I ran across more about yesterday’s Jesus statue story. Turns out the Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted the U.S. Forest Service regarding the religious-themed statue on government property. Does making a fuss about statues and property make FFRF seem petty, or are issues like this worth bringing to the forefront in order to trigger discussion about the ubiquitous nature of Christianity’s ties to so many aspects of our culture? “Ubiquitous” is not synonymous with “innocuous” after all. Personally, I think they’re right to point out the need to be conscious of just how prevalent this type of thing is and how divisive it can become under some circumstances. There have been enough years of taking it for granted that the nation truly is a “Christian” nation. Add up the minority groups and will Christians still a big majority? Even if the answer is yes, does that fact justify blanketing the country with iconography that only “speaks” to that chunk of the population? I say it does not and I know I’m not alone in that.
news of the statue’s uncertain future prompted enormous outcry from local residents who value its history and say it is part of the ski resort’s heritage. Local veterans of the 10th Mountain Division who served overseas were instrumental in developing the ski area on Big Mountain, and the statue pays homage to them.
Within hours, proponents had launched a “save the statue” Facebook page, and even U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., offered his support, urging Forest Service officials to reconsider in a strongly worded letter.
But Gaylor disputed the notion that the statue memorializes veterans.
“This is a sham designation that insults and excludes the many ‘atheists in foxholes’ and non-Christian veterans who defended our country,” Gaylor stated in a news release.
“Just because a violation is long-lasting does not make it ‘historic’ or right, as defenders claim,” she added. “Would they argue slavery is OK because it was long-lasting throughout U.S. history? That mountain was Jesus-free for all but a few years of its natural history.”
If you want Christian-themed monuments, put them on land owned by churches or other Christian organizations. If you want monuments that honour all those who’ve fought and died for your country, keep them secular so people who never would have counted themselves as Christian won’t be remembered as Christian-by-proxy. I think it dishonours who they were when they were alive and they don’t deserve that. Not after all they went through.