WHITEFISH – Big Mountain Jesus isn’t going anywhere. Not right now, anyway.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation objecting to a 6-foot-tall statue of Jesus located on federal land leased to Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain.

Christensen ruled the statue does not violate church-state separation. The Flathead National Forest, he said, can reissue a 10-year permit for the nearly 60-year-old statue that was installed on the ski hill in the 1950s by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization.

The statue honors World War II veterans and members of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

By permitting the statue, Christensen said, the U.S. Forest Service is not reflecting government endorsement of a religious sect, or a preference for religion over non-religion.

“The government neither owns the statue nor exercises control over the property on which it is located,” Christensen wrote. “Big Mountain Jesus constitutes private speech reflecting the personal views of its private owners and therefore cannot be seen by the reasonable observer as reflecting government promotion of religion.”

Attorneys for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who successfully argued on behalf of the Knights of Columbus and four Kalispell residents who intervened in the Wisconsin group’s lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service, hailed Christensen’s ruling as a “common-sense decision.”

But Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said she was “disappointed, even shocked” by the decision of the judge, a longtime Flathead Valley attorney who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama in 2011.

*****

Christensen, she charged, had “distorted” what’s known as the Lemon test, based on a 1968 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that details how to determine whether a government action is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“The judge said the statue has no religious purpose, but the Knights of Columbus said they put it up to erect a shrine,” Gaylor said. “He turns the First Amendment on its head to claim a Jesus statue is not religious.”

“I couldn’t be more disappointed in an Obama appointee,” Gaylor said. “He might as well be a Bush appointee.”

Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel for the Becket Fund, a nonprofit Washington, D.C., law firm that says it is “dedicated to the protection of all religious traditions,” called the Lemon test “a controversial doctrine that the Supreme Court itself has not followed in a lot of cases.”

Named for one of the parties in the 1968 lawsuit, the Lemon test is three-pronged. It holds that the government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose, must not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and must not result in excessive government entanglement with religion.

“I believe Justice (Antonin) Scalia referred to it as ‘a zombie,’ ” Rassbach said of the test. “It seemed dead, but it keeps popping up. In any case, we disagree that Judge Christensen didn’t apply it the right way.”

Christensen wrote that “the permit does not reflect a religious purpose by USFS, its primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and no excessive government entanglement exists by its reissuance.”

“Many of those who view Big Mountain Jesus are likely unaware of any governmental connection at all,” Christensen wrote.

*****

The judge said the statue has become more of a historical landmark and curiosity over its nearly 60 years at the ski resort.

“Big Mountain Jesus has been the subject of much frivolity over the years,” Christensen wrote. “In addition to serving as a meeting place on the mountain for skiers and a site for weddings, it has not infrequently been observed adorned with ski poles, goggles, ski hats, mardi gras beads and other attire, all secular in nature. In fact, frequent repairs have been made to the outstretched hands of Big Mountain Jesus which have been dislodged by passing skiers who have given a ‘high five’ to the statue.”

For many, Christensen said, the statue is mostly “a historical reminder of those bygone days of sack lunches, ungroomed runs, rope tows, T-bars, leather ski boots and 210 cm. skis.”

Until the Freedom From Religion Foundation protested, the judge said, the statue’s presence at the ski resort had gone unchallenged for approximately 60 years.

“If you use that argument, that if the government violates the law for a long time, it’s OK, where would we be?” Gaylor said. “Slavery existed for 400 years, but that’s not an appropriate argument for keeping slavery. I would say that the longer it goes on, the worse it is.”

But the judge said the statue is not a violation.

“Unquestionably, Big Mountain Jesus is a religious symbol commonly associated with one form of religion,” he wrote. “But not every religious symbol runs afoul of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.”

The statue’s tree-obscured location, the judge added, makes it possible to ski at the resort “day after day” without ever seeing it. “(C)ertainly, if one wished to ski at Big Mountain and entirely avoid the statue, it is readily possible to do so without any diminishment of the skiing experience,” Christensen said.

“We still don’t know if a tree falling in a forest makes a sound,” Rossbach said. “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.”

Rossbach said based on past history, he expects the Freedom From Religion Foundation to appeal Christensen’s ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Gaylor said she had not had a chance to discuss the foundation’s next move with its legal counsel, “but my feeling is it should be appealed.”

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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(218) comments

kyndra

Federally leased land can be used for private purposes including this one. I am a staunch secularist and see no problem with erecting any kind of monument the lease holder sees fit. If I were the atheist group offended, I would just lease some adjacent land and erect an even bigger statue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Keep free speech free, if you don't want restriction placed on yours, don't place it on those you disagree with.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon Montag said "Laws didn't exist 'before the Constitution'?"

Of course they did but they are not the "host" of our laws nor do we owe any allegiance to them. What are you going to tell us next, that we need to consider what the Bible says when we decide what should be legal or moral?

You said "Tunnel vision abounds in your world. You see nothing except what is right in front of you."

You know nothing about my world.

lightninsam
lightninsam

AE--Have you ever seen anything to top this in whiney "The standard virulent pathology of the far-Left was on full display on this thread. Will the Missoulian do anything about it?"-Whhaaa teacher teacher the newbie won't let us bully hi, make the meanie leave-----because somebody beat them at their own game. ...... That actually is worthy of "priceless"--

Apparent these clowns have been running this forum as their own for a while...

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Yes, I saw that on the other thread. They gets backed into a corner and start using words like "twits," "liars," "losers," "whiners," and "goofballs."

Cato and AL KIPF are notorious for the conspiracy theories. Telling us that the Newtown shooting was a government hit moved both of them into the crackpot world, barely worthy of responding to except to poke them with the Logic Stick.

lightninsam
lightninsam

In 2-3 years and 4 other newspapers I've never seen combined the number of obvious lies as I've seen here in 10 days by just 3 posters.....

lightninsam
lightninsam

Hakon Monbag---Sir, this is kind of stuff folks like you support?
"The recognition that America was founded as a Christian nation...
.
Put America FIRST in all foreign matters...
Stop all Foreign Aid Immediately...
Abolish ALL discriminatory affirmative action programs...
Put American troops on our border to STOP the flood of illegal aliens...
Abolish all anti-gun laws and encourage every adult to own a weapon...
Drug testing for welfare recipients...
Repeal the Federal Reserve Act...
A flat income tax should be introduced...
Abortion should be outlawed except to save the mother’s life or in case of rape or incest...
We support a national law against the practice of homosexuality...
Everyone who can work should work...
We support a return to parental authority without government interference in the raising _ of our children....
We support state sovereignty resolutions...
We advocate a strong defense department to safeguard American citizens

Am i right? Is there ONE thing there "you people don't agree with?

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

lightninsam, regarding "Abortion should be outlawed except to save the mother’s life or in case of rape or incest..." I think a shift has occurred there and now they want no exceptions.

The reason is because they have been, rightly, pummeled for essentially saying that the circumstances leading to a conception makes one life less valuable than others.

lightninsam
lightninsam

I have said and told "them" more than once that "circumstances leading to a conception makes" -NO -"one life less valuable than others."----For "them" to agree that the circumstances do that ,makes them blatant hypocrites (as usual)----They are either faux-life or not....We should hope that every one of "them" starts screaming, No abortion for ANY reason----If they don't they will be blasted for their hypocrisy----

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Nice to have 'your opinion' isn't it...

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon Montag says "Nice to have 'your opinion' isn't it..."

Yes, especially when it aligns with the law and reality.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

You run the gambit well son.

Trouble is...you're quite off your rocker.

I like this one though...Everyone who can work should work...

A basic tenet of communism..

Now when you add 'context' to any given line item of your rant...you may yet learn something.

Like...do you know what the Federal Reserve is?

Do you know what discrimination is?

Have you read and at least 'attempted' to understand the Constitution and all it's Amendments?

Like maybe the 9th and 10th Amendments?

How about the Preamble to the Bill of Rights?

Do you think the Bill of Rights is 'valid'?

