The ACLU of Montana submitted comments today opposing the renewal of a U.S. Forest Service permit allowing the Knights of Columbus to maintain a statue of Jesus on public land at the top of Whitefish Mountain.

The group says its sculpture is a World War II monument. But the Knights of Columbus is clearly a religious organization and the statue is a Christian figure. No reasonable observer would view it as anything other than a Christian symbol.

The permit for it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by advancing and endorsing a particular religion -- in this case Christianity.

We urge the Forest Service to not renew the permit.