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

Good Sign for ACLJ’s Tea Party Lawsuit

By Carly F. Gammill1431120815912

We have received some promising news that will have a direct bearing on our legal challenge against the Internal Revenue Service. As you know, we represent dozens of Tea Party, conservative, and pro-life organizations in a federal lawsuit against the IRS – challenging the agency’s unconstitutional...

read more

Honesty: A Refreshing Policy for IRS

By Carly F. Gammill1431090000000

Two years ago, former top IRS official Lois Lerner publicly admitted, and apologized for, the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party applicants for tax exemption in an attempt to get out in front of the soon-to-be-released report by The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that would...

read more

Radical Islam Clashes With Free Speech

By Edward White1430928642123

A terrorist attack took place in Garland, Texas, this week in response to a free speech conference that took issue with the Islamic prohibition against creating images of the Prophet Muhammad. The event awarded a financial prize to the person who drew the best cartoon of Muhammad. The terrorist...

read more

Thousands of Lost IRS Emails Reappear

By Jay Sekulow1430507471280

Drip. Drip. Drip. That’s what continues to happen as the scandal unfolds at the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS). First, we were told that critical emails of former top IRS official Lois Lerner – at the center of an illegal targeting scheme – were gone – unrecoverable – nowhere...

read more