Then again...maybe not.

lightninsam
lightninsam

http://kkk.bz/main/?page_id=...

//www.tep-online.info/laku/usa/mino/kkk/kkk.htm

Gomez

Every hospital that does not have specific religious affiliation (which is most of them) was founded and is run for all intents and purposes an atheist or secular hospital. The belief in the supernatural is kept separate from the business of funding the enterprise & then the care & treatment of patients. Again, the religious do not have sole ownership of morals and good deeds. It's just that we don't feel we need to continually toot our horn about it nor do we feel we have the right to hold the hungry hostage for a sermon before we feed them.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Gomez, well said.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

So then you won't go the St Patricks Hospital in Missoula?
St Peter's Hospital in Helena?

You only get treated by....who where?

...and holding the hungry hostage before feeding them??? Oh please. Try to keep the discussion above the table for once in your life.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon Montag said "@ the below bunch from the peanut gallery...just goes to show you can't hold a conversation with a door knob. You people are so lost it's sad. You can't even read the words on the page and see who said what. Sad I tell you, sad."

Are we supposed to try and have an adult discussion of a topic with someone who (s)trolls in here and calls others "twits," "liars," "losers," "whiners," and "goofballs?"


Hakon Montag asked "Just where do you imagine the host of our legal system came from?"

Could you define what you are referring to by "host?"

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

"Are we supposed to try and have an adult discussion of a topic with someone who (s)trolls in here and calls others "twits," "liars," "losers," "whiners," and "goofballs?"

Coming from a tagmate of lightnin no less...I'm shocked I tell you shocked.

"Hakon Montag asked "Just where do you imagine the host of our legal system came from?"

...and AE wants to know
Could you define what you are referring to by "host?"

Do you people learn nothing in school? Where do most of the laws in any given country come from?

What basis in history do more than the lions share of our laws come from?

Oops! Some laws just fell off that 'turnip truck'...you'd best go pick them up...

I love it when so-called intellectuals can only come off as being stupid.

...and AE has never been known to say something completely fabricated about another poster he is 'trying to have an adult discussion with'

" Atheist Educator - June 30, 2013 6:43 am
lightninsam, oh, he broke easily as was evidenced by his running and hiding from a variety of issues not to mention how he created multiple online accounts to have it appear someone agreed with him.

No not AE...

lightninsam
lightninsam

"Just where do you imagine the host of our legal system came from?"----That was in reference to "Roman gods"---I listed some roman gods and asked which one was the " host of our legal system"---

Now with insult in your tone ask "What basis in history do more than the lions share of our laws come from?'---So, you think it is" Roman gods"?..

--"-----Bush didn't extend the Patriot Act"-------Ae- did you see it when he pulled that whopper out"?

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

I'm still trying to get him to say where the basis of our laws come from. Why does he avoid coming out and saying it? He seems to have a pretty strong opinion on the topic. Of course, stepping across that line means he would need to back the assertion up with evidence and that could be a bit of a problem for him.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Evidently he thinks our laws come from some "Roman god(s)"----I think that should bring down the wrath of the TRUE American bable- thumpers who claim their "god" is the source of our laws..

--"at least he isn't making fun of people with Down Syndrome." He's still looking for the definition after you used the term...

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Yes we know...you and others of your ilk have no concept of 'context'.

The context of the post was about Obama, and your refusal to say one bad word about him.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon Montag seems to have a problem coming out and saying exactly what he needs to say.

He says "What basis in history do more than the lions share of our laws come from?"

OK, I'll play. The answer to your question is The Constitution, Congress, and decisions made by the Judicial Branch.

Where did you have in mind?


Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Laws didn't exist 'before the Constitution'?

You see? That's exactly what I mean. Tunnel vision abounds in your world. You see nothing except what is right in front of you.

You never took a "history class"? Not US History...World History. Do you think HISTORY only dates back 200 years?

Our Country is but 200 years young if you want to limit things to 'The Constitution'.

Heck, just in this country, what about The Articles of Confederation? What about the Mayflower Compact...200 years earlier.

Have you no clue of HISTORY?

Where does the CONCEPT of law come from?

Darn...some more just fell off the turnip truck....

lightninsam
lightninsam

Hakon Montag - 2 hours ago --Just say you're referencing Roman law not Roman gods--We'll accept that--See how simple it is----You make things tough for yourself with stubbornness.

lightninsam
lightninsam

"Coming from a tagmate of lightnin no less...I'm shocked I tell you shocked"---" puppy nuts"? Jr.?

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

lightninsam, at least he isn't making fun of people with Down Syndrome.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Hakum Montag said
"The NRA was founded to prevent the Southern Dixie-crats from disarming blacks"-----

--Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans
Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine editorial written by Church."---

-The NRA was founded in1871----The Dixicratic party was created in 1948--

You said--"The NRA was founded to prevent the Southern Dixie-crats from disarming blacks"-------What sir, is the common term for such blatant dishonesty?

lightninsam
lightninsam

-What sir, is the common term for such blatant dishonesty?

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

"I have looked through early NRA annual reports, biographies of the founders, and other documents looking for any support for Barton’s claim. Any reference to the claim on the web is unsourced. If Barton has a source for his claim, he should bring it up.

One nagging uncertainty in this relates to the role of rifle clubs in South Carolina during the campaign for governor in 1876. Wade Hampton and Daniel Chamberlin squared off and eventually both declared victory. Hampton was a Confederate general who was aided by white “rifle clubs” throughout the state. On the other hand, the state armed black militias and some were in rifle clubs of their own. What is not clear yet to me is the affiliation of those rifle clubs. They all may have been local with none affiliated with the NRA. In fact, I can’t find any of the names of the SC clubs in the NRA annual reports, leading me to think that the NRA had nothing to do with either arming blacks or disarming them.

In any case, Barton’s claim is that the NRA arose to drive out the KKK. Currently, I see nothing to corroborate that claim. If anything surfaces, of course I will update this post."

It's called getting the information from a bad source and not checking it fully.

You've never done anything of the sort...least ways...you've never said you did in an open forum 'being honest and all that stuff'.

lightninsam
lightninsam

"It's called getting the information from a bad source and not checking it fully.

You've never done anything of the sort...least ways...you've never said you did in an open forum 'being honest and all that stuff'.
--Yes sir, I & we all sure have---My total respect to you sir.'''.... I was hoping you would do what you did== A simple,-- I made a mistake would have sufficed,..... I retract my accusation of a lie, I didn't really think it was intentional , but we fight fire with fire...I do sincerely apologize for MY mistake..... Hopefully this ends this childish feud....

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Yes blatant dishonesty...something you're well acquainted with.

The NRA has never been a civil rights group..."While African Americans were being terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan, where the Klan were sometimes aided by local law enforcement, the NRA setup charters to help train local African American communities to be able protect themselves. The most prominent case being in 1960 in Monroe, N.C. where the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People head Robert Williams also chartered an NRA Rifle Club that successully defended an assault on one of their leader's homes by the KKK without casualties."

http://www.policymic.com/articles/23929/10-surprising-facts-about-the-nra-that-you-never-hear

Gomez

For all of you that seem to think the religious have sole ownership of morality & good deeds;

"Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any reader of this column think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? " C. Hitchens.

I'll be waiting for someone to come up with a good answer to the former. You've already thought of several for the latter.

monstermaker

Plenty of evil has been performed because of religious faith and plenty of evil has been performed for reasons having nothing to do with faith. What's the point? Every time someone commits a crime not motivated by religion, I should blame an atheist?

Gomez

Yes, you really did miss the point.

The point was that it is often claimed that the religious & believers have sole dominion over morals and righteous acts. This is obviously not the case, as non-believers can clearly be moral, good and just people, and often are.

Now back to the question which appears you can not answer. "Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any reader of this column think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? "

Until you can answer that it would it appear that it it is time for you to get off your high horse. Just because religions do some good (and I admit that they do) does not mean their claims of the supernatural are true. And if you go the next step & say "Well, what's the harm if someone is a believer if it helps them through troubled times?" I would again say that just because it does some good it does not verify the claims of the supernatural, no more than a child believing in the tooth fairy makes that true. But we all know it doesn't end there though, does it? You continually try & weasel your superstitious beliefs into ours schools, laws and government. Keep it to yourself please.

monstermaker

"You continually try & weasel..."

