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Jesus statue challenge salvaged by local atheist

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:00 pm

A lawsuit seeking the removal of a Jesus statue near a Montana ski resort will go on after a national group of atheists and agnostics produced a local member who says he is offended by the religious symbol whenever he swooshes down the slopes.

The Knights of Columbus and four individuals had asked a judge to throw out the legal challenge because the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation had not named anyone actually harmed by the statue on federal land next to Whitefish Mountain Resort.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • mttaxpayer posted at 8:01 am on Thu, Sep 19, 2013.

            mttaxpayer Posts: 4

            Reading all the hateful threatening nasty comments by the "good christians" just reaffirms my decision to read and study and realize that religion is a myth and a scam.

            The statue is based in a lie, but so is religion.

            The knights of Columbus are just modern day crusaders bullying the common people of this valley.

          • Hope posted at 4:12 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

            Hope Posts: 1

            ... This makes me wonder if they're going to remove the giant cross over by Bigfork, as well. The Jesus statue is a piece of history. If somebody has THAT big of a problem, they should go skiing elsewhere. I'm SURE the statue was there before they even began going to Big Mountain. Goodness gracious people.

          • JLight7 posted at 11:00 am on Fri, Dec 21, 2012.

            JLight7 Posts: 11

            I'd like to see the statue left in place, and I'm wondering if there's anything someone like me can do to help the cause. If one miniscule group can make such turmoil, there must be something that the rest of us can do to offset their madness.

          • ynnig posted at 3:21 pm on Fri, Dec 14, 2012.

            ynnig Posts: 2

            Cuzican, you see the world through the eye of a needle, cannot see outside of the box. Those so called morons (that you have sadly named them), standing on Meridian, have built many Habitat for Humanity homes, and fed hundreds of homeless. When you are passionate about anything that represents righteousness (moral law), you proclaim it, you defend it, and if it changes but ONE life that produces righteousness then it is ALWAYS time well spent.

          • Uneeklyme posted at 5:23 am on Thu, Dec 13, 2012.

            Uneeklyme Posts: 1

            I really don't care one way or the other if the statue is there.

            What is irritating is the fact that it is indeed a religious symbol put forth under the guise of a WWII memorial. Just call a spade a spade.

            My biggest reason for commenting though is I have often wondered who's head would pop off if I were to erect a giant pentagram in my front yard and label it a memorial to my ancient grandmother. I'm talking huge, much like the 10 commandment boards I see in other people's yards. Mine is an unfenced yard in a highly visible, very public location and passerby's would be many. The street in front of my home is used for parking for the church on the corner. Would my rights to do so be questioned? I'm pretty sure it would. I'm pretty sure the "religious" connotations of a huge pentagram would come in to play somehow when in truth, for me, it just reminds me of my ancestry and my family's struggle to overcome adversity.

          • smackya posted at 5:43 pm on Mon, Dec 10, 2012.

            smackya Posts: 953

            Athiest and Agnostic's have statues up everywhere, you don't see christians sueing them. Why are they not demanding Hawaii to take down all there statues of there God/King/Goddess? They have them on Fed., Public, and State land over there. Or how about Alaska Indians, try telling them to take down there totem poles of there Gods that they have on Fed. and State lands! Tell every veterans family that they are going to remove his or her cross above there grave. Why are they not demanding all the crosses removed from our state highways. Why are they not burning all there money that they have in there pockets? It has In God We Trust on it.

          • cuzican posted at 11:22 am on Mon, Dec 10, 2012.

            cuzican Posts: 231

            I don't know if I consider myself Athiest.....I really just don't believe in any kind of religion or "god".
            The concept of there being some higher power constantly watching us is too much like an imaginary friend for me to fall for it.
            Anyway the point of this isn't for me to discuss whether there is or isn't a "god".

            Just wanted to make it clear that I don't believe in "god" nor will you be able to convince me to believe.

