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. Ringmaster76120

    Ted, The message I got is that you are an even bigger looney tunes than I thought.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  2. Lovenguth

    God is a false belief used to control others, fight wars, kill children, and a very old tribal concept. Followers are ignorant.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  3. The Force

    JOY! Ted Turner is actually acknowledging his Creator?

    May 18, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  4. Jack

    Communist don't believe there is a god, unless they or a love one is dying, then they pray for help. Ted married the devils daughter and worships money and power only.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  5. InfinityWell1



    For decades that said no to clean coal, which we in abundance, making us more dependent upon foreign energy.

    For decades they have blocked all efforts at getting the vast amounts of natural gas that we have here in abundance, making us more dependent upon foreign energy.

    For 35 years they said no to Nuclear power, which we created by the way, making us more dependent upon foreign energy.

    Likely we would not be in the middle east if we were less dependent upon foreign oil.

    Likely would not be in Afghanistan.

    Likely would not be in Iraq.

    Likely we would not be at war.

    Likely we would have modern nuclear power grid like France.

    And more than likely we would not have this disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that is unfolding.

    All of these were largely helped by PROGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENTALIST policies.


    Have a nice day...

    May 18, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
  6. Jeff G

    Teddy is an Atheist except when he looks in a mirror. His ranting means nothing to the rest of us. Ted's belief on alternate energy sources and limiting drilling is not good for the rest of America who cannot afford energy prices that will skyrocket. Ted and people like Gore can afford prices to jump, but the rest of us can't.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  7. Will

    God doesn't believe in athiests.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
  8. Marie

    Turner doesn't believe in God! What is he talking about?

    May 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
  9. Fidlin1

    Ted own's about as much land as God but Ted will own it for a much shorter amount of time. I on the other hand am a much richer man than Ted and will be richer long after his Athiest life is over. No envy on my part for any aspect of his life

    May 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  10. DEE DEE

    No Ted, God Is telling us we screwed up when we elected barack Hussein Obama... Now its all falling apart.
    Did ya hear me Ted?????? GOD has nothing to do with this..IT is MAN MADE ISSUES that are making the USA Weak..and barack is just adding to that.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  11. Mike

    Ted, go find a nice, secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere and take up residence. And stop talking to the rest of us. You're embarrasing yourself.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  12. Johnny B. Goode

    It sounds like Ted Turner is taking a page from the Pat Robertson playbook. By the way. Didn't Pat Robertson and Ted Turner attend the same prep school?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  13. L

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. Susan B. Anthony

    May 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
  14. rammstein

    Now the secular Left is invoking 'God' to fit their green agenda, whereas before they wanted nothing to do with Him. No sale, Ted.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  15. Rebecca

    OK Gary D Simmons, are you L Ron Hubbard come back to haunt us? Babble, babble, babble.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  16. Rebecca

    The only religion Ted Turner follows is the Ol' Mighty Dollar. He's a business man when all is said and done and if oil and coal were banned, who's pocket book would explode? Mr TT that's who's! He is such a bs artist that he's even thinking he pull God into his games and we'll respect him more? Ummm, you are a blithering IDIOT TT. Now go away and play with yourself because we don't like your games.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  17. Charles Darwin

    Science must not be your best subject.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  18. Love my country

    Ted, STFU. No one cares what YOU think or feel. God does not care about you either, you capitalist hypocrite!!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  19. Caleb Abell

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

    And the message is:Corporations are evil.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  20. mik3b33

    Hmm...maybe G-d is saying "Repent of your lawlessness against Me!" He cares more about lives lived according to His Laws (functional lives) than all the physical environments in the universe. He can destroy and restore the universe a million times over, but He gives freewill to humans to choose to love and obey or reject Him as their Father and Creator. Why does anyone listen to Ted Turner? Because he's rich, that's all. Just another piece of dying flesh vaunting itself over the Creator. Read the Set-Apart Scriptures in the Bible all you atheists and G-d-haters, and then decide what you will about G-d. Make an honest and informed decision before you reject Him! He wrote the owner's manual about you!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:25 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.