You wonder why no one budges? I'm not weaseling anything, I'm not religious, I'm pro-choice, marriage equality, equal opportunity, but the statue is none of those and the vitriol is nothing but a turn off. Wake up.

And as to your question, there aren't any and part two, there have been and continue to be plenty, but because you can't communicate without the same hate you accuse others of there wasn't and continues to be no point.

Gomez

@monstermaker. Please give me an example of my vitriol or hate. You statement reminds me of those who used to accuse African Americans of being "Uppity" or of Gays or being unnecessarily loud or flamboyant. If we, as nonbelievers, raise our voices sometimes it is because we feel that if we don't we will not be heard. I have found that in most cases, there is no gentle or politically correct way of challenging someones faith. Anything said is usually seen as offensive by most believers. Again, I don't care what someone personally believes. But keep it out of our schools, laws and government.

monstermaker

Gomez, I owe you an apology, it's a reach to say the term "weaseling" is vitriolic and I was painting you with the same brush as Sam the way you painted me with your broad brush. Perhaps there is a lesson for both of us? Now, I must go commit an act of non-secular evil so that I can prove, at least to myself, that you don't have a monopoly on the high or low ground.

You might also be wise to remember a little history about our country. Why did the Mormons go to Utah and the Quakers to Pennsylvania? Your right to freedom from religion is no greater than the rights granted to allow others to practice their religion. A Jesus on land that is essentially private, is not the good fight that will win the hearts of Montanans. You can disagree all day, but it won't be less so.

Gomez

@Monstermaker. Apology accepted. These things can get tense & the comments section of this paper gets cluttered and confusing sometimes.

Yes, on one level, I get what you're saying. This isn't the battle atheists should be fighting. In the grand scheme of things it's not that big of a deal. But think about it. Neither was having to sit in the back of the bus. Cheers.

jdog64_98

Uh, I'd have to say it's a bit of stretch to compare this to the courage demonstrated by Rosa Parks and the others who fought to desegregate our country. It looks a lot more like the atheists are demanding the Jesus get out of his seat on the mountain.

lightninsam
lightninsam

"PRAISE GOD FOR THE ARIZONAWILDFIRE THAT KILLED 19 GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOTS!
WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH TO PICKET FIREFIGHTERS’ FUNERALS
GOD ALMIGHTY SENT THE ARIZONA WILDFIRE! "

They wave the same book and praise the same "GOD ALMIGHTY " as every other (c)histian zealot..

monstermaker

I'm sure you're going to win a great deal of support for your cause posting this sort of garbage.

monstermaker

And every Muslim is a suicide bomber and every Missoulian drives a Subaru. You should really re-evaluate.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Sir, did I say anything that is not absolutely true---You really should read more carefully.-- Although true, I did NOT say every Christian,but "as every other (c)histian zealot.".

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Yes we know...you like to bait people with subtle use of the language.

You have been found to be rather the agent provocateur since your arrival in these blogs. You also have resorted to lying when it suits you. Then you run and hide like the little twit you really are.

lightninsam
lightninsam

".you like to bait people with subtle use of the language."---But your punk buddy, just a few
days ago was saying that I was just sooo inexperienced---And now I "bait people with subtle use of the language."?----How long before the finally entertainment? When you gonna start talking in tongues? Again----Your buddies already started.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Looks like The Missoulian has been infested with a new batch of the godless, the perverted, and socialists----Who do they think they are? We're REAL Americans here! We don't need their type to agitate with their insulting opinions and challenge us on what we say..... That just shows how OUR country is rottig from the inside!!!

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

"godless," yes, but "perverted" and "socialist", no.

monstermaker

I believe It was a failed attempt at sarcasm. There is some old saying like, "no one can call you stupid until you open your mouth and prove it". Lightnin should probably take note.

lightninsam
lightninsam

No sir you should "take note' you just "proved" it---You have No idea the situation here or the point of the sarcasm...Also you are wrong on the "old saying"---Tis better to be closed mouth and perceived a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.---Keep your mouth open, nobody cares, you've already proved it.

monstermaker

Yeah, that's pretty much the gist of how I described the old saying. You seem pretty angry, I'd like to do the Christian thing and reach out and offer you some help. I'm not a Christian myself, but litigious atheists make me want to vomit, so I'm thinking of joining a church. Anyway, can I get you some help?

lightninsam
lightninsam

"You seem pretty angry"---You're still %100 wrong on everything you've said..... Maybe you could get yourself some help?

AE would probably accept some help..

JustEd
JustEd

Please accept my condolences that god isn't saving "your" country.

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
― George Washington

“When conformity is required, as it is in Christianity, what are the results? To begin with, the sacrifice of truth inevitably follows. One can be committed to conformity or one can be committed to truth, but not both. The pursuit of truth requires the unrestricted use of one's mind--the moral freedom to question, to examine evidence, to consider opposing viewpoints, to criticize, to accept as true only that which can be demonstrated--regardless whether one's conclusions conform to a particular creed.”

-George Smith

lightninsam
lightninsam

Hi, my friends...Just poking ya---We have a mutual troll I call "puppy nuts"?-----F-W

JustEd
JustEd

I'm thinking it might be a good time to lease some land for a statue of The Flying Spaghetti Monster right next to plastic jesus, in honor of all the gay men who have served our country when it conveniently needed canon fodder for the front lines. RAmen!

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Well that certainly is an new twist to it isn't it. (not a question)

In most conversations about 'the draft' et. al. it concerns itself with drafting the 'minorities' such as blacks and Hispanics primarily. Since they are usually the ones in the lower income category and don't go to college as would those of Asian ethnicity.

So...gays were the chosen canon fodder according to you...

lightninsam
lightninsam

"Well that certainly is" NOT "an new twist to it isn't it."----(" an new"?)--Nope just the same ole senseless gibberish from the homophobes.......Take him out Ed.

JustEd
JustEd

One of many "lucky" chosen. Not always drafted either, sometimes they allowed them to join. A very good read on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/Conduct-Unbecoming-Randy-Shilts/dp/0449909174 It may be a bit beyond your reading level.

Yes, we are a nation of "equality" and "freedom" sometimes...maybe...

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Oh please spare us the pretend agony.

Let's talk about the fact that glbt are but a scant 1 in 1000 of the population.

Taking one persons exploits and pretend they are so vast and so numerous....GASP!

So was it a choice for you or were you born that way?

lightninsam
lightninsam

Every comment you've posted today on every thread you've posted on has been aimed at me---about 20-------Am I troll bait? Are you sexually attracted to ole lightinsam? Are you stalking me? ---How about taking your fascination or whatever and aiming at somebody else....yuk. pervert---

and BTW--As for you and your 2 buddies, I will no longer respond to your lying insulting idiocy but when it is advantageous to me----I showed "you people" for what you are a week ago and you're still whining lying about it---I won't step into that insulting childish ignorance again......

lightninsam
lightninsam

BTW--Whine on and be damned...

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

When one actually reads the court's decision in this matter, it shows a mixture or illogical conclusions, a dreamy harkening for the good ole days, and either mocking or support of the divine.

For example, the judge says "The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic religious organization, and it appears from the record that some degree of divine inspiration determined the final location of the statue. As L.J. Reed stated in the same article: "Our Lord himself selected this site, as each member of the committee after looking over all other possibilities returned to this site and were in complete accord that this was it."

Is the court recognizing the existence of "divine inspiration?"

Jesus Tomatoes
Jesus Tomatoes

Verily? "The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic religious organization, and it appears from the record that some degree of divine inspiration determined the final location of the statue."

Noooo, more likely the 'divine inspiration" was money well placed in certain pockets. Just my opinion though. . .

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

I bet it went something like this...

So which site did you like best Fred?

