Search  |  Login  |  Register

By CeCe Heil1328046116000

In a significant victory for religious liberty, the Flathead National Forest announced today that it would in fact renew the Knights of Columbus special use permit for the display of a statue of Jesus Christ. The statue, which was placed there as a World War II memorial by returning veterans, is located on a 25 foot by 25 foot parcel of land near the top of Chair Two at Whitefish Mountain Resort. The National Forest Service received more than 95,000 comments on the matter; 70,000 of those comments came from ACLJ members.

After being in place for nearly 60 years and becoming a local historic landmark, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) – an atheist group that is attempting to strip all mentions of faith from public discourse – protested the display of the statue. The group called the Montana memorial "a ruse and a sham" and demanded the National Forest Service end a long-standing permit- a move that would force the display to be removed. The government initially agreed with FFRF and denied renewal of the special use permit, but agreed to review that decision after public outcry and the ACLJ’s involvement.

In a letter sent to the federal government, representing more than 70,000 concerned individuals, the ACLJ urged the Forest Service to renew the special use permit saying the display is an important historical memorial. As our letter pointed out, the statue does not violate the Establishment Clause. The statue’s history and purpose, its longevity, and its setting all support the conclusion that no reasonable observer could think that renewing the Knights of Columbus’ special use permit would be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Further, the letter pointed out that until this year, the statue had gone unchallenged since its establishment in 1953, almost sixty years ago. We are very happy that the Flathead National Forest agreed with our position and elected to once again renew the permit

Latest in
Free Speech

The P.C. Police Aren’t Fragile

By David French1427222492000

We are at the cusp of a rare moment in modern American cultural debate — a moment when reasonable, thoughtful members of the Left and Right agree. Political correctness is spiraling out of control. Last week I shared an essay by a former radical describing her own migration out of the movement, but...

read more

IRS Continues to Target Conservatives

By Jay Sekulow1426874692000

The new IRS commissioner brought in to clean up the corrupt bureaucracy responsible for targeting grassroots conservative groups and infringing upon ordinary Americans’ constitutional freedoms admits that the targeting has not stopped. Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before the House...

read more

No Justice for Targeted Americans?

By Matthew Clark1426697448508

The Obama Administration’s IRS targeted Americans for their political beliefs. Former top IRS official Lois Lerner abused the power of her office and refused to answer any questions from congressional oversight committees after proclaiming her own innocence. The House Oversight Committee...

read more

One Way to Reach Scientific Consensus

By David French1426186723390

Earlier this week, I posted about Dr. James Enstrom’s successful settlement of his lawsuit against UCLA. Long a dissenter against environmentalist scare-mongering, Dr . Enstrom sued UCLA officials (full disclosure: my colleagues and I at ACLJ represented him) after they fired him shortly after Dr.

read more