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. dennis r. mialm

    Hey Ted:

    God doesn't talk to anyone he doesn't know!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • Love my country

      Nice reply Dennis

      May 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  2. Voice of reason

    If you drive a car or ride in an airplane that uses gasoline, then you have no right to disagree with offshore drilling. You are a hypocrite for only wanted to let the brown people drill off their shores so you can drive your heap of metal. Keep you fat mouths shut or stop using gas.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Tommy D_____

    God had no problem with the dinosaurs for 150 million years. Didn't take very long before He got fed-up with us. He'd had enough with us on day 9 – LOL

    May 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  4. Owl Creek Observer

    Old Ted has been a nut-case ever since he and Jane Fonda split. Come to think of it, he was a nut-case long before they split.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  5. God

    Ted Turner does not even believe in God since his sister died.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  6. William

    At the risk of not getting any more buffalo burgers, how about stuffing Ted in that hole, and to make
    sure it is sealed forever, stuff Jane "Bless the bullets to kill Americans" Fonda. next to him.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  7. Jason

    I thought this radical left wing socialist was a self-avowed athiest? From celebrities who are agnostics website:

    "Turner–an atheist who previously questioned whether prohibiting adultery should've been one of the 10 Commandments–also acknowledged that he had become suicidal after his breakup with Fonda, and after losing of control over Turner Broadcasting when AOL Time Warner was reorganized."

    Now this nut wants to talk about God to validate a man-made technological disaster. What, does he blame car crashes and airplane crashes on God too? Isn't it amazing how radical left wing liberals like to cherry pick things about religion and God (or like "what would Jesus do?" Ad nauseam for attempting to validate socialist policies).

    May 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  8. AK

    Hey Ted,

    I don't think that drilling offshore is high on God's list, probably abortion, trying to take HIS name out of almost every aspect of life etc.. is probably a lot higher on HIS list

    May 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  9. jimbo

    Ted is a huge fraud_ like AlGore, Obmama, the Clinton's, Ahnold Swarznagger, the media including fox, both parties, israel, and all of hollywood.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  10. nic

    So, explain all the disasters in Haiti, it must be because of over development, and their extreme use of oil.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  11. Mikester

    Wasnt he the one that is for population reduction and also suspected for the Georgia Guidstones?
    I dont listen to anything this idiot says

    May 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  12. JR

    Talk about the LAST person who would know whether God was speaking, or not, it would be Ted. Nothing like an emotive airhead.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  13. David

    Dear Ted Turner,
    When you are only a "somewhat religious" person you disqualify yourself immediately from being a spokesperson for God or even from interpreting events on his behalf. Next time you're given the mouth piece of the news remember that.
    You put your fingers in God's mouth, God may just end up putting His fingers in yours.
    PS His fingers are bigger.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  14. Jenalyn

    Since so many people die in car accidents each year, I think God is sending the message that He does not want us to drive cars!

    May 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  15. chuck

    Why is it that those with incredible wealth offer the most painful solutions? Turner is, and has always been, an arrogant jerk.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  16. Tommy

    Can we all say LOONY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  17. Richard

    Spain is on the verge of releaseing a report on the total failure of the Green Jobs laws they passed, but Obama is getting them to hold it back until our cap and fail laws are passed. Looks like dozens in Maobama's government have huge investments in the Green Lie to lay off on stupid investors, before the word gets out that it's all crap. If you think wind energy saves jobs.. lmao.. your blowing in the wind.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  18. tony

    The closer we are to death, the thought of God or something more beyond this life will haunt everyone on their death bed.
    Unless of course you already have Faith there is more..personally.. I believe there is something more.. there is no hope for the hopeless... but those who believe in Christ...stand firm and love till the end.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  19. Duude

    Is this the same Ted Turner who said, 'God is dead'? Yeah I know, of course it is. May God have mercy on his soul.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  20. debora.thompso

    Now Ted Turner is referring to O'bama as God.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
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About this blog

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.