Forest Service rethinks Jesus statue permit

Here in the land of Not Surprised, you can guess my reaction to this news.

The Flathead National Forest supervisor is withdrawing his earlier decision to deny a permit renewal for the memorial statue of Jesus Christ located on the Big Mountain, citing the statue’s possible historical significance.

The statue is near the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s Chair 2 on a 25-by-25 foot parcel of land that has been leased from the Forest Service since 1953.

The statue was erected as a memorial to Montana’s returning World II veterans with the support of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

Forest Supervisor Chip Weber notified the regional forester Friday that he is withdrawing his Aug. 24 rejection of the permit in order to formally seek public comment in the next few weeks.

“It has always been clear to us that there are strongly held values associated with this monument and that it is important to the community,” Weber said. “Information that developed after my August 24th decision is a significant factor driving this withdrawal and reconsideration.”

I have dual citizenship in the nation of Cynicism so I can’t help but wonder if they’ve taken a shitload of flak from Christians threatening to boycott Whitefish Mountain Resort in the run up to the snowy holiday season should the statue be denied continued residency on site. How much tourism money can the state afford to lose?

Ah well. Better luck next monument…

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