Get off the rants and pretend payoffs. They leased a tract of land to put up a statue...BFD

Get on with YOUR life.

TrueAmerican

Chalk one up for the whiney atheists. They raised such a stink about a monument with the 10 Commandments on government property in Florida that, in a show of complete hypocrisy, they were allowed to set up their own silly little monument to atheism right next to the commandments. http://www.inquisitr.com/822550/atheist-monument-unveiled-at-florida-courthouse/

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Yep, whining about that pesky Constitution is such a drag.

And if you are such a supporter of the 10 Commandments, perhaps you could explain away the conflict the first few have with our Bill of Rights.

lightninsam
lightninsam

And you think christians have MORE rights than other Americans?

Jesus Tomatoes
Jesus Tomatoes

"God given rights" is what you claim? The neat thing about believing is you can believe anything you want--or are told to believe.

From you own offered web page (ending line): "However, the court’s decision to include both monuments honors the designation of the “free speech zone.”

Is it free speech you have an issue with? Or is it that some folks 'dare' to challenge your your right to limit other's points of view and said statements of such?

Hypocrisy challenged and exposed. . .

Gomez

Seriously, can you not see the irony of your comment?

If the American Atheist had their way no religious (or non religious, as the case may be) group would have these types of monuments on Government property. But if you allow one in, you gotta allow them all. Better clear space for the Muslims, The Pagans, The Wiccans, the hundreds of off shoots of Christianity, The Mormons, The Jews, The Buddhists etc etc etc. Heck, if someone files a petition to place a monument to Thor now you gotta let them have it. And once you get the courthouse lawn filled then you can start to argue which groups should get the best spots & which should be in the back corner. Now do you understand?

The monument is inscribed, in part, whit the following quotes;

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion"– 1796 Treaty of Tripoli

"When religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
– Benjamin Franklin

"It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [writing the Constitution] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven."
– John Adams

Gomez

The Atheist monument in Florida also states;

"An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated."

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

So where are all those 'atheist hospitals' located???

lightninsam
lightninsam

Who mentioned "hospitals"?---You're still talking to yourself...

JustEd
JustEd

Yes, and I'm wondering where all the tennis courts built by people who don't play golf are at. {rolls eyes}

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon, you appear to think that "atheists" are an organized group with a common set of goals and an agenda.

Atheists are just people who do not believe in supernatural deities.

While some join organizations, most do not, and those who do are primarily interested in seeing that religion leaves them alone and don't infect our laws with their mythology.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Hakon Montag --Where are all the hospitals built by all the delusional paranoids that buy up all the tin-foil//----Oh yea, they gotta pay for dem bunkers..

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@ the below bunch from the peanut gallery...just goes to show you can't hold a conversation with a door knob.

You people are so lost it's sad. You can't even read the words on the page and see who said what.

Sad I tell you, sad.

Vielfrass

The atheists apparently have their priorities all wrong. Instead of not coveting their neighbor's male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is their neighbor's, atheists want to end war and build hospitals. Silly whiney fools.

monstermaker

Except when they covet real estate on the court house lawn?

monstermaker

Except when they covet space on the court house lawn? It'd be nice if "good deeds" weren't a waste of tax dollars.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Needless to say you pretend that it is the sole dominion of the atheist to be against war, and in favor of building hospitals.

Tell us all how many hospitals have been founded, funded and run by atheists?

Where on this planet is the St Judes Hospital (for the children) that has been founded funded and run by your acclaimed atheists?

I'll wait...would you like some cheese for your whine?

lightninsam
lightninsam

"atheists want to end war and build hospitals."----As usual you can't understand....That statement came from one with the intellect to think that calling folks "Silly whiney fools." is a stroke of genus..... You have relatives posting here? So, it sounds like you're talking to yourself

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@lightnin-bug (below)

Well that sure was a fine explanation of where all them thar atheist hospitals to benefit children are...

Loser.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@lightnin-bug (below - again)

You haven't been here long enough to 'know' Vielfrass and his sarcasm.

You're still a loser.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

I am still amused by the number of so-called 'knowledgeable people' who profess that this is a statue on public land.

It ceased being public land the minute it was leased.

I know. I used to hold a lease on USFS land and BLM land. I got permits to build roads on those lands...for MY use. I got permits to 'harvest' the natural resources on those lands which I also had to pay for by the 'quantity'...in turn which I then SOLD to the public markets.

It was not an easy task to get those permits. Hoops to jump through, forms to file, egos to appease. But we did it and made money in the process for our hard work and efforts.

Government land that is leased is the responsibility of the lessee. It is almost the same as being your private property, save the landlord being Uncle Sam. If you mess it up you can still get spanked. As for other people being able to 'use' MY leased land...NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

The whole issue was raised because the lease was up for renewal.

monstermaker

And now that the lease is renewed, why are the atheists "shocked"?

lightninsam
lightninsam

--That was a very silly headline.

Number Johnny 5

No, the whole issue was raised because it was a statue with Christian symbolism in a prominent public space. Had it been a statue of Buddha, Vishnu or (as you absurdly attempted to assert) Allah, the FFRF wouldn't have cared.

You still haven't answered my question as to why statues of "mythical" Roman gods are acceptable to atheists, while statues of "mythical" Christ are not.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Number Johnny 5 asked "You still haven't answered my question as to why statues of "mythical" Roman gods are acceptable to atheists, while statues of "mythical" Christ are not."

Probably because the the followers of Roman gods (do any exist?) aren't trying to insert their superstitions into our civil laws. The Christians have a record of doing that. They had anti-blasphemy laws to back themselves up until SCOTUS through them out, they had forced Christian prayers in our public schools, and they still try to block the teaching of scientific facts that conflict with their Book of Mythology.

I don't care what they believe in or what practices they want to partake in, as long as children and animals are not injured, but it would behoove them to keep it in their clubhouses.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@AE (below)

Just where do you imagine the host of our legal system came from?

lightninsam
lightninsam

Re:-- Hakon Montag - 14 minutes ago

Just where do you imagine the host of our legal system came from?

Roman Gods?---Which one


Feronia
Minerva
Novensides[8]
Pales
Salus
Fortuna
Fons
Fides[9]
Ops
Flora
Vediovis
Saturn
Sol
Luna
Vulcan
Summanus
Larunda
Terminus
Quirinus
Vortumnus
Lares
Diana
Lucina


Janus
Jupiter
Saturn
Genius
Mercury
Apollo
Mars
Vulcan
Neptune
Sol
Orcus
Liber
Tellus
Ceres
Juno
Luna
Diana
Minerva
Venus
Vesta


Feronia
Minerva
Novensides[8]
Pales
Salus
Fortuna
Fons
Fides[9]
Ops
Flora
Vediovis
Saturn
Sol
Luna
Vulcan
Summanus
Larunda
Terminus
Quirinus
Vortumnus
Lares
Diana
Lucina

JustEd
JustEd

Will the real god please stand up and identify yourself? www.godchecker.com

lightninsam
lightninsam

Atheist Educator - --Be gentle with my friend Hakon, he beaks easily..

AE-- Do you miss "puppy nuts"? At least he didn't break easily...

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

lightninsam, oh, he broke easily as was evidenced by his running and hiding from a variety of issues not to mention how he created multiple online accounts to have it appear someone agreed with him.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Where's our new BFF, Hakon? Maybe he doesn't have access to the company computer on weekends?--Oh oh, that joke is probably unacceptable to those here.

AE-- check out, Republicans showing hypocrisy over objections to NSA spying, phone hacking, IRS scandal---Wanderer 21 hours -- Educate yourself on the type things we're not allowed to say here.---This is just weird.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@ the two goofballs below...

You can live your delusion all you want. That's the nice thing about delusion...it's all yours.

Multiple accounts...OMG...ROTFLMAO

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

...and GOT RENEWED.

monstermaker

When did "defending the principles of the Constitution" become frivolous lawsuits and name-calling? In the pursuit of happiness, we've forgotten how to be happy and we definitely can't let anyone be happy if we aren't. I hope the atheists are right about one thing; going nowhere in a hand basket sounds better than the alternative.

