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Victory for Constitutional Common Sense

By David French1372176304000

Yesterday a federal court in Montana ruled that the “Big Mountain Jesus” statue can stay on the slopes.  The statue, erected after World War II as a tribute to soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who fought in Europe and were comforted by similar statues in the Alps, was maintained on federal land under a special use permit granted the Knights of Columbus.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) challenged the permit’s renewal, claiming that a historically significant statue of Jesus maintained by a private organization on federal land violated the Establishment Clause because it offended three of their members. 

Laughable.

To be clear, this lawsuit is par for the course for the FFRF, which consistently attempts to scrub from public land any recognition of America’s actual cultural and religious heritage in favor of a sanitized, God-free public square that has never existed in American history.

At the ACLJ we filed an amicus brief on behalf of 18 Members of Congress and nearly 100,000 Americans.

The Court quite sensibly found that “not every religious symbol” on public land violates the Establishment Clause and noted that its location on a private ski hill with a plaque showing private ownership would lead the reasonable person to believe that the government wasn’t establishing a religion.

Exactly right.

At the same time, however, it’s unfortunate that Establishment Clause jurisprudence has so decayed that the FFRF can even make a federal case out of its own subjective offense.  But that is a fight for another day.

For now, we’re grateful for the Court’s ruling and will be watching closely to see if the FFRF appeals.

Victory: Court Upholds Legislative Prayer

By Edward White1504733251382

Today, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc —that is, all active judges rather than the usual three— upheld the Jackson County, Michigan, Board of Commissioners’ practice of starting its meetings with prayer. The American Center for Law & Justice (“ACLJ”) filed an amicus...

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The Latest Ten Commandments Case at Supreme Court

By Geoffrey Surtees1502410824571

Today, we filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the City of Bloomfield, New Mexico and a Ten Commandments monument that is displayed on public property outside of their city hall. The ACLJ has represented local governments, officials, and private parties in numerous lawsuits...

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What Independence Day Still Means Today

By Wesley Smith1498837611553

The Fourth of July, Independence Day, is the central and most important of American holidays, both for the history it commemorates, the principles it embodies, and the future hopes and dreams it represents. This holiday knows no distinction or separation of its celebrants based on religion or...

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Remembering Those Who Have Died

By Wesley Smith1495807042728

“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. The holiday originated in the...

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