefish Mountain Resort overlooks Whitefish Lake and the Flathead Valley in Whitefish in February 2011. Federal appeals court justices in Portland, Ore., are hearing arguments from an atheist group that the six-foot-tall Jesus statue needs to come down because the ski resort is on U.S. Forest Service property, and the statue is therefore a violation of the constitutional principle separating church and state. Photo by LINDA THOMPSON, Missoulian

51 minutes ago • By Vince Devlin

WHITEFISH – “Big Mountain Jesus” is staying put.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the 12-foot statue at Whitefish Mountain Resort “did not sprout from the minds of (government) officials and was not funded from (the government’s) coffers.
....

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit objecting to the 1954 statue of Jesus, installed by the Knights of Columbus on what was then called Big Mountain to honor World War II veterans and members of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. ... It stands on public land leased to a private organization.

“Does a statue standing alone in the forest establish an official state religion?” {Eric Baxter, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty} said. “Today the Ninth Circuit emphatically said no. The court rightly rejected Freedom From Religion Foundation’s radical idea that a privately owned memorial standing in the middle of a ski resort violates the Constitution.”

The court said “the flippant interactions of locals and tourists with the statue suggest secular perceptions and uses.” Those include “decorating it in Mardi Gras beads, adorning it in ski gear, taking pictures with it, high-fiving it as they ski by, and posing in Facebook pictures." ... The Freedom of Religion Foundation had appealed a 2013 decision by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, who dismissed the lawsuit on similar grounds.

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Reply 'Big Mountain Jesus' gets the OK from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 2015 OP
randys1 Aug 2015 #1
Angry Dragon Aug 2015 #2
yeoman6987 Aug 2015 #4
randys1 Aug 2015 #5
HassleCat Aug 2015 #3

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:16 PM

1. Terrible decision. Establishes religion in a huge way, Of course

If this is on federal land then there MUST be a statue of Mohammed right next to him, god dammit ...

And then you can put statues of Egyptian Pharaohs and Chinese Emperors and so on, all considered to be gods.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:27 PM

2. Zeus

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Response to randys1 (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:36 PM

4. It's a tourist attraction

 

I think the court got this one right. Tourists have fun with it.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:37 PM

5. OY

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 03:27 PM

3. A couple questions?

 

Do they have a permit? It's called a "special use permit." Do they pay rent? If not, the FS must make them get a permit and calculate the appropriate rent, perhaps including back rent, based on fair market value. Ronald Reagan says so.

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