FOX NEWS — A five-year battle to bring down a statue of Jesus that stood atop Big Mountain in Montana ended last week with a whimper, not a bang.
The atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation let an appeal deadline set by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pass, effectively ending the long-running challenge to remove the statue, which is part of a World War II memorial. The six-foot likeness was originally erected by the Knights of Columbus in the Flathead National Forest to honor the service of local veterans who fought the Nazis in the Italian Alps.
The FFRF had been trying since 2010 to have the statue—nicknamed “Big Mountain Jesus”—removed from the popular Montana ski slope, claiming that its presence was a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause. A lower court originally held the memorial could stay in August 2015 and the subsequent appeal deadline came and went without any response from the FFRF.