Bassman

Public land. Religious icon. Seems like the constitution makes the separation of church and state pretty clear. I think the judge was wrong.

On a side note - shouldnt all the christian supporters of this statue be mad that people are vandalizing and defacing the statue with beer bottles and ski gear? Every time I've gone by that thing its been covered in trash, holding a joint, etc...

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

...LEASED land...

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon Montag rattles on "To celebrate a preachers birthday 'because he was a good man' and then to turn around and blast the things he believed in and stood for while he was doing his job as a preacher..."

We get your point but you are excavating pretty deep look for tar that isn't there and pretty much building textbook straw man argument.

To say that celebrating MLK day is celebrate a "preacher" and what he believed in is like saying to celebrate Presidents Day is to celebrate a belief in slave ownership.

It IS possible to celebrate the outcomes produced by a leader and still disagree with other aspects of their lives. It just like the way some on the right nearly worship Reagan and ignore the dysfunction in his personal life.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

The level of hate towards Christianity alone is the dogma that your side digs into.

Yet, for this one man, there is undying respect and some could even say 'love'.

Very hypocritical.

I'm glad you brought the whole 'slavery thing' up.

Many of the land owners of the time had slaves. Not simply those who you would consider to be 'the other side'.

The first draft of the Declaration of Independence...included in it a scathing retort towards The King for having foisted 'slavery upon the Colonies'...they blamed him for bringing slavery to America.

The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence do NOT support or condone slavery.

The first slave case brought before the courts of America was a black man demanding return of his black 'slaves'.

The Northwest Ordinance, passed twice by our Congresses, once under the Articles of Confederation, and once under the Constitution, absolutely does not permit slavery.

The Republican Party was established as an abolitionist party against slavery.

The first Senators to be elected to Congress that were black were ALL Republicans.

The Democratic Party created the Jim Crow Laws.

The NRA was founded to prevent the Southern Dixie-crats from disarming blacks.

The Democratic Party members of the South were the ones who formed the KKK.

But...to hear tell from Democrats today...all that stuff either never happened or worse...it was really all done by the Republicans.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hakon Montag said "The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence do NOT support or condone slavery."

Huh? Then why was there need for the 13th Amendment?

BTW, the Bible condones slavery and has been used to justify it and many other illegal and immoral activities. That's a good enough reason not to have a statue to to back up that type of belief.

As for the parties, it's kind of funny how they've flip flopped over the years.

lightninsam
lightninsam

----NRA----Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine editorial written by Church."---

-The NRA was founded in1871----The Dixicratic party was created in 1948--

You said--
"The NRA was founded to prevent the Southern Dixie-crats from disarming blacks"----- How can that be true?

lightninsam
lightninsam


"The Democratic Party members of the South were the ones who formed the KKK."--The KKK was formed by former confederate solders....They may have been (D) party members.

I still amazes me how folks can display willful ignorance by trying to compare (D) and (R) before the "southern strategy" to the parties today.

lightninsam
lightninsam

"The first draft of the Declaration of Independence...included in it a scathing retort towards The King for having foisted 'slavery upon the Colonies'...they blamed him for bringing slavery to America."---So what?


"The first slave case brought before the courts of America was a black man demanding return of his black 'slaves'.---So what?

"The Northwest Ordinance, passed twice by our Congresses, once under the Articles of Confederation, and once under the Constitution, absolutely does not permit slavery." --So What?

I'm nod disputing any of those, but I sure don't see the point.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

He has waged cruel War against human Nature itself, violating its most sacred Rights of Life and Liberty in the Persons of a distant People who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into Slavery in another Hemisphere, or to incur miserable Death, in their Transportation thither. This piratical Warfare, the opprobrium of infidel Powers, is the Warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain.

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/compare.htm

lightninsam
lightninsam

Yes, I'm slow--Would you please what your point is?

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Yes you are horribly slow...a character flaw I'm sure.

The responses are to AE and I even mentioned 'why' I'm bringing up the notion of 'slavery'.

Too bad you don't really read the words on the page. Maybe someone can help you with them?

lightninsam
lightninsam

Hakon Montag - 12 minutes ago ---Why did you stop? You're not gonna answer my questions below?---""The NRA was founded to prevent the Southern Dixie-crats from disarming blacks"----


--Your comment above is not relevant to anything.

lightninsam
lightninsam

"The NRA was founded to prevent the Southern Dixie-crats from disarming blacks."//

Is that true Mr. H.M.?

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

He has prostituted his Negative for Suppressing every legislative Attempt to prohibit or to restrain an execrable Commerce, determined to keep open a Market where Men should be bought and sold, and that this assemblage of Horrors might want no Fact of distinguished Die.

He is now exciting those very People to rise in Arms among us, and to purchase their Liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the People upon whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off, former Crimes committed against the Liberties of one People, with Crimes which he urges them to commit against the Lives of another.

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/compare.htm

ReturnoftheNative

I don't care if it rains or freezes, as long as I got my plastic Jesus.

dave ajou
dave ajou

Ridin on the dashboard of my car
hit a log, hit a tree
I know he'll take care of me

DavidStalling
DavidStalling

PRAISE BIG MOUNTAIN JESUS! I'm glad Big Mountain Jesus gets to stay -- the Big Mountain just wouldn't be the same without him; He's kind of cartoonish, fun and blends right in with all the laid-back, peace-loving, Missoula-like hippies enjoying the slopes. Although the judge didn't cite it in his legal argument, I think Big Mountain Jesus has been around long enough to earn squatters rights. (I am a bit surprised those evil, diabolical, heathenistic wolves haven't taken him out!)

Oh Please

This is great! The statue is not doing any harm to anyone and if you don't like it don't ski their.

Roger
Roger

Another commentator who completely missed the point.

Dr_Resonable

And exactly what is the "Point"? You claim principle, what principle are you referring to? Tolerance, or you lack there of? Standing up for the principle that the Knights of Columbus legally leased the land, and placed a monument to honor the many men that sacrificed their lives to keep the world in peace?

This is what really kills me and I do not understand. Maybe someone can explain it to me. In what way does a memorial that has Jesus as the focal point, on leased land, placed there in memory of WWII veterans that served in Italy, state that Christianity is the state or national religion? I do not understand that. In what way is this creating a national religion?

Everyone that is against the statue keeps claiming tolerance, well where is it? You are only tolerant of things that you like or can control? It’s the “new” definition of tolerance: If I have no opinion on an issue, or don’t care about the issue, I am tolerant, but if I have an opinion on the issue and you don’t agree with me and my position, you are being intolerant. That is what the world is turning into today and it is sad.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Pretty much sums it up.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Dr_Resonable, the soldiers were supposedly trying to recreate what they saw in Europe. What is different is that many of those European countries have a state religion, something we specifically did not want to endorse. Why not replace the statue with a cannon like all the ones at Gettysburg and other war memorials?


ArmyGriz59847

These atheists are a crazy group that will stop at nothing to remove all signs of religion. This behavior reminds me of two other groups. The Taliban went all around Afghanistan and blew up all symbol of religion they didn't like. Then there are the Nazi's, not only did they remove all the symbols "book burning etc", they tried to remove the subjects to. I would have'd hoped that we learned tolerance of each persons religion, but hate groups will never learn. At least this is a small, but important win for all of us that have coming sense.

Gomez

Which "hate group" was it that wanted to tell gay men & women that they should have less rights than straight couples? Which hate group was it that attempted to use the bible to condone slavery? Which hate group was it that told us that 9/11 was a punishment for not following gods laws? Which hate group was it that showed up at the solider's funeral with signs saying "God hates Fa*s"?

Christians, that's who.

AARGH

No Gomez that was the "Westboro babtist church" Which is not a "Christian group" they are a group of hate-filled idiots. They are further from Christianity than athiests.

