This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at a few of the many victories by the ACLJ in 2016.
This year, the ACLJ was able to secure a major victory that protects the honor and respect of American war heroes.
It all started nearly half a decade ago when angry atheists at the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) insisted that a WWII Memorial statue of Jesus be removed from Big Mountain in Montana. The memorial has proudly stood for over sixty years, but that didn’t stop FFRF’s meritless attacks.
The six foot Jesus statue was originally erected in the Flathead National Forest by the Knights of Columbus to serve as a beacon of recognition to the local veterans who battled against the Nazis in the Italian Alps. The memorial is a celebratory display of the bravery and valor of our soldiers during WWII in Italy, and has become both a staple and a historical landmark at Big Mountain.
And FFRF wanted to tear it down.
So, we aggressively fought back – and you played a significant role. We garnered over 100,000 of your signatures on multiple petitions, using them in legal letters to the National Forest Service and in federal courts through a multi-pronged legal effort. At each step, we won. Your amplified voice was heard; we won a decisive victory in the name of religious liberty. FFRF’s absurd claims that the Jesus statue was unconstitutional were emphatically struck down.
We’re extremely pleased that after five hard-fought years, we can close this case, but we continue to fight in defense of the First Amendment. Thank you for playing a part in securing this victory.
To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a Tax-Deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be doubled dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.
You can read more in the ACLJ’s 2016 Victories series here.
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