Jesus Statue Survives Atheist Legal Challenge, Thanks to Snowboarders

Federal judge rules in favor of statue’s cultural and historical significance

A federal judge ruled last Tuesday that the cultural significance of a statue of Jesus near a ski resort outweighs any religious meaning the statue might have. The case, which was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), challenged the placement of a religious symbol on publicly owned land. In his opinion on the case, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen stated that "the statue's secular and irreverent uses far outweigh the few religious uses it has served….Typical observers of the statue are more interested in giving it a high five or adorning it in ski gear than sitting before it in prayer."

"We still don't know if a tree falling in a forest makes a sound. But we can be sure that a lonely Jesus statue standing in a Montana forest doesn't create an official state religion for the United States," noted Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Rassbach represented the statue in the district ...

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