Attorney General Weighs In On Jesus Statue Amid Appeal Process - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Attorney General Weighs In On Jesus Statue Amid Appeal Process

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WHITEFISH - Attorney General Tim Fox filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday backing the controversial Jesus statue on Whitefish Mountain.

Some sixty years ago, the Knights of Columbus put up the statue to honor the veterans from the army's Tenth Mountain Division.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) demanded the statue's removal, and then appealed a district court's decision to keep the statue in February.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Knights of Columbus, is working to keep statue. They sent off a brief last Wednesday after the appeal brought the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The FFRF has the chance to fire back a response by next Wednesday.

Then, the court will set up a time for an in-person debate in California. The Forest Service and the Becket Fund will argue for, and the FFRF will be against.

"It's really ridiculous that the FFRF is making these claims. It's private speech by the Knights of Columbus. The Forest Service opened the national forest to all kinds of uses and it's in no way promoting religion," said Eric Baxter, senior counsel for the Becket Fund.

It could take several months after the oral arguments to hear back from the court.

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