Gomez

You say the Westboro group is not a Christian group. I suspect they would probably say that they are only following the bible and that YOU are the one that is not a proper Christian. And that, in a nutshell, is why we need to keep church & state matters separate. Because there will never be any agreement over who's invisible magical man in the sky is the right one or who is interpreting his words (which in all cases are just words written down & edited by mortal men) correctly.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

AARGH, are you the final arbiter on who is a Christian? There are over 30,000 denominations of Christianity. Perhaps you'd like to provide us a list of who is a Christian and who isn't. It could save us lots of time here.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@AE (below)

"AARGH, are you the final arbiter on who is a Christian?

Are you?

Why don't 'you people' simply lump all religions together and blast them all? There are many groups of 'Christians' who do not believe the exact same tenets. When people like to lump everyone into 'one pile' there are bound to be objections. The Westboro Church is certainly a 'fringe' element of those who 'believe'.

...and as Gomez points out below...The Westboro Church may well look at other Christians with disfavor.

'Blankets' never cover everything properly.

lightninsam
lightninsam

Snake handlers, KKK, abortion Dr. murderers, westborites, catholic pedophiles, and every bable-thumping (c)hristian use the same book to gain their total truth. Doesn't that tell "you people" something? There are at least as many using and abusing that religion for a personal agenda and an excuse for their own wrongs as there are those practicing what they preach, i.e do unto others etc.

I know there are real Christians, but there are also the others (c)hristians.... We're known by the company we keep, and it's those "others" that stain all christians,, non-believers can never do that

-If I were a Christian I'd consider that cartoonish statue a mockery of my religion, since I'm not I hope it stays there forever so folks can point and laugh.

Vielfrass

Atheists are a crazy group? Interesting point. Consider if you will what the word "atheist" really means. It defines people by their lack of belief. So you are defining a group as crazy because their lack of belief in an invisible deity who: actively controls every atom in the universe, reads every thought on earth, responds to prayers that the soup will turn out tasty or that a touchdown will be scored, and cares very deeply who does what with whom in the bedroom. Crazy? Hate group? Atheists have no reason to hate, because we don't go for the artificial barrier that opposing religions place between eachother. Actions like this mountain Jesus are important to us only out of respect for the U.S. Constitution.

This statue may actually not be so problematic because it is on leased land, and therefore not a government expression of support for one religion. I don't really know. But the legal subtleties here are completely independent of the existence of Super G (the deity, not the ski race).

Vielfrass

The book main book-burning event that you are referring to wasn't only anti-Semitic, but rather ultra-nationalist in nature. I pass the spot almost daily on Opernplatz in Berlin where Goebbels said, “Yes to decency and morality in family and state! I consign to the flames the writings of Heinrich Mann, Ernst Gläser, Erich Kästner.” Does this sound like your typical liberal atheist as you seem to claim? Sounds a little different to me. Nazi references are a dime-a-dozen in modern American political discourse, and only serve to cheapen the memory of the horror. Not very original. Atheists aren't Nazis or Taliban or monsters, and your attempt to ideologically connect these groups is lacking. The Taliban are in fact a religious group, so your parallel is doubly erroneous.

pennygiggle

If a statue of Allah were to be erected, the Artist would be shot and or beheaded. The differences between true Christ followers and other followers of other so called religious leaders, Jesus refused to stay dead. Christ followers therefore follow life which gets messy. We understand that this life is only the beginning...... Argue with gravity and what do you get? Argue with an Atheist and what do you get? Those who know the truth are ______________. Truth is not perspective oriented regardless of any desire of denial. Enjoy the day as you may not get another.

Gomez

Proof please, not just dogma.

Vielfrass

Exactly! "Enjoy the day as you may not get another." That is exactly what we secularists (atheists) say. Welcome to the team, Penny. Live your life like there are no divine harps and angel wings and 72 willing and imaginative cuties, because frankly, there aren't. Do the right thing now and be nice, not because of some holy backstage tickets with Jésus, but simply because it makes this world better for all of us.

old farmer

I know one of the returning W.W.2 vets that helped erect the statue. He isn't Catholic, and he said it was to be a reminder and to honor those fought there way to the top of each hill in France. He was one of them. If it offends you, ski another place.Thank you Judge.

Vielfrass

The 10th Mountain divisional shoulder patch, or a regimental crest, or combat infantryman's badge (CIB) would have been good symbols to place on the mountain, and a little easier to understand (in the context of the stated intent). Does the Jesus sport any 10th MTN insignias?

Roswal

As a believer in science, gravity, and decomposition, I am still glad that they have let Jesus remain up there... it is a great, funny icon in a humorous place. I love to have my picture taken with it, just like my kids like to have theirs taken with Mickey Mouse. May your fictional dreams bless you!!! Placebo is an amazing thing!!!

fastback7

The scientific method, theories, hypotheses, and effects do not need you to believe in them. Effects simply exist and hypotheses and theories sole purpose are to be challenged. But like you, I could not care less about the statue.

Gomez

"Victories" for believers are getting smaller and smaller. On one hand you have a state Judge allowing a goofy looking (and that's really an apt description) plaster statue to stand in the forest. On the other, you have the Supreme Court ruling in two major same sex marriage cases, both of which, at their core, had biblical based objections to homosexuals having the same basic rights as straight couples.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

So Gomez...what is more important, shocking, or upsetting?

1) A goofy statue on a mountain top? That you didn't /don't pay for...

...or...

2) A federally subsidized Holiday in honor of a Preacher?

Heads up folks...PelosiGalore 'NAILED IT' with this one. This is what needs to be thrown BACK AT the idiots who proclaim disgust over GOVERNMENT FAVORED RELIGION. Which doesn't really exist except in their warped frame of mind. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

If the statue on the mountain is a so-called government approval of a religion, then what is MLK day all about? People get paid days off for this one. Most blacks I have ever known took the day off from work even though we didn't legally get that holiday in our NON-government jobs. Government workers get the day off - PAID...with YOUR DIME.

So not only are you subsidizing a Government paid day off...it's for a Preachers Birthday.

I love it.

Ummm...where is the OUTRAGE?

lightninsam
lightninsam

I'm not a big fan of MLK day, but that analogy is too goofy to even qualify as as an analogy...Think about it.... Oh, never mind.


Have to wonder if this is a joke being played on the gullible bable-thumpers...A statue of their main man looking like a crossing dressing cartoon character...... And they love it...

---Hey AE, was jesus Caucasian?

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

lightninsam asked "...was jesus Caucasian?"

It depends on who was drawing his picture.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

...I suppose you think that everyone dressed as you do 'today' way back then in the time of Jesus?

You do realize that 'pants' hadn't been invented yet...maybe you don't realize it judging from the depth of knowledge of your posts.

Roger
Roger

Hakon, some might say that Martin Luther King did much to help blacks achieve greater equality, aside from his religion.

Bones
Bones

You're slipping.

We do not celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. because he was a preacher, but because he was an icon for the civil rights movement.

By your logic, we shouldn't follow our own constitution because it was written by Christians.

Vielfrass

Montag,

PelosiGalore didn't quite line up the little cherries in the slot machine window like you seem to think, but I understand the mistake. Let me explain the subtle-but important-flaw in the argument.

Martin Luther King Day is a Holiday because of his work for civil rights, not for his Christian philosophy. No sane atheist makes the claim that the good deeds of religious people are tabu subjects because of the beliefs of the doer. You won't find atheists trying to erase the Civil War era underground railroad from history books because Quakers and Presbyterians were instrumental in its success.

See? The difference is small, but very important.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

To all who commented inre MLK day and his being a 'preacher' and it NOT being connected.

For convenience of 'your argument' you are simply pretending that his being a 'preacher' had nothing to do with his Civil Rights activities.

When the reverse is the absolute fact.

He conducted his Civil Rights activities because he was a preacher.

You can't simply erase all of his speeches and passion from the argument for the sake of denying he was a preacher. Listen to his 'sermons'.

You are the ones who are in denial here.

Vielfrass

Indeed, you are probably right that some of his motivation for his civil rights activities were religious. I am not denying that. But the holiday exists because of his deeds, not because of the unique mixture of reasons he had. There were plenty of christian preachers who were not motivated to act as he did. Many preachers in the South preached against the civil rights movement. If all that was required to support civil rights was a job at the pulpit, then they would have all shared the same opinion and acted as one. Didn't happen.