            I don't care if that statue is there or anywhere else. Does it really friggin matter?
            Leave the damn statue alone and stop wasting money on such a ridiculous thing.
            There are many other ventures to concentrate on that could actually improve our community.
            But no, we are gonna waste a bunch of time and money on something that 95% of the population couldn't care less about.

            This lawsuit reminds me of the morons down on Meridian with their 40 days for life joke.
            What a waste of man-hours. If that same group of people would dedicate the same amount of hours volunteering for a worthwhile cause can you imagine how much better our world would be?
            I'd guess the time wasted standing on the sidewalk in front of that clinic could have easily built a couple of habitat for humanity homes, or prepared and served thousands of meals to the homeless.
            Or collected untold amounts of toys for Toys for Tots.....or any other number of worthwhile causes.

            But no....instead, because our religion/beliefs are somehow superior to everybody else we are going to stand on a sidewalk so people can laugh at our ignorance as they drive by.

          • Yodah posted at 6:02 am on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

            Yodah Posts: 26

            This from a man that has never had ONE....ONE kind or supportive word to say about President Obama....

          • mooseberryinn posted at 3:54 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            mooseberryinn Posts: 2697

            The "freedom from Religion" people can waste our time, waste court time, and waste their time because they just don't have anything better to do. Small time, mean little people are always doing to make up for their self-image problems by idiot attacks on people much better than them. Too bad, but it is just a weary part of human weakness.

          • Degüello posted at 10:30 am on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            Degüello Posts: 4

            I am agnostic.
            I do not and never will worship a made up fairy tale.
            But at the same time I relize that there are people who do buy into this way of thinking and if that is what gets you through your day then more power to you.
            Just because I don't believe in it doesn't mean I want the statue removed. I am not offend by it or any other religious propaganda.
            If it bothers someone they just need to buck up, put on thier big boy/girl underwear and deal with it.
            As far as I'm concerned it should stay and I wouldn't care if someone wanted to put up a Jewish Star or a representation of Mohammad next to it.

          • Viking posted at 9:04 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

            Viking Posts: 1

            I would like to comment but I'm afraid I may offend someone.

          • Yodah posted at 10:14 am on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

            Yodah Posts: 26

            Why does The Daily InterLake allow the posting of what could legally be interpreted as threats to do harm to an individual???? I know that you do not take kindly to opposing points of view but you should draw the line at TERRORISTIC THREATS.....but then if you want to give the boss's paper away.......

          • Westvalley posted at 12:28 pm on Sat, Dec 1, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            "anyone actually harmed by the statue" My question is how can a statue of a man harm anyone?

            if Cox was so offended by the statue why did it take the Freedom from Religion Foundation so long to find him? How much money did it take to get him to agree to be their errand boy? Also how far will this go? Will the people and town of Whitefish not be allowed to put up Christmas decorations because it offends the atheist just like the town in California that they sued?

            If they are allowed to sue someone because they are offended by a statue then I should be able to sue the people that wear their pants half way down their butts and force them to pull them up because that offends me, I should be able to sue the people that have their stereos up so loud that I can feel the base in my car and make them turn it down because that offends me, I should be able to sue the people that are overly tattooed and have piercings all over their face and body because that offends me or the parents with kids that are out of control in public and make them either get their kids under control or leave them at home because that offends me.

            There is always something or someone in this world that is going to offend you but you need to learn to deal with it (unless something is really harmful) So Mr. Cox unless the statue is reaching out and physically smacking you deal with it, it is just a statue of a man there is no gospels from the Bible written on it and depending on one's religious views the statue either represents nothing because you don't believe in him or he is the son of God or just a prophet or messenger of God, bottom line it's just a statue that has a historical meaning to the people of this area and it should be viewed and respected as just that.

          • aristocratsofthesoul posted at 10:11 am on Fri, Nov 30, 2012.

            aristocratsofthesoul Posts: 2

            I am a pagan but support the Jesus statue remaining where it is. Perhaps those of us who are "offended" by its removal could testify in support of it.

