The owners of the Mt. Shasta Ski Park in California are facing an avalanche of criticism.
Robin Merlo, the owner of the park, is building a 20-foot statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the slopes.
“In the words of Robin Merlo, This statue is a promise fulfilled and a true representation of the dedication to family that we all value so much here at the Ski Park,” the post read. “The goal is not to focus on any one religion but to acknowledge and honor the beauty and spiritual power of the mountain we all love so much.”
Critics, however, are demanding that construction cease and desist. They’ve launched a petition drive and are asking the U.S. Forest Service to intervene.
They say the statue threatens to alienate members of the skiing community who do not share the same religious beliefs.
And they say that local gathering places should always remain neutral and promote inclusivity – no matter if they are private or public.
“The religious icon currently under construction threatens to alienate members of our diverse community who do not share the same religious beliefs,” reads the petition. “Local gathering places, whether private or not, should remain neutral spaces that promote inclusivity and respect for all visitors.”
Well, that’s a big problem because the U.S. Constitution clearly provides for private ownership of property – in both the fifth and 14th amendments.
In layman’s terms – the owners of Mt. Shasta could erect a giant statue of Frosty the Snowman – and there’s not a thing anyone could do about it.
Siskyou County Supervisor Ed Valenzuela told the Los Angeles Times the owners have every right to continue construction. “It’s on private property. It’s a private business,” he said, adding that the resort is also a major employer in the region.
“It’s the holiday season. I have better things to think about than a statue going up on private property,” said Valenzuela. “The people that are against it, their response would be then don’t go to the ski park.”
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