Court rules Jesus statue can stay on mountain

July 22, 2013

A federal district court judge ruled June 24 that the statue of Jesus erected on federal land at Big Mountain in Montana can stay where it is.

"Leasing public land within a private ski resort to a private organization that maintains a statue of Jesus does not violate the Establishment Clause" of the Constitution, a U.S. district judge ruled.

"The statue does not convey to a reasonable informed observer that the government rather than a private party endorses Christianity over any other faith or the absence of faith," the judge said.

For the past 60 years, the Knights of Columbus has leased national forest land at Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain for the statue.