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
After eight years of battling the Obama Administration’s regulatory abuse at the FCC, we are excited about the new chairman appointed by the Trump White House being poised and ready to bring regulatory reforms that we’ve been championing at the ACLJ for years. Earlier this week, The Hill ran a...
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a trademark case, Lee v. Tam . You may be asking yourself, why does the American Center for Law and Justice care about trademark law? In this case, we most certainly do: at issue is the ability of government to supervise – and penalize –
As we continue our fight at the ACLJ against the lawless, unconstitutional Obama Administration’s IRS targeting of grassroots conservatives, we are achieving important victories. But the fight also continues in federal court to ensure justice for all 38 of our clients from 22 states across the...
Late Friday, just hours before the deadline, a federal judge ruled against four states that are challenging President Obama’s long-planned giveaway of control over key aspects of the Internet. After Congress failed to take any action to block the transfer last week, four states (Arizona, Texas,