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Big Mountain Jesus gets federal legislative hearing

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A congressional hearing will be held that may resolve the issue about the placement of a statue of Jesus created with help from veterans and dedicated to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., a major proponent of the statue, crafted legislation that would allow for a land swap between the federal government and Whitefish Mountain Resort, which operates its ski runs on federal land, for the 25-by-25-foot plot where the statue is located.

The statue, which had been permitted on the mountain since 1953, has come under scrutiny from the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation, which argued the statue violates the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause. Mr. Rehberg will speak about the proposed land swap to the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands at 9 a.m. Friday.

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