No church and state problems here.

Sorry.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@Vielfrass (below)

So you admit he had a unique mixture of reasons for doing his preaching and sermonizing and still say it's okay to celebrate the birthday of a preacher.

Because you say so.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

@all the blasters...

To celebrate a preachers birthday 'because he was a good man' and then to turn around and blast the things he believed in and stood for while he was doing his job as a preacher...

You lump all 'Christians' as being idiots and bad people...you lump all sects of Christianity as being bad...but he was okay even though he was a preacher in the religion you oh so love to bash...why? Because he was black?

There were MANY preachers who spoke out for Civil Rights back then. But he did get the lions share of publicity, and he did promise Kennedy 'the vote'...

You know they had 'tapes' on him don't you?

...oh the irony...

Vielfrass

Two responses, Montag:

1. I do not lump Christians together as idiots and bad people. I would have to include my father in this group and he is neither. I do understand the comfort that some people get from these doctrines, and the sense of community as well. Religion has inspired a mass of art, architecture and also of compassion. I however, can not believe in these unlikely stories without proof. I am not able. I am ready to tell anyone what I think of the claims of the holy books and of the ethical problems that arise from them; the judgmental attitude of morality that consigns people to hell for being who they are or simply because they believe in a different creation myth.

2. You wrote, "So you admit he had a unique mixture of reasons for doing his preaching and sermonizing and still say it's okay to celebrate the birthday of a preacher. "

Of course! We all have a unique mixture of reasons for doing what we do; some we inherit, some we experience or learn. Part of his motivation to become an activist certainly came from his interpretation of Christian doctrine. Where is the church/state conflict here? I really do think you are reaching for something that doesn't exist. If the official holiday designation went something like this, there would be a problem:

This day is designated a national holiday because our Lord and Savior Jésus motivated MLK to do his will and promote equality among men.........

It doesn't.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Response to #1.

If someone doesn't believe...then anything anyone says to them is of no importance. Why would someone get upset at being condemned to Hell if they don't believe Hell exists?

If you don't believe it, it doesn't exist, so why the uproar? Pretty simple.

Response to #2.

The problem is in the obvious irony and selective tinkering that atheists do to contort their will upon others, and then turn around and claim they can honor this man...who was a preacher.

Every session of Congress since 1789 has opened with a prayer.

There is an Office of The Chaplain of The House of Representatives

06/26/2013
Reverend Michael Rucker

Dear Heavenly Father, we come into Your presence and thank You for all that You have done for this country.

We would ask Your leadership in the decisions that need to be made to keep this country great. Help us to put aside our personal feelings and do what is right for this great Nation and the people of this Nation.

Lord, we would ask You to help all the States that have had catastrophes the past few months. Continue to heal and restore back the things that have been lost or destroyed in these events.

We are so thankful for Your watch care over us. Keep us free from the tyranny of those who want to take our freedom away. Watch over our men and women in the military.

We appreciate the liberty You have so graciously blessed us with. We want to give You all the praise and the honor and the glory, and we thank You for it.

In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen.

The Senate has their own Chaplain as well

The current Chaplain, the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, Barry C. Black, is the first African-American and the first Seventh Day Adventist to serve in the position. He previously served as Chief of Chaplains of the United States Navy, holding the rank of Rear Admiral. Although some news reports note that Black is the "first military chaplain" to serve as Senate Chaplain, the Rev. Edward L. R. Elson, the 59th Chaplain of the United States Senate, served as an Army chaplain during World War II.

http://chaplain.house.gov/chaplaincy/ChaplainHistoryCRS.pdf

Ghads...what happened to 'separation' of Church and State?

Which only exists in minds of those who can't read the 1st Amendment.

Vielfrass

The prayers shouldn't be receited.

tank man

THE HEADLINE READS..."SCHOCKED" THEY HAVENT SEEN ANYTHING YET..
WAIT TIL THEY LOOK THE REAL "JESUS" IN THE EYE AND TRY TO GIVE HIM
A LINE OF GARBAGE.....GOOD LUCK WITH THAT....

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

tank man said "...REAL "JESUS"..."

Yeah, right. So many gods to choose from: www.godchecker.com

lightninsam
lightninsam

And the "progressively challenged" has arrived with her new liberal coloring book.

tank man

TO ATHIEST EDUCATOR....I DONT HAVE TO GO TO A WWW LOCATION
TO KNOW WHO THE REAL JESUS IS...BUT OF COURSE YOU FOLKS CAN
WORSHIP A CAN OF SPAM AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT...

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

tank man said "...BUT OF COURSE YOU FOLKS CAN WORSHIP A CAN OF SPAM AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT..."

Actually, "we folks" don't worship anything. Why should we?

madtaxpayer

LOL! That's great. good to hear it. the statue isn't in Missoula, I'm sure if it was the liberals would have taken it down long ago. But you have no say over whitefish. nice try though. just go home and cry kay? and by the way, I'm agnositc, don't give a hoot about religion but I believe in tradition as we all should.

rooter

Gomez, you DO understand that Obama calls himself a Christian, don't you? I think we have an issue of separation of church and statist.

walter12

Just say, jump in a lake, to the atheist and communist and Marxist and Stalinist and Obamanite. It is that simple. The nation is in a cultural, social, and political civil war.

Vielfrass

..and if "jump in the lake" is your only defense of your position, maybe you don't really know why you have a position.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

It sounds like the judge thinks that it's such a goofy looking statue that no one should take it seriously. You'd think that believers in this mythical deity would be more offended than nonbelievers.

Number Johnny 5

Exactly, which just further proves how many atheists get uptight over the dumbest things. You're so oppressed!

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

I consider this statue just a clean up operation. Other pieces of "Christian Privilege" have been dealt with already such as removing forced Christian prayers from our public schools, ruling anti-blasphemy laws unconstitutional, and numerous other incursion of a popular superstition into our laws.

Number Johnny 5

If removing sanctioned religious symbols from federal lands is "clean up", you have a lot of clean up to do. Don't forget that big statue of Mary in Butte. You might ask the U.S. Army if you can use their Sikorsky helicopters, since they were the ones who installed it.

Edited by staff.

madtaxpayer

well guess what, I don't like to see your gay friends out in public either, but we have to put up with them, so you will have to put up with the jesus statue!

Vielfrass

Do you know that AE has gay friends, madtax? He has gay friends because he is an atheist? Or liberal? Should his gay friends stay at home? Maybe we could legally require them to stay at home! Or even better, we could make special homes for them-with strong locks-so we don't have to see them!! It is really horrible to see them in public driving their gay cars, drinking their gay coffee (surely decaf) and reading their gay newspapers.

PelosiGalore
PelosiGalore

You good liberals DO realize, don't you, that Martin Luther King was a ........reverend? So according to you MLK holiday would violate the separation of church and state because it promotes the teachings of a religious leader. You do realize where MLK got much of the philosophy that he preached, don't you? That's right, he got them from Jesus.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Shhh...you're upsetting nappy time...

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

It is kind of a quandary that the 1st 'Federal Holiday' to honor a Black Man is also one that honors 'religion'...

Dang those Liberals anyways huh...

PelosiGalore
PelosiGalore

Many of us aren't thrilled about having our children exposed to 6' 2" bearded, dress wearing Lady man crossdressers downtown either. Our good liberal friends tell us that we are not allowed to be offended and that we need to be "tolerant". Well, I hope all of you good liberals can learn to be tolerant, and not offended by.....wait for it.......diversity! Not everyone is going to like the same things that you do. You are going to have to learn to tolerate things that you don't like instead of always trying to destroy them. Welcome to America! Start learning how to play nice with others and you might not be so miserable all of the time. Peace out, homeys!

Vielfrass

Yeah! I hate tall dudes too. They shouldn't be allowed downtown where we have to tolerate them. Some of them even have hormonal imbalances which cause facial hair to grow. We need to protect our children from.....from........from....um....from........uh. Well I don't know, but I am sure it is bad!

