Except when he starts babbling about 9/11 or JFK. Excerpts from an interview Politics in America is Identical to Pro Wrestling
with Christopher Stipp. If you don't want to read it all, skip to the last paragraph -
CS: You mentioned something about the marriage of commerce and the church – that it’s fascism.
VENTURA: Absolutely. Fascism is when corporate America teams with organized religion and controls the government. That’s the definition of fascism.
I’m all for religion. People can have any religion they want, but I am a believer of the separation of church and state. Practice your religion all you want, just you can’t put it on to other people. Religion is a private thing. I’m proud of the fact that I was the only governor in America that refused to declare National Prayer Day. And the press came down on me. “How can you do that?”, “Every other governor…” and I looked at the press and said, “Why on earth would the people need the governor to tell them to pray?” Pray all you want. You don’t need the governor to say, “Oh, today you pray.” You know?
That isn’t what our country is about. Our country is about freedom of religion and freedom to not have religion. If you don’t desire religion, this country shouldn’t force it upon you. That’s what true freedom is in my opinion. People can differ if they like but, I refused to declare National Prayer Day. And then I said, “Well look, if I declare National Prayer Day, then I’m going to have to declare National No-Prayer Day because I said there are atheists out there who are citizens. So to be equal, I would have to declare, ‘Today’s the day you don’t pray, by decree of the Governor.’” Well, how ridiculous is all that? I got other things to do than worry about whether everyone’s praying or not. That’s their business. Like I said, pray all you want. You don’t need the government telling you what to do on religious matters.
VENTURA: But the politicians portray themselves as one thing to you when in reality they may be nothing like the person they portray to you in public – which is just like wrestling. Case in point – Mark Foley. Here’s a guy working on all the laws for child molestation all the while he’s emailing the Pages trying to seduce them. Now there’s your classic example of somebody who is not what he has portrayed himself in public to be.
CS: He professed to be such a moral, anti-gay…
VENTURA: For me, the ones that profess it the most are usually the gay ones. Because if you aren’t, then you don’t need to profess it. I’m proud of the fact that I’m as hetero as you can get. I’m a Navy Frogman, yet I got voted in Minnesota, by the gay magazines, as the best politician they’ve ever had for gay rights.
CS: I read that interview. Gay or straight, it doesn’t matter to you.
VENTURA: To me, we’re all citizens. It isn’t my job in government to get into your sexual orientation. That’s not the place of government. Like I tell people about the gay thing, we’ve gone so far but now, today, the government is going to tell you who to fall in love with? That’s where we’re at today? You have to get the government to approve? And the reason I’m so passionate about the gay issue is because when I wrestled, I had a friend in wrestling who was gay. And he had a partner for over thirty years. He was married as any hetero couple. In fact, his partner used to hang with the wives when the guys would all get together to go golfing, he would go with the wives shopping. He fit right in. All the wives loved him. They thought he was a good guy. Well, he got ill. Got very ill in the hospital. His partner, my friend, the wrestler, could not sit bedside because hospital rules state spouse or next of kin. Well, a gay person is neither. They are not allowed to marry so how can they be a spouse or next of kin? I find that cruel and inhumane when a person cannot sit bedside with the person they love, whoever that person might be, and yet he was denied because the hospital rules stated you must be a spouse or next of kin. He was neither because he wasn’t given that ability by our government to be a spouse or next of kin. So that carried with me throughout my life. I thought what a cruel thing that is. How cruel that is. You have government telling you who to fall in love with.
CS: It is odd that the government is playing such a large part in defining marriage as of late.
VENTURA: I could solve gay marriage for you. A girl at Harvard told me how to do it. Simple. Government should not acknowledge marriage at all. Government should only acknowledge civil unions. That way, when you fill out something for the government, you don’t even have to put your sex down. It’s just two people forming a civil union. Let marriage be decided by the church. The church is private sector. If the church doesn’t want to recognize gay marriage, that’s the church’s business because they are not the government. Solves the whole thing. Government only acknowledges civil unions. Not even marriages between husband and wife. So that way, every hetero would have to go down and fill out a civil union thing for you and your wife to get the same benefits. That way it will be equal across the board and government won't even acknowledge marriage at all.