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Whitefish's Jesus Beats Atheist Lawsuit, Remains On Mountain

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It's certainly been an exciting 24 hours in courtrooms nationwide, with instantly-famous Texas state senator Wendy Davis filibustering an abortion bill in the State house until legislatures cast their votes just minutes after the deadline, defeating the measure, while the Supreme Court handed down two huge wins for gay rights advocates. But meanwhile, a more localized battle of morality and religion has been taking place in Whitefish, Montana. We reported back in December on a statue of Jesus at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort that had been installed 57 years ago to honor the 10th Mountain Division's efforts in World War II, but which had come fire when a Wisconsin-based group of atheists sued to have the statue removed from the Forest Service land it was installed on.

Well, to the delight of Christians everywhere, a judge ruled that the statue "does not convey to a reasonable informed observer" that the state endorses Christianity, and that it is clear that the Knights of Columbus are instead the private party promoting the idol. The judge later said that "The statue's secular and irreverent uses far outweigh the few religious uses it has served. The statue is most frequently used as a meeting point for skiers or hikers and a site for photo opportunities, rather than a solemn place for religious reflection."

Judge Dana Christensen said the Forest Service could issue another 10-year permit for the statue to remain. We'll see you in a decade, Freedom From Religion Foundation...

· Jesus ski resort statue can stay, says judge [USA Today]
· Whitefish Jesus archives [Curbed Ski]