WASHINGTON (BP)–He didn’t mean to do it. However, Minnesota’s Gov. Jesse Ventura has proclaimed seven days in October “Christian Heritage Week” – but his aides said the proclamation was accidentally submitted to the secretary of state’s office along with 16 other orders, CNSNews.com reported Aug. 2.
“It inadvertently got into the wrong pile. It was a mistake that got signed. It was inadvertently signed as a proclamation,” Ventura’s spokesperson Janet Hafner said.
Christian Heritage Week will be observed Oct. 13-19 in Minnesota. Ventura has refused to sign such proclamations in the past, saying he does not believe in mixing government with religion.
Kent Kaiser, a spokesman for Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, told the Minneapolis Star-News that, with the proclamation having been filed, “it’s too late to take it back.”
“Once it’s filed, it’s filed. It’s not like every time they send something we call over and ask, ‘Did you mean it?'” Kaiser said.
Wire service reports said the proclamation cites comments and writings of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry and George Mason and recognizes them as statesmen “who did not hesitate to express their faith.”
Ventura formerly reviewed every proclamation request until it became too much of a workload, another of the governor’s aides told the Star-News. Ventura has reportedly turned the task over to members of his staff who consider the requests with the governor’s views in mind and then use the governor’s autopen to sign documents.
Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, said he is glad Ventura slipped up.
“We’re delighted that he issued the proclamation, whether inadvertently or not. The bottom line is that he issued it and we’ll take that,” Prichard told CNSNews.com.
A spokesman for the Center for Christian Statesmanship in Washington, meanwhile, said the action “demonstrates that all of our nation’s leaders are servants of the most high God, whether they realize it or not.”
Ventura has announced he is not running for re-election and Prichard said he believes the next governor will be friendlier to issuing Christian Heritage Week proclamations.
Burns is a senior staff writer with www.CNSNews.com. Used by permission.