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Big Mountain Jesus Statue Supported

An attorney who is involved in defending the Jesus statue on Big Mountain says she is confident that legal precedents aimed at discouraging the government from being “hostile” to religion will help the Flathead National Forest prevail, allowing for the statue to remain where it is. CeCe Heil provided an update on the case during a town hall meeting  led by Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Whitefish Monday afternoon. The meeting was attended by about 60 people, including a special guest, Arnold “Arnie” Funk, a 91-year-old 10th Mountain Division veteran who served in Italy during World War II. The Flathead chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization that maintained the statue for nearly 60 years, contends that the Jesus statue is a memorial to World War II veterans and the 10th Mountain Division in particular/Jim Mann, Daily Inter Lake. More here. (In this February 2011 AP file photo, University of Montana students, from left, Jake Coburn, Stephanie Ralls and Claire Dal Nogare, visit a statue of Jesus Christ at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Mont.)

Question: Should the Jesus statue on Big Mountain be taken down?

PM: Jesus Statue Evicted From Mount

Lyle Burke of Alberta, Canada, poses with the statue of Jesus Christ near the top of Chair 2 at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in February. The statue, erected in 1953 to honor World War II veterans, may have to be removed after the Uinted States Forest Service recently denied a special use permit allowing the stone statue. AP story here. (AP Photo/The Missoulian, Linda Thompson)

Atheists Take Credit For Statue Ruling

A national atheist organization took credit Thursday for persuading the U.S. Forest Service to deny a special use permit that for decades has allowed a statue of Jesus Christ to occupy a bite of public land on Big Mountain. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which works to keep religion out of government, said the land lease was “unconstitutional” because religious symbolism cannot legally exist on federal property. The group claimed responsibility for a recent Forest Service decision that could lead to the statue's removal from a small swatch of Flathead National Forest land. The statue has been perched at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort's Chair 2 since 1955, and was installed by a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus as a memorial to veterans of World War II, who encountered religious shrines in the mountains abroad/Tristan Scott, Missoulian. More here. (Wikipedia illustration of Jesus the Good Shepherd)

Question: Do you agree with USFS decision to remove that long-standing statue of Jesus Christ from Whitefish's Big Mountain ski area?

Got fish?

It seems like all the fast food places are having Lenten fish specials on Fridays these days. But if you want to sit down and eat with your family instead of hitting the drive through, check out the Lenten fish fry tonight at St. Mary's Catholic Church. The Knights of Columbus are hosting the meal every Friday from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. until April 15 at the church, which is at 304 S. Adams Road.

The menu includes baked or fried fish, french fries, clam chowder, cole slaw and garlic bread or rolls. (Yum.) Donations will be accepted at the door. Anyone who comes by for dinner is welcome to stay for the Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m.