May 17th, 2010
11:43 AM ET

Ted Turner: Is God speaking in Gulf Coast spill?

Ted Turner has never been one to keep his opinions to himself.

Sometimes referred to as “The Mouth of the South,” the CNN founder lashed out against religious believers in the past. He once dubbed Christianity a “religion for losers” and wondered aloud whether the Ash Wednesday observers around him at work were “Jesus freaks.” His marriage to Jane Fonda was rumored to become strained when she started finding religion.

And while his stance has certainly mellowed with the years - he apologized for his past comments and joined with churches in 2008 to fight malaria - his suggestion that God may have had a hand in the oil disaster that killed 11 and is threatening the Gulf Coast may take some by surprise.

“Could be,” God’s work, he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “He’s sending us a message.”

Turner sat down with Harlow recently to discuss the energy policy in the United States. The full interview is posted on CNN Money.

“I’m not a real religious person, but I’m somewhat religious. And I’m just wondering if God is telling us he doesn’t want us to drill offshore,” he said. “And right before that we had that coal mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners,” as well as repeated mining disasters – “seems like there’s one over there every week” – in China.

“Maybe the Lord’s tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal. I think maybe we ought to just leave the coal in the ground and go with solar and wind power and geo-thermals where it’s applicable.”

Calling the United States “the biggest polluter and the biggest energy user in the world,” Turner said the country needs to take the lead in ridding itself of coal and oil dependence.

“It’s just as important, if not more important, than getting to the moon.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Money & Faith

soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    And Pat Robertson said God caused Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake, also to teach us lessons.

    God sounds like an abusive parent.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  2. Kummin

    Ted, the self-described atheist, invokes God. Right.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  3. Gail

    It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
    George Washington

    May 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jim

      Good reminder, Gail!
      Isn't the present proving George right!?

      May 19, 2010 at 6:12 am |
    • not so


      August 14, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  4. LensmanCT

    If Turner's theory is correct, I guess that shows what God thinks of Haitians.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  5. NotFondOfLibs

    Tuner's comments are disrespectful to the families of the men killed on that oil rig as well as the men killed in the coal mines. FYI, Turner, but coal miners dig deep into the earth, they don't lop the tops of mountains off, you jerk. This guy must be going senile or he's just another liberal a**hole .

    May 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  6. KLo66

    Biggest polluter? The US is ahead of China and Inda? News to me.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  7. Gail

    Hummmm, I guess God created these natural resources to stay in the ground for no use at all....Ted Turner has no clue what he is talking about....just someone who loves to hear himself talk....

    May 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  8. Tom

    Ted! Would you please return to Hell!.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  9. Dan

    Michael, you must be from Washington DC because you don't have a clue about how to kill a well. Now, if you want to create a subsurface blowout you're right on track!!

    May 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  10. Mark

    Funny thing how people say they don't believe in God, until it serves their purpose to make a statement to further their own goals.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Radical Conservative

    Ok Ted, here's one for ya....if there is no God that is in control, then when we die, you and I will be nothing more than worm food. But, if I am right and there is a God that is in control, when we die your naked a$$ is toast. When you are on your death bed, ask yourself, "Do I really want to bet the farm on being nothing more than worm food when I step into eternity?" If you are not 100% sure your answer your answer is yes, then your death bed will be the most terrifying place you will ever be on this Earth. If you are 100% sure, then when you step out into eternity, you will be in the most terrifying place you will ever be....along with everyone else that thought they would be worm food. Job 37:9-13 (KJV)

    May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  12. Andy

    Ted Turner.....really......is there a more greedy evil human on the face of the earth? He blames God, yet does not believe in Him.....what a dinkleberry.....

    May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  13. murphy

    so Muslims who blow up themselves and others are idiots, but you want to kill..........? oh my

    May 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  14. John Freiheit

    Republicans are asking for more regulation and Democrats are now quoting and turning to god. it really must be the end of the world... hehe.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  15. Kev

    Yes, because if anybody has a pipeline to God, it's Ted Turner.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  16. Jasonn

    Ted is getting goofy in his old age. Was God sending him a message when he met and married Hanoi Jane?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Ian

    So, if it's an act of God, why are we making BP pay for the clean up?

    May 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  18. Ian

    Ted Turner is insane, who gives a hoot what he says?

    May 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Jack

    Ted don't belief in God, he married the devils daughter, and worships money and power only. Just another phony liberal using god only to mock his enemy.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  20. M

    Prophet: A person who speaks for god or a deity, or by divine inspiration.

    False: Incorrect: not conforming to facts or truth

    "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves," (Matthew 7:15).

    In the last days “many afalse prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:11)

    Why would anyone listen to Ted Turner?

    May 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.