© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
California ski resort’s plan to install Virgin Mary statue sparks outrage among locals seeking to block project
Photo by PASCAL PAVANI/AFP via Getty Images

California ski resort’s plan to install Virgin Mary statue sparks outrage among locals seeking to block project

A California ski resort’s recently announced plan to erect a Virgin Mary statue has sparked outrage among some locals seeking to block the project’s construction.

Mt. Shasta Ski Park in McCloud announced on social media last week that it plans to install a 20-foot Virgin Mary statue at the peak of Douglas Butte in northern California.

“This season you will see what will be the Statue’s platform and the statue itself will be in place by next summer,” the resort stated.

“The installation of this statue is very important to our owner as this was a shared goal with her late husband and business partner, Ray Merlo,” the social media post continued. “They have dedicated their resources to improving the Ski Park over the last few years and 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 resort noted that the goal of erecting the statue “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.”

The resort’s post on Instagram and Facebook included a rendering of the statue.

Plans for the project ignited outrage among some locals, prompting the resort to turn off the ability to comment on the post.

Critics launched an online petition, “Stop the Construction of a Religious Statue at Our Local Ski Park,” with the goal of collecting 2,500 signatures in hopes of pressuring the resort to halt the project. As of Monday morning, the petition had already collected more than 1,900 signatures.

The petition read, “Many of us have been skiing at our beloved local ski park in Mount Shasta since childhood. It has always been a place of joy, unity, and natural beauty. However, recent efforts to erect a religious statue threaten to disrupt this cherished environment.”

According to the petition, the Virgin Mary statue would “alienate members of our diverse community who do not share the same religious beliefs.”

“Local gathering places, whether private or not, should remain neutral spaces that promote inclusivity and respect for all visitors,” the petition argued.

It called upon the owners of the resort to “cease and desist this construction project immediately.”

“We ask the US Forest Service, with whom the ski park holds use permits, to insist that Mount Shasta Ski Park discontinue this project,” it added.

The petition suggested donating the funds used to erect the statue to a homeless shelter or detox facility.

Signatories of the petition called the project “outrageous,” “horrible,” and “a gross desecration.” Supporters used the petition’s comment section to vilify Christianity.

“Keep your religious beliefs to yourself. If you want to put up an expensive statue, put up one for the native Americans your ancestors slaughtered and then took this land from them. You hypocrites. We will never spend another penny with you. You are evil,” one of the petition’s supporters wrote.

Another called for the resort to “keep religion out of skiing.”

A third commenter stated, “Less than 20% of humanity is Christian and with so many radicals within that environment threatening women and reproductive freedom, its (sic) a very, very, inconsiderate move.”

“Religion is poison,” another supporter wrote, quoting Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist dictator responsible for roughly 65 million deaths. The comment was among the most popular in the thread, receiving 14 likes.

The ski resort did not respond to a request for comment, the New York Post reported.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →