Montana Jesus Statue Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed

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A lawsuit against a statue of Jesus near a Montana ski resort is moving forward.

The judge in the case was originally going to dismiss it because the atheist group who brought the suit didn't produce someone to say it was offensive.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation later produced a local man who complained the statue is religious and offensive.

The statue sits on federal land next to Whitefish Mountain Resort. It was originally place there in 1955 as a monument to World War II veterans in the area.

Last year, a forestry official withdrew a motion to not renew the statue's federal permit after learning it was qualified to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Knights of Columbus received the first permit to erect the statue in October of 1953 as a memorial to local veterans. They've had the permit renewed every 10 years since then until last year's challenge.

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