Atheist Group Launches Legal Attack Against Jesus Statue in Montana | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

By Jay Sekulow1328801771000

We knew it would happen. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist group that continually challenges everything from the National Motto, the National Day of Prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Jesus statue - a Montana war memorial that's been displayed on a mountaintop since the 1950's.
 
The FFRF lawsuit comes just days after the National Forest Service rejected arguments from the atheist group to remove the statue. The federal government agreed to keep the statue in place, renew the special use permit for ten years, and acknowledged that this statue represents an important part of the history and heritage of the region.
 
Now, FFRF has gone to federal court - filing suit to get the statue removed. I can tell you that we will mount an aggressive defense of the memorial and will file an amicus brief on behalf of thousands of Americans.
 
As you may recall, we had a tremendous impact earlier as the Forest Service considered public comment about the display. In a letter sent to the federal government, representing more than 70,000 concerned individuals, we urged the Forest Service to renew the lease saying the display is an important historical memorial. The Forest Service acknowledged it had received approximately 95,000 comments about the memorial. 
 
"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," the letter contended.
 
The statue of Jesus was put in place on Big Mountain at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana in the 1950's by WW II veterans who were also members of the Knights of Columbus. The veterans were inspired by monuments they saw in the mountains of Europe during the war. The statue of Jesus, they said, was put in place to commemorate the service of local WW II veterans - a war memorial.
 
It's really not surprising that FFRF filed the lawsuit. It's clear that this legal challenge represents their latest move in a troubling pattern designed to remove any religious reference from our history - a tactic that we believe ultimately will fail in the federal court system.
 
We will file a friend-of-the-court brief in this important case - standing up for the constitutionality of the memorial. We will be representing thousands of Americans who understand that this statue represents the history and heritage of the region, not a government endorsement of religion, as the atheist group contends.
 
I will keep you posted and let you know when you can join our brief - standing up for this important war memorial in Montana.

 

Legislative Prayer Confusion

By Edward White1530632369038

Last week, before its summer recess, the United States Supreme Court refused to review a case in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Jackson County, Michigan, Board of Commissioners’ practice of starting its meetings with prayer. That is good news. The Supreme Court, however, also...

read more

Independence Day: Continuing the Defense of Freedom

By ACLJ.org1530628945243

On this Independence Day, many Americans will get together with family and friends, to celebrate our great nation. Make no mistake, America is great, and we are free, because of the bravery and sacrifice of great men and women who have stood and continue to stand to defend our country. First and...

read more

Remembering Those Who Have Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice for Our Freedom

By Wesley Smith1527264000000

“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” ---Winston Churchill Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States to remember all those who have died in military service to the nation. But why do we set this day...

read more

ACLJ Files Brief to Defend “In God We Trust”

By Laura Hernandez1518793200000

Late last week, as we promised , the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed an amicus brief in federal appeals court defending our National Motto – “In God We Trust” – from a self-described Satanist who brought a lawsuit asking the court to order the motto excised from the nation’s...

read more