California Ski Resort’s Virgin Mary Statue Stirs Debate

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Where else but California? The Mt. According to the owners’ wishes, the Shasta Ski Resort plans to erect an image of Mary. The usual suspects reacted in the same predictable way as the sun rising.

One critic said, “The Virgin Mary in a ski resort is illogical. Keep religion out of skiing.” This was echoed by many others.

Another said: “As a skier who has spent a lifetime on this mountain and park, which holds a special place in the hearts of so many people, I’m deeply disappointed with the decision to erect the giant statue of Mary …”. Shame on you Mt. Shasta Ski Park is responsible for desecrating this powerful, spiritual and beautiful place …”

Third, they cited concerns that the move would disrespect the area’s rich history of Native American culture.

“Are you kidding?” They wrote in part: “Given that the area has a long history of Native American culture and mysterious Lemurian beliefs it would be a shame if this statue was added!”

The resort responded that Robin Merlo’s late husband Ray had long wanted to see the statue. Ray Merlo passed away in 2020, but his wife is still committed to fulfilling her husband’s wish. A statement from the park management said:

The post stated: “In the words of Robin Merlo. This statue is a fulfillment of a promise and a true reflection of the dedication towards the family that we value so highly here at the Ski Park.” The goal of this statue is to not focus on one particular religion but to honor and acknowledge the beauty and spiritual strength of the mountain that we all cherish so much.

If I were involved, my response would have been “It is private property.” If you don’t want to ski there, go somewhere else. My grumpy, curmudgeonly personality is well-known.

Still, this is the best response. Oh, sure, the people who are complaining have First Amendment rights as well and are free to whinge about the proposed statute. They are also free to take their business elsewhere. The park is run by a private corporation, and while they have use permits from the Forest Service for the use of some federal land, if the statue is placed on private land, there is no reason for the government to intervene. The statue is to be placed on Douglas Butte on Mt. Shasta, which appears to be within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, but the entire resort appears to be within those bounds and most of the National Forest system includes enclosures of private property.

The resort hasn’t announced any plans to change its mind about the statue.

The project is scheduled to be finished at the summit of Douglas Butte, on Mt. The platform will be visible next season, and the project itself is expected to be completed at the top of Douglas Butte on Mt.

Wikipedia says the following about the ownership and management of Douglas Butte, the resort in general:

Forest Route 88 crosses national forest land to reach the ski area. The ski area is situated on a double section of land measuring 2 sq mi (5,2 km2) within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

This case is particularly interesting because it occurs at a time of intense debate about a satanic event that occurred in the Iowa State Capitol. For whatever reason, churches are often the target of anger, even from climate nuts. I don’t know what the Catholic church’s carbon footprint looks like, but the climate nuts are upset about it.

Many people don’t understand that the First Amendment is for everyone. It is certainly within the right to exercise religion that a religious monument can be placed on private property if it is private. It allows those who do not like it to be vocal about it. They can only complain, and not patronize Mr. Shasta Ski Park.

As a man who has no dog in the fight, but is also a staunch First Amendment supporter, I hope that Mt. Shasta Ski Resort will not be moved.