            It's sad that people like William Cox and the Freedom From Religion Foundation don't understand that America does not provide "freedom from religion." It's a kitschy statue anyway, so rather hard to view as a serious religious monument.

          • FOOTBALLFREAK posted at 9:47 am on Fri, Nov 30, 2012.

            FOOTBALLFREAK Posts: 60

            UNITED we stand..... DIVIDED we fall !!!

            i suggest you people look at peolpes character who gave their lives for you and I to even go to that mountain and see that statue . The overwhelming majority of pre and post WWII era people , shared the same basic Christian values . Their faith in something greater than theirselves is what kept them alive in many cases . read or talk to anyone who spent time in a prisioner of war camp or in prison in a different country . Arguably , these people where not of the same mind as selfish spoiled freedom abusers like most of you on this blog . With great Freedoms comes Great responsibility's...... the fact that great energy is being applied to obvious pationate differences tells me ... Divided We will fall. This country's fabric is being ripped at the seams and will not sustain it's current path .
            Now you can keep your same bilegerent rantings and keep shouting your indifferences ... but you cannot change the fact this Country ( including whitefish mountain ) was formed by our forefathers as .. One Nation Under GOD , with Liberty and Justice for all....

            I Love GOD and This wonderful Country ...

            GO CATS !!!

          • RealDeal posted at 6:44 am on Fri, Nov 30, 2012.

            RealDeal Posts: 73

            Just put the statue on private property right as you come around the Kandahar Lodge with a nice plaque explaining why it is there. That way if you are offended, you won't be wasting your money and you can get off my mountain!

            One thing for sure, you can take away cool Jesus from chair 2, but he will always be there. Just like changing the name of the resort, it will always be Big Mountain to me!

          • MontanaTrace posted at 5:25 am on Fri, Nov 30, 2012.

            MontanaTrace Posts: 357

            With time, we change. We don't do things we would have done years, decades and centuries ago. At one time, church services were held in many government buildings, including the Supreme Court Building. That wouldn't happen today but it it did then. This statue was erected for for several reasons. None were meant to offend. Apparently, there's no record of offense when it was constructed. Some are offended today by what the community supported decades ago? I don't believe that. I believe they have a personal agenda today. I'm fine with that but don't see changing our history for today's changing societal liberalism. Let it stand. It represents our attitudes of decades ago, not our PC of today. It's historical.

            Okay extremist freaks. Start comparing this to Nazi, KKK, etc.

          • sillypeople posted at 10:31 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            sillypeople Posts: 4

            Wow When I read this article I was saddened that a small group of non belivers are willing to waste our taxpayers money on something that was put up out of love, respect and loss of lives. It was put there for men who died fighting for our country,a country they believed in and one that believed in thanking them for their sacarfice in a small way as erecting a statue in an out of the way place. If someone is bothered by this just ingore it. The same way others have to ingore things they don't like. We are a country of varitey. I wonder if those fighting against this statue ever had a family member go to war? Have they ever lost a family member to war? Maybe they should go over and fight so they can continue to live in a country that gives them the ability to not believe in things others believe in. Maybe we should stand up and say hey wait a minute why is it that those that don't like something can take away something that means so much to others? I could name off several things I drive past every day; that I don't like should I start law suits on that. I don't see this statue as a religious thing it is a gift to say thanks and should be left alone.

          • mom posted at 9:30 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            Well the article preceding this one about Taylor pretty well proves to me that there is no frickin god and I could care less whether the statue stays or gets shot by a bazooka but it sure seems like a huge waste of time bickering about it. There are more pressing matters in this fupped uck world.

