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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. Kate

    We have seen inside a liberal's mind and have found it vacant.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  2. Jasper

    FINALLY!!! Someone on the left realizes that you can commercialize religion for more of your left wing radical stances. I would like to know how much money tan-hide Ted has in renewables...

    May 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  3. Torrie

    Ted, honey, God does not kill ... God loves. This mess in the gulf is man's mess.

    It sounds like you're on the right track ... and I sincerely wish you the best on your spiritual path ... but my suggestion would be that you bypass religion entirely ... and get your guidance directly from Spirit.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  4. Kate

    I love it when secularists start telling us what God thinks. People who probably have never read the Bible in total or darkened the door of a Bible believing church door in their lives. I think Mr. Turner had better get on his knees and ask the good Lord's forgiveness for putting words in His mouth. If what Mr. Turner says were fact, God really must have hated Haiti. I don't believe that for a moment.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  5. Wiglaf

    Ted is just using religion as a crutch. He's finally admitted he's handicapped.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  6. tony fabre

    maybe god should have sent him a message before he married jane

    May 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  7. Tom

    Hmmmm...maybe god sent another message to the rest of us when you married that dou** bag Jane Fonda!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  8. Blake Birdwell

    Ted Turner needs to seek out God instead of spouting this left wing dribble. It always amazes me how a smart business person can be totally wacked out on their politics and worldly matters. Ted– keep your opions to yourself and run your business enterprises.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  9. surveysays888

    Funny, I thought 9/11 was a message from God to close our borders, denounce Islam and get back to the Bible on which the U.S. was founded!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  10. Vazaroo

    "With evil things God cannot be tried, nor does He try anyone". God does not cause disasters, whether they are natural or man made (as in the case of the gulf, or any coal micers lost). That is men proving that they do not have what it takes to rule themselves. "It does not belong to man that is walking to direct his own step". As Solomon expressed it – "Man has dominated man to his injury".
    God's Kingdom, now ruling in heaven and soon to take the reigns here, is mankinds ONLY hope.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  11. steve5150

    Ted Turner is a buffoon. It is stunning that this driveling idiot is quoted in the news.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  12. Jim from GA

    Ever the fashion statement, aren't we, Ted? Just love that reverse Hitler moustache.

    Is that a political statement? Hmmm? Perhaps you're trying to tell us your the other mensch? Leftoid commie rat bag.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • steve5150

      Amen Jim.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  13. Mike

    By Ted's standard on "God's messages", we shouldn't have gone to the moon because of Apollo 1 nor fly because of the first airline disaster nor vaccinate children because one died of a vaccine nor built electric plants because someone was electrocuted...ad nauseum...

    May 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  14. yabecoo

    Those who can do. Those who can't teach!

    May 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  15. Dan

    I've seen reports of wind farm, windmills breaking down and falling apart. Is that God's way of telling wind power is not the answer ?

    May 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  16. bullybully

    The great explorers recorded that there was quite a large amount of oil occurring naturally in the marshes and off the coast of Louisiana when the Mississippi River was discovered. In fact boats would ground on the oily mud the would bubble up in the middle of the mouth of the Mississippi. Sometimes there was enough oil and gas to burn from a lightening strike. The oily mess resolved itself when drilling began and the oil and gas was channeled to refineries. Some areas likely have less oil polution now than when Desoto came through.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  17. Mike

    Let's see... I seem to recall that Pat Robertson was excoriated in the liberal press for suggesting that the 9/11/2001 attack was a message from God. So I guess that this a case of one person's fantasy about God's message being 'more equal' than another's?

    As always, it's entertaining to see liberals trying to claim moral high ground while standing in a pile of manure.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  18. Mavrik

    Some of these ideas are being tried or have been discussed.

    A relief well is currently being drilled, but it needs to be drilled much deaper that 1000 feet to kill the well. It will be drilled to intersect the well at around the depth of the formation that is flowing oil.

    There is no way to insert a pipe or valve into the hole due to the well's condition, with drill pipe in the hole and the riser laying on the ocean floor. The liquid nitrogen idea would not work due to the same reason. If they could get another string of pipe in the hole, they could kill it using drilling mud.

    The idea of installing a new BOP has been discussed, but it has never been done in deep water, during a blowout, using ROVs. The risk if it fails is that the flow of oil to the ocean would increase dramatically since to install the BOP, the existing riser would have to be severed from the well. The riser is currently limiting how much oil is released to the ocean.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  19. A.C.Guard

    I think Ted is trying to get back with Jane Fonda, who left him saying Ted had not yet found religion at the depth she had.

    May 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  20. Alan B

    The hole the oil is flowing out of is already cased in steel. Kreuzer Is wrong if you knew anything about drilling a oil/nat gas well you would already know this little fact. When you drill a well you run casing in the hole and set cement. I love all the bs ideas

    May 18, 2010 at 2:43 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.