In the November issue of Playboy, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is quoted as saying the following: “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business.”
The Catholic League is proud that it was the first organization in the country to denounce Ventura. On September 30, Pat Scully criticized him on the TV show, “Extra,” and William Donohue branded him “Jesse ‘The Bigot’ Ventura” in a news release; the next morning, the “Today Show” credited the league for sticking him with a new label. Here is the text of our statement to the press:
“The Minnesota Governor has now proven himself to be Jesse ‘The Bigot’ Ventura. Liberty shorn of its religious underpinnings is the real sham, as the Founders and most students of freedom have long understood. But according to the erudite Mr. Ventura, they all got it wrong.
“Fully 94 percent of all Americans profess a belief in God and most of them belong to an organized religion. It is important for them to know exactly what Ventura thinks of them, and that is why the Catholic League will act as the Minnesota Governor’s PR team: we want everyone to know his sentiments.
“What Ventura is saying is that organized religion has an intrusive, and therefore deleterious, effect on American society. To that end, it is only logical that he might seek to check its influence. This bears watching as that is the position of an anti-religious bigot.
“The Catholic League is interested in knowing whether Ventura’s hostility to religion represents the position of the Reform Party. We would like to hear from Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump on this subject. We also want to know if Buchanan and Trump will denounce Ventura for his bigotry.
“The Catholic League recommends that Ventura go back to professional wrestling where he belongs. He’s boxed himself in on this one.”