          • abigskyguy posted at 8:29 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            abigskyguy Posts: 44

            Brave patriots like Mr. cox

          • abigskyguy posted at 8:24 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            abigskyguy Posts: 44


            The story that this is a WWII memorial is a myth - not supported by any evidence. View the 1954 Whitefish Pilot article at flatheadsecular.com and see for yourself. Also, I think what Christians are really upset about is that they are losing the illegal gains that they made in the 1950 era "red scare" - pledge change, "god" on our money, shrines on public land, 10 Commandment Monuments on county courthouses, etc.. It may seem like Christians are being attacked and their freedom is being jeopardized, but in reality it is simply that they are losing an illegal privilege that should have never been given in the first place. I imagine that many here would be more than a little upset if someone moved to put "In Allah We Trust" on our money and would then quickly become avid supporters of the First Amendment. Funny how things change when you are no longer the majority (which is where Atheists are coming from). The true patriots are those that want to protect the religious freedom of every American, those with belief in gods and those without. Freedom of religion is only possible in families, communities, states and nations when there is no state preference. Does anyone really want a country in which the Taliban is even possible?

          • abigskyguy posted at 8:23 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            abigskyguy Posts: 44

            Montana Native 420

            "Someone should post where mr coxs lives so we can really offend him"


            "I say we begin to "offend " Mr. William Cox...how bout it folks.!"


            "can't wait to find out where this moron lives,there is so much more to worry about and our courts to focus their attention to,than offending this person,you'll be seeing statues everyday if i find you"

            Nice "Christian" comments.

          • Homeboy posted at 5:02 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Homeboy Posts: 98

            Most of us reading this would be wise to ask ourselves the question, "What would Jesus do?"

          • photoguy posted at 4:42 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 940


            There are a whole bunch of religious symbols on government property, all over this country, take a look at that dollar bill in your wallet, covered with religious symbols.

            The objection to religious symbols on government property is such a hollow thing, let look at the old north church, where the lights were waved on the night of the famous ride. Pledge of Allegiance, Even our constitution has religious reference.

            As far as this stature, which I have skied by many times, it has no religious meaning to me, it is simple a stature the was erected many years ago, to honor those who gave the ultimate, so that we may have this stupid conversation.

          • jennydoe posted at 4:17 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            jennydoe Posts: 2198

            Thanks Reader for the link. Just saved myself a trip into Kalispell by checking out the photo gallery.

            I think the lawsuit is about the fact it is a religious symbol on government property.

          • Montana Native 420 posted at 4:06 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Montana Native 420 Posts: 209

            I don't believe in god but the statue is just a statue, mr cox you are not welcome here, this is such a waste of taxpayers money to be going to court and fighting over some stupid statue, it's been there for many years with out anyone saying anything untill recently, just leave it the fuc alone and get on with your life.

          • Reader987 posted at 3:59 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Reader987 Posts: 2

            Jenny, I have seen the statue. However I don't believe the lawsuit is over the debate that it is poor art but that it is a religious symbol. Besides everyone has different opinions on how things look, for example I find reptiles gross and you have a picture of them... If you would like to see how many different renditions there are please join us tonight or tomorrow at the Multi-Denominational Community Christmas Celebration where there will be Nativity collections from all around the world. I'm sure there will be some aesthetically pleasing and some you may find "gawdy." www.CommunityChristmasFlathead.com

          • Mntgal posted at 3:40 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Mntgal Posts: 145

            I am not religious, but I want the statue to stay. Its part of this town's history here. Period.

          • jennydoe posted at 3:25 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            jennydoe Posts: 2198

            adhcompany, I don't think you'll have to say anything more if you want to appear offensive.

          • jennydoe posted at 3:22 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            jennydoe Posts: 2198

            I don't understand how a group of people who do not believe in Jesus Christ could be so offended by symbols and stautes of him.
            have you seen how gawdy this statue is?

          • Reader987 posted at 2:47 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Reader987 Posts: 2

            I don't understand how a group of people who do not believe in Jesus Christ could be so offended by symbols and stautes of him. I thought Heaven, Hell, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternal life, and so on did not exsist to these groups? So to take offense of something that 'doesn't exisist' in your world would mean an acknowledgement of His presence. For being part of a country that 'celebrates' freedom of religion people seem to be very intolorant of one another.