TrueAmerican

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. we have the right to not believe in anything, therefore, nobody has the right to believe in any higher power. signed, the atheists.

Roger
Roger

People can believe what they want, but they don't have the right to force their views on others, or to place their religious icons on public land.

Vielfrass

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Public property officially sanctioned shanti shanti bad.
Private property shanti shanti allowed.

As a true American I imagine that you support the Constitution of the United States of America.

unknowncommenter

But wait, there's more.............
The God said in the Bible
 'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

Talking about 'other Gods' and graven images...

AARGH

"false Gods"

AL KIPF
AL KIPF

“I couldn’t be more disappointed in an Obama appointee,” Gaylor said. “He might as well be a Bush appointee.”

Gaylor reveals her utter naivete in this utterance. Does she truly and honestly believe that because she's a progressive libtard the other progressive libtards will bend to her demands?

She is likely incapable of doing so but she should step out of the (R) (D) dialectic and into reality. Shrub and soetero are pawns of the international banking syndicate, nothing more nothing less. Incompetent, pathetic petty bureaucrats.

Just because you are a collectivist/statist sycophant, Gaylor, don't think for one minute they won't come after you too.

Wake up or mind your own business and stay in the peoples republik of wiss CON SIN.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Hey AL, "soetero?" I see you're still at it. BTW, how's that proof coming along that the shootings at Sandy Hook were a government hit job?

montanamuralist
montanamuralist

Atheists...relax. Your blood pressure will go up and you will be at risk for a stroke. Over a statue of something you don't believe. Is that worth going to your oblivion over? Of course not. Unless you are actually working for the "other side"??? If we were dressing up a statue of lucifer or some demon elf or something up there on the mountain, would that give you a cerebral event? Hmmm, interesting thought. Anyway relax oblivion is our fate believers. Relax and go skiing. Perhaps put a ski hat on the statue next time you are up there....smile, say it looks good and get on with life. After all, you only have oblivion to look forward to. Why let this stuff get your dander up???

Roger
Roger

They're standing up for a principle - something you wouldn't understand.

Rylee
Rylee

I ski past it every weekend and always give high fives. I've never pictured it as a religious shrine, I mean seriously its on top of a mountain, all you have to do is turn your head if don't like it, simple as that. Everyone i see there always takes pictures with it having complete fun with the statue, but i guess some people like to just ruin fun to feel better about themselves that they're promoting religious "tolerance".

Roger
Roger

Very shallow thinking, Rylee. Ever hear of standing up for a principle? The statue is an endorsement or advertisement for Christianity on public land. If the Jesus statue is allowed, why can't other religions get the same deal on a land lease, to set up a religious statue or icon of their choice? Perhaps the athiests should request permission to place a plaque or something as a counter to the garish Jesus thing. That's only fair.

snickers
snickers

I feel about it like I do the ugly billboards, just ignore it, it's not affecting me one way or the other. However, they do need to get rid of the garish paint job. White would be nice.

dsrobins

Ugh. That statue is hideously ugly and just a piece of pure kitsch. Let's hope someone pays it a nighttime visit soon with a stick of dynamite.

dave ajou
dave ajou

That's the 2nd time you've made that threat. Let's hope the FBI pays you a visit.It ain't the 60's anymore Davey.

Gomez

dsrobins. That would be the worst possible thing you could do. Let the courts handle it.

Vielfrass

ds...I have to quote fro the great movie "The Big Lebowski."

"Nobody (messes) with the Jesus."

If you want to solve kitsch problems with violence, you won't find enough dynamite. Advocate the rule of law.

lamicane

Common sense prevails. Thank-you Lord!

Bones
Bones

Thanking the Lord for common sense. You just made my day :)

Roger
Roger

Good one, but he probably doesn't get it.

MissoulaMom

Ha! Good for Jesus. I'm not religious at all, but really, what harm could a statue of a man in a dress do to anyone? It's good fun, and if some people want to make it a shrine or an idol, then that is their business.

Gomez

I like the line about the man in the dress. : ).

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

Something tells me that if it was a statue to Vishnu or Allah this whole conversation would be different.

AARGH

This isn't a country that was founded on any other religeon than Christianity. Since the founding other religeons have entered and have been accepted. The statue was put there by a group of veterans who fought for our religeous freedoms. so if someone decided to put a buddah or Allah or a mini Gandhi on the hill I'm sure the liberals and the bedwetters would scream racism.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

AARGH said "This isn't a country that was founded on any other religeon[sic] than Christianity."

Actually, it wasn't founded on any religion. If it was, why isn't that particular religion enshrined in our Constitution? OK, I'll give you slavery since the Bible does support that practice.

AARGH said "...I'm sure the liberals and the bedwetters would scream racism."

Following the Constitution regarding the Establishment Clause should not be a partisan issue. However, ever since one party was hijacked by the religious right, that seems to be the case.


Vielfrass

Actually, the tough bastardos fought to kick some axis behind, and save the world from fascist domination. Not explicitly for our religious freedoms. And this country was not founded on Christianity.

Number Johnny 5

Yeah, or a Roman god, like Vulcan or Libertas.

Atheist Educator
Atheist Educator

No, it seems they only get upset by competing deities, not the ones they've labeled as mythical.

Number Johnny 5

So how do you explain why atheists get upset over statues of Christ, which they (including yourself, in this very comment thread) have labeled as "mythical", but not these other statues, which are equally "mythical" by atheist standards?

Gomez

Nunber Johnny 5 said "So how do you explain why atheists get upset over statues of Christ, which they (including yourself, in this very comment thread) have labeled as "mythical", but not these other statues, which are equally "mythical" by atheist standards?"

The reason is because Christians are the ones trying to impose their will on us through the laws of the land. If an elected official tries to impose laws upon us because of his belief in Thor or a Volcano God then we would stand up to them as well.

Hakon Montag
Hakon Montag

The next story on this topic will be about the vandalism (that is going to happen) which will destroy the statue.

But it is refreshing to see a court case get decided correctly.

Roger
Roger

Perhaps they'll get a smarter judge for the appeal.

Gustave

Good. I'm sick of these out of state groups sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

Gomez

You do understand that their are atheists that live in Montana, right?

Gustave

I do understand that THERE are atheists in Montana, but if they are so concerned about this then they should file the lawsuit.

Bones
Bones

It's likely that the original notification came from a local. It's unlikely that a single individual would have been effective for lack of funding or expertise.

Gomez

Doh. I had that coming. I knew it was wrong the split second after I hit the "post" button. I hate that this forum doesn't have a 2 minute edit feature. : )

Second point. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. But that doesn't mean we can't comment on this. It is much more than a local issue when 3 or 4 of the last Republican candidates for President stated that they were told by god to run for office. We have to keep this nonsense out of of our Government & off our Public lands.

Gomez

Er, that's "there". : ) I hate that this site does not have an edit feature. : )

lamicane

Gustave's use of the word "their" was correct in the first place. No need for the edit feature,except perhaps for yourself.

Gomez

Yes, I know. I was referring to mistake but the comment ended up in the wrong place.

frazzle

I don't believe in god but have a hard time understanding why anyone would care,this world would be a much better place if people minded thier business and kept their hands to themselves

Gomez

Would you feel the same way if it were a lawn jockey characterizing an African American or a huge rebel flag? Both are historical symbols that were once commonly accepted but are now seen as offensive to many.

Gomez

Yes, I think that would be a good idea too. Would you please remind the people that run for office & pass the laws in this country to keep their own religious mumbo jumbo to themselves too? : ) Believers seem to want it to be all take & no give.

sportscaster

Hallelujah! - Bill Schwanke

JLight

Great news!

RPT

It’s good to see a judge get one right every now and then.

DMarie

glad to see it can stay

MontanaLady

Thank you Judge Christensen!!!! Thank you for preserving an iconic piece of Montana's history, and not allowing some out of state atheists take this away from us. God bless you all!

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