Atheists Want Jesus Statue Removed From Ski Mountain

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  • The Jesus statue has been on Whitefish Mountain since 1955.

Boiseans who remember the city's emotional tug-of-war over a public display of the Ten Commandments may take note of a Montana lawsuit from an organization called Freedom From Religion wanting to remove the statue of Jesus at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Whitfeish skiiers are very familiar with the Jesus statue, which traditionally dons a skiier's helmet and holds a ski pole, compliments of recreationists.

But the atheist group doesn't find anything funny about the matter and has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missoula, charging that the Jesus statue violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The suit names as defendants the U.S. Forest Service and Flathead National Forest, which allows the statue to remain.

This morning's Missoulian reports that Flathead National Forest officials "estimate they received more than 95,000 comments from the public, the bulk of which were in favor the statue."

The statue has occupied the space on Big Mountain since 1955.

The Missoulian reports that the trial is scheduled for March 2013.

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