          • lousia posted at 2:47 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            lousia Posts: 196

            I was reading this article and i wondered how many times has mr. cox been up to the statue and actually seen it. These people with their dumb ideas are putting it bluntly a pain you know where??
            always and al ways one person, I have a question do you think if some one one person disliked what the devils people are doing we could get it over throw ed , i doubt it., but always on the side of evil it happens all the time gets tiresome and the evil loves it;And Rep> Denny Rehberg came to help when called last time, now hes done, and Tester and Baucus were also phoned but no they didn't have time to come and help the people with this. .And these people don't believe in God well I do, and God is not mocked, they wouldn't know this i guess because evil people who are atheist don't believe in my book or read it the Bible. But its there if you believe it or not;

          • mooseberryinn posted at 12:57 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            mooseberryinn Posts: 2697

            Jennie - you may be right! Imagine a regal statue of King Obama blessing the snow (and making it yellow). That's a wonderful idea. So anyway, I wonder how much the Freedom From Religion folks paid Mr. Cox? Would that be taxable? Oh wait! It could be Mr. cox would not wish to handle our money as it has "In God We Trust" on it. Would he be traumatized by that? Nah, he probably never even noticed.

          • adhcompany posted at 12:47 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            adhcompany Posts: 43

            I say we begin to "offend " Mr. William Cox...how bout it folks.!

          • jennydoe posted at 12:25 pm on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            jennydoe Posts: 2198

            888111, although I think your attitude is a little harsh, I believe he lives 15 miles from Big Mtn. You should search high and low.

          • 888111 posted at 11:35 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            888111 Posts: 541

            can't wait to find out where this moron lives,there is so much more to worry about and our courts to focus their attention to,than offending this person,you'll be seeing statues everyday if i find you

          • janie posted at 10:52 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            janie Posts: 174

            this statue is hurting no one. I think we need to remove this man from our state instead. Where does it stop ? I suppose the day will come when there will be no churches because it might offend someone. Freedom from religious perscution. That is why our forefathers came here. I am not a church goer but I respect everyones beliefs and convictions. I say Mr. William Cox and his group should be removed from United States.

          • EEE posted at 9:51 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            EEE Posts: 1

            If this man is so offended by the statue can he not simply ski other runs? What ever happened to "turning a blind eye"? We all walk by injustices and things we find offensive and other undesirables on a daily basis. Every day we hear phrases uttered we find offensive, see people committing acts we find obscene, laws being passed we don't agree with, ideals we support fail. Not everything you like or dislike in this world can be suited to your desires. I'm not a spiritual or faithful person but I have no problem with the statue remaining. There are far more important battles to fight. Live and let live. Turn the blind eye and focus on doing something for the betterment of humanity - removing statues, religious symbolism or not, is not going to make your life or the world a better place.

          • Rebel Rouser posted at 9:47 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Rebel Rouser Posts: 1565

            Rant continued from earlier posting:

            ....must be separation of church and state, because there are too many versions of the almighty god out there, and we really don't know for sure which one is the real one, right? Will the REAL god please stand up?

            "what is so hard to understand about that ???"

            Hahahah! Freak, you freaking crack me up!!!

            Oh, by the way, did I mention that I am God? please try and disprove that one will ya? Hahahaha!

          • jennydoe posted at 9:24 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            jennydoe Posts: 2198

            .......One Nation Under GOD , with libery and Justice FOR ALL !

            what is so hard to understand about that ???

            whats the matter with you people ???
            I, for one, don't understand what you mean by libery.
            Also, this nation wasn't under God until the 1950's.
            Also this nation is home to people of many religions, and home to many people that have no religion.
            Also whats is not a word.

          • Rebel Rouser posted at 9:20 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Rebel Rouser Posts: 1565

            "May God have mercy on your soul William Cox"

            This must be that "fear" and "guilt" method of religious brainwashing i've read about, how curious. Somehow, you have a plan for escaping the dreaded pits of "Hell's fire"? Hahaha! This is exactly why there

          • FOOTBALLFREAK posted at 8:54 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            FOOTBALLFREAK Posts: 60

            This FREAKS OPINION

            .......One Nation Under GOD , with libery and Justice FOR ALL !

            what is so hard to understand about that ???

            whats the matter with you people ???

