The story that doesn’t quit.
despite the efforts of Montana’s congressional delegation, the very land the statue stands on is susceptible to future mining, oil and gas drilling, and geothermal development.
Democratic senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester have twice introduced the North Fork Watershed Protection Act, which would bar mining and new oil and gas development on the North Fork watershed of the Flathead River. Although the legislation has garnered broad support from the local community, passage of the bill has not been forthcoming.
Earlier this year, Whitefish Mountain Resort and the city of Whitefish succeeded in expanding the act to include Big Mountain and Haskill Creek, which were originally omitted from the legislation.
It makes sense when you consider the $150 million US spent in Montana every year by Canadian tourists, and the location of the threatened statue, at a popular winter tourist destination.
Anyone who’s ever skied Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain likely knows of the Christ in crisis. That’s a group bound to include plenty of Albertans — a recent survey around Whitefish showed 25% of cars parked in the tourist town had Alberta plates.
Alberta tends to be considered Canada’s bible belt.
That article happens to have a pretty decent picture of the monument:
I don’t know why I didn’t hunt down a picture of the thing earlier. That’s damn tacky looking. A powder blue and purple Jesus wearing heart shaped jewelry? That’s a war memorial? Wow. I’m amazed anyone thinks that’s worth saving or even respectful of any war hero’s memory. Looks like it should be on the shelves of some kitchy bargain basement type trinket store. With dust and spiderwebs all over it because it’s even too tacky for people who’d shop in kitchy bargain basement type trinket stores…
A single complaint is all it took for the FFRF to launch an official action against the Forest Service, which immediately cancelled the half-century lease.
“We got a complaint, so we acted on it — the Forest Service has been breaking its own statute by allowing this statue,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin-based no-God group.
“It’s illegal, because it’s a shrine, a Jesus shrine on state land. The business of the federal government at this point is to correct this violation.”
I expect it’s going to remain up there anyway. People are taking this personal now. The Knights of Columbus are trying to push historic significance but also traditionalism which people tend to think of in personal terms. Jesus is near and dear to a lot of hearts so to have Jesus under attack, well, you may as well be threatening to dig out people’s souls while you’re at it.
if the supporters of Jesus want Canadians to defend the ski hill icon, it’s no surprise the atheists are calling on northern tourists to demand the statue be shifted.
“We understand something like 30% of Canadians consider themselves non-religious, and they should speak up too,” said Gaylor.
Better be more than me, though. I’m one voice in the virtual wind here. Who’s out there paying attention to me? I’m not enough.
But one’s better than none: I say figure out a way to save the statue so it can be moved somewhere else and then put up a secular and serious looking monument that really speaks for the wide range of soldiers (Christian and atheist and whatever else) who fought and fell and died for that country so citizens and tourists alike can be free to ski down the majestic slopes in peace and harmony. I don’t see why that’s such a hard concept to wrap heads around.