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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. Greg

    Wyrdless said – You don't really think that you can live forever by devoting an hour a week to telepathically communicating obedience to a dead jew and eating a piece of breadl? Do you?

    Can you suggest a better alternative of how I can live forever?

    If not, I figure, "what have I got to lose?"

    May 19, 2010 at 6:50 am |
    • Jim

      Pearls.
      Cast before swine.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • ThomasPaine

      Pascal's wager fail. You can't live forever, accept it and live this life now.

      May 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jim

      tp,
      There is no such thing as forever. Eternity is where it's at.
      God's Name is I AM. There's only one way to take His Name.
      Look into it.

      May 19, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
  2. wesley

    No! It was satan who did it – Ted's god – because the drill bit went too deep that it touched hell; so hell was let loose.

    WELL SAID Emike!

    May 19, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  3. Mark

    It sure would be nice to have all of these wonderful alternative forms of energy proven and in place before we stop mining coal and drilling for natural gas and petroleum. The simple fact is, we aren't even in the ballpark of being able to meet the energy needs of this country by alternative means. Typical Liberals, they have an idea of utopia but no practical plan for how to get there. The ruin of this country will come from the levers of power being controlled by people who have never produced anything but abstract ideas.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:44 am |
  4. Charles Moore

    So when did "the mouth of the south" get religion!

    May 19, 2010 at 6:42 am |
  5. greg

    Pray for Ted.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:41 am |
  6. eRtwngr

    If G_d was that sensitive to the mundane affairs of men, would he still let Turner be talking?

    May 19, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  7. JS

    Turner doesn't know anything about G-D.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:19 am |
  8. Jim

    Emike speaks the truth as plainly and simply as it can be spoken.
    Great job.
    Thanks.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:16 am |
  9. Rick

    God tells Muslims to kill Jews and Christians. God tells Al Gore to gain 200 lbs & cover the earth in baloney. God told Ted Turner to marry a commie. Weird dude is he who claims to hear those voices.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:11 am |
  10. Louise

    "somewhat religious"??? Is that like being kinda pregnant???? His is such an idiot!

    May 19, 2010 at 5:58 am |
  11. Gary

    When Pat Robertson said the same of a hurricane he was permanently dismissed as a fanatic loony. We owe Turner at least as much respect for this.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:08 am |
  12. Bryanabbott

    Hey Ted,
    I don't always agree with your politics but you're a smart guy. This isn't God, we poked the hole in the ground. Don't pull a Clinton on the rest of us when the dung hits the fan, man up and let your favorite party own it. We have an enviromental fiasco on our hands during an election cycle and it appears that the "leadership" in our federal government is distracted. The Bozo's in the White House have left the people that created this Environmental Disaster to fix it. Big, Big mistake. So it's weeks now and the problem isn't solved. Sure, they are trying to solve the political problem by lying to us about the amount of oil gushing out of the sea floor in the Gulf but that isn't solving the problem is it? Obama's legacy WILL be this frightening Marine life holocaust. I be you understand what's going on and exactly how bad it is. And I bet that's what your distraction is all about. God!? Obama! He's your God anyway isn't he Theodore? Save the rest of us the BS and be a man about this issue. Hit it head-on and give us some truth. Contrary to what your favorite party believes, us "little people" can handle the truth just fine. Be a man Ted.

    May 19, 2010 at 2:33 am |
  13. aufever

    He should know since he was married to the Devil herself. He needs to join her.
    USN Retired

    May 19, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  14. Cobalt606519

    Could it have been sabotage?

    Yes it was!

    The Three Stooges-

    Moe took over the rig,
    Larry dropped a rubber hammer into the drill hole,
    and Curly said nothing but Nuyk, Nuyk, Nuyk.

    May 19, 2010 at 1:10 am |
  15. jack nichols

    Ted go back under your rock and shut-up nobody cares what you think you are a stupid has been old fool that everybody laughs at. HAHAHAHA LALALAL HHA

    May 19, 2010 at 1:07 am |
  16. Mike

    Fed Up Taxpayer,
    Let's start by punishing your parents for pumping out you.

    May 19, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  17. Jimi Streets

    To all of those self-righteous, arrogant atheists that think they know better than some of the greatest people in history that are believers, He is God and you are not. To those that are offended by the snide comments by said atheists: He is gracious enough to forgive them of their foolishness and holy enough to give them their just comeuppance should they refuse His offer of peace and eternal life. I shudder to think of the atheists will spend eternity remembering what they said and did during their lives...

    May 19, 2010 at 12:28 am |
    • Jim

      Hear, Hear!!

      May 19, 2010 at 5:52 am |
  18. IraqVet

    The only difference between Theodor Turner and John "Wayne" Kerry is a box of rocks.

    May 19, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  19. Jimi Streets

    This man has got to be the most ignorant, uncooth, just plain stupidest billionaire ever. What a gigantic punch to the gut of those poor people that lost loved ones in the explosion. Sadly, he is not the only liberal dunce to expose this point of view. There is no such thing as a gracious liberal. That's just a fact.

    May 19, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  20. Emike

    If atheists really didn't believe in God, they would simply ignore Him. You don't spend your time and energy actively opposing something you really don't believe exists. I think most "atheists" believe that there is a God to which they will be accountable some day, and they will. But if they try to convince themselves that He doesn't exist, they think they are free to believe whatever they want. Absolute truth is not affected by whether you believe it or not.

    Also, God is not telling us anything through the Gulf of Mexico oil blowout. He has already told us all He needs to through his Word, and through His One and only Son, Jesus Christ. Ted Turner is an environmental communist and that is his religion and he has every right to believe whatever he wants. But there is no salvation in that. He and all the other non-believers will soon have their eyes opened to the Truth, but it will be too late for them. I pray that he and all the other non-believers come to the knowledge of the Truth while they can.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:49 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.