          • mom posted at 8:29 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            I think we should have a big war about it and get this resolved properly and fairly. That's the Christian way, huh?

          • ynnig posted at 7:52 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            ynnig Posts: 2

            @Mediaphile; I would not be okay with an Islamic statue in the same spot as we are not an Islamic nation, but more importantly because it is a faith that does not promote love and equality. However in Indonesia, Pakistan, etc., I would mind my own business. As for the Jesus statue, it simply represents agape love, regardless of our religious beliefs or lack thereof. This statue has historical roots based on good intention. These are angry, self centered people, the same people who had to have everything fair in grammar school. I bet they are generally not happy folks.

          • Dolphin posted at 7:50 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Dolphin Posts: 124

            May God have mercy on your soul William Cox. If you only knew what is to come in the after-life for you, you would not be doing this. It makes me very sad for you!

          • kalispelldude posted at 7:49 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            kalispelldude Posts: 220

            Mediaphile: It is not just some random religious symbol. It was placed there to honor people who sacrificed to help protect us. It has tradition and meaning beyond religion, and has community roots.

            And yes, if it was a symbol of another religion that had tradition and meaning beyond religion, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

          • Heathen posted at 7:49 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Heathen Posts: 23

            Typical response from a Christian there moosedingleberry, wishing someone harm just because they don't agree with your twisted beliefs in fairy tales. And hateohatesun, Mr. Cox is an Atheist, god blessing him means nothing to him.

          • nortonfeight posted at 7:41 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            nortonfeight Posts: 49

            I am opposed to removing historical objects even if they have a religious representation because I think what we are really doing is not establishig a religion or forbidding the practice thereof; but what we are doing is rewritting history throughout our nation. I certainly could see it as a problem if it was being setup today with the existing secularism and relativism in our society. But for example if it was a statue setup in the 1960s representing the freedom of slavery and one of the people in the statue was wearing a cross I hope the same principle would apply. Also, taking the 1st Amendment, how is this really "establishing" a religion, isn't it more just showing an object from a religion that already exists? Second, if it is a historical religious site, that was not established, because the religion has been extablished for what a couple thousand years, then second, how is this statue preventing the "free exercise thereof," if anything it is allowing the free exercise thereof.[beam]

          • james posted at 7:41 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            james Posts: 516

            who is this person that probably doesn't exist, I tired of this 8% of the population shoving their religion of non religion down our throats at taxpayer expense, go celebrate your holiday of all fools day and leave the rest of us alone

          • jennydoe posted at 5:41 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            jennydoe Posts: 2198

            oh come on now moosedingleberries. You know the only reason they want it removed is so a statue of Comrade/King/Savior Obama can be installed in it's place. Lest we forget.

          • mooseberryinn posted at 5:23 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            mooseberryinn Posts: 2697

            yes indeedy, there's always some bitter little guy with a Napolean complex lurking somewhere in the bush to jump up and swear he is "offended". Oh well, got to have those petty little mean people around to keep life interesting. I hope he has a good time skiing and meets a nice tree up there on the mountain.

          • Mediaphile posted at 1:54 am on Thu, Nov 29, 2012.

            Mediaphile Posts: 1

            @808sun: What is your justification for a religious symbol on public property? Would you be okay with an Islamic statue in the same spot?

          • 808sun posted at 10:47 pm on Wed, Nov 28, 2012.

            808sun Posts: 25

            William Cox- if u dont like skiing by the statue, go to blacktail. Better yet go back to where ever you moved here from! 1 should not determine the outcome of this statue. There are much better things to fix in this world. Whitefish resort should refuse service to you and ban you from the mountain. Oh and God bless you mr. Cox, sounds like you could use a little direction in your life!


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