Atheists sue to remove Jesus statue in Montana

The Jesus statue in question

As reported by Matthew Clark of the American Center for Law and Justice, a Wisconsin-based atheist group called The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is suing in federal court to have a Jesus statue removed from a mountainside in Montana.

The statue, which the FFRF argues is a “ruse and a sham,” was erected atop Big Mountain in the 1950’s by Knights of Columbus World War II veterans who wanted to commemorate the service of fallen soldiers. According to ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the veterans were inspired by monuments they saw in the mountains of Europe during the war and simply wanted to have one of their own.

The FFRF was successful in persuading the U.S. Forest Service not to renew its lease to the Knights of Columbus last year, but the ACLJ fought back and the statue was allowed to stay in place.

Now, the FFRF is at it again.

Montana’s at-large Congressman Denny Rehberg (R) has joined the ACLJ in their efforts to defend the statue. They have filed an amicus brief in federal court and are asking defenders of the Constitution to add their name to that document, which can be done by clicking here.

The ACLJ has stated that they have to raise $450,000 by the end of July in order to keep up with the numerous legal battles they are fighting. A small group of donors will match any donation to the ACLJ at this time, so if you feel like their values are in alignment with yours, consider giving to their cause.



  • Joe M

    I think that these atheists need to read their Nietzsche. Spending all this time and energy acting on resentment is a sad existence, whatever your metaphysical beliefs are.

    • patback

      How tolerant of you. This site talks quite a bit about tolerance of freedom of conscience. How would you like it if you were forced to pay for goods and services with money that said “In Satan we Trust”? That’s the equivalent of the world in which Atheists are forced to live in America. They have to violate their conscience every time that they use money or say the pledge of allegiance, because our country has unconstitutionally decided to force our “god” on them by rule of law.

      • Maryellen Schroeder

        Patback, you poor, dear thing–you eloquently portray exactly Joe’s point about the expense of time, resources, and blood pressure rising all in the name of resentment. I sincerely doubt that most (if any)atheists have a true issue with paper money, since they feel there is no God, trusting in Him means nothing to them, and the words “in God we trust” are meaningless, empty and certainly unable to hurt them at all. I doubt they lose any sleep. Not only that, if they REALLY TRULY can’t stand to touch the awful, paper currency because they feel those four words will burn their hands and destroy the nerve endings in their fingers, there’s plenty of options-debit cards, credit cards, elecronic funds,and if they really, really insist, money orders or travelers checks (which are free from AAA, by the way, so any argument that it costs more is moot.)I hardly ever use cash anymore myself. Additionally, anyone who objects to saying “under God” in the pledge can merely decline to say the words. There are no police that I am aware of who monitor the lip movements of a crowd of people saying it and arrest those who don’t vocalize all the words. Along the same lines, no one forces anyone to look at the Jesus statue in question–just pass it by. The statue will not burn anyone’s eyes out,isn’t scary or violent and it really should not offend anyone’s sensibilites. If anyone sees it and doesn’t believe it depicts God, they can just view it as a harmless colorful statue of a man. When I see a painting of an ancient Greek god or of a Hindu goddess, I can appreciate the colors and skill of the artist without being offended that someone had the audacity to portray their deity. I don’t believe in their deity, but I am not offended that THEY do (or did). In a free society, when people express themselves with art, speech, etc., they do so knowing that not everyone agrees with them, and that’s fine. The solution is not to forcibly remove the artwork but rather to look at something else more suited to your tastes. I personally despise Andy Warhol’s art and find Campbell soup can images offensive, but I don’t try to get them removed from art museums or INternet sites that display them. I merely move onto something else. To remove Warhol’s “stuff” would be the antithesis of a free society.

      • Joe M

        patback. Do you not see the hypocrisy in your argument? Having a problem with words on currency or a pledge that you’re not required to say are examples of intolerance.

        • Patback

          I was forced to say the pledge in high school and expelled for a week when I refused. If I had continued to refuse I would have never graduated. I’m not sure what world you live in, but it’s not reality. If people should just ignore the “in God we Trust” on their currency, because it’s “no big deal”, then it won’t be a big deal if we remove it I guess. Right?

          • Joe M

            patback. That’s exactly right. Removing a religious statue from public land would not be a big deal since a person might drive one block down the road and see an entire church on private land. Removing words from currency would be a trivial change considering that a person might look up while holding a dollar bill to hear Barack Obama say “God bless America.” — You are again underscoring my point that lawsuits over religious symbols and words is a wasteful way to spend a life. Nietzsche himself wrote entire portions of books dedicated to this point. If you’re going to be atheist, at least do something inspiring or creative with your beliefs. Read the manual. Atheist philosophers from 100 years ago had better ideas than today’s atheists.

          • Joe M

            patback. By the way, it has been established since 1943 that a person can not be forced to say the pledge of allegiance. Either you are over 82 years old, yours is an unusual case of a teacher and administration violating law or you are not being truthful about your pledge of allegiance story.

          • Randall

            Pat, you REFUSE to say the Pledge? Wow… let’s think it over… you refuse to have allegiance to 1) the flag of the USA, 2) the Republic for which it stands, and 3) One God, indivisible. So you’re unpatriotic, anti-American and anti-Christ. Why are you still here? You obviously don’t want to be here and we don’t want you. At best, you represent nothing about what makes this country great, and at worst you are traitorous and anti-Catholic scum. Get out now.

      • MRKRD

        This country was founded on Christian principles… still evident today. If they grew up and can’t stand the fact that Christian influence is everywhere, there are many other countries that might welcome them with open arms. The underlying problem is that they want everyone to accept and honor their personal choices, but they totally disregard everyone else’s choices. I am sorry, the world does not revolve around them. … and I really believe that they could care less about some statue out in the mountains, and what it was there for… they just want to spew hate, because they can



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