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. Drill, its God's will

    Ted has always been delusional. Being married to Hanoi Jane hasen't helped.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  2. Alan B

    Wow...you have no idea what you are talking about man... I can call b.s. on ever single idea the first one the hole is cased you cant collapse steel pipe with an explosive. Your fancy degree is worthless in this line of work let the oilfield ppl deal with this prob sorry bud

    May 18, 2010 at 7:57 am |
  3. Superpower

    Old age and senility has revealed the hippies' anti-American flat earth no-growth enviro-Marxists agenda.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  4. Orson Buggy

    Just what exactally does Ted Turner know about God? He doesn't believe in the Almighty. He believe's he is his own god. I really dislike people who are atheistic one minute and then know what God is doing the next! Ted baby, the Day of Reckoning is coming. You best get it together.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  5. Carl

    The US is not the biggest polluter. China is.

    Ted's "god" is not the God of our fathers. Ted is a Pantheist / New Ager / Wiccan, or whatever they call themselves these days. He worships nature and the Earth. (the creation rather than the creator)

    May 18, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  6. Ryan

    Ted Turner is a JOKE.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:48 am |
  7. IHiJump

    Ted, God sent us a message a looong time ago... maybe you should read it. It's called The Bible.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  8. DUGinFLA

    I like how Ted Turner's God only seems to send messages to the one country founded under God. Crazy how Ted Turner's God is so selective.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  9. LadyA

    I wonder how much fuel it takes to run Ted Turner's private planes.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  10. Nate K

    Why is God always pulling all the strings. Actions WE make in life are just that, our own. A mistake was made trying to drill oil and now HUMANS have to fix it.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  11. ncpg

    ......and earthquakes are caused by women's immodest dress, right Ted?

    May 18, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  12. MaryMac

    Ted Turner invoking God; there's a twist–the dem's new strategy–imitate Beck's "God" talk. Too predictable, too late. Now I am convinced this oil spill was either Greenpeace or Islamic Jihadists–they are becoming interchangeable anyway.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  13. Obamanation

    Ted, you should know better. Your party doesn't believe in God...If you did abortion would be outlawed, welfare would still be handled by the church and the Democrats wouldn't be trying to buy votes and keep poor people in slavery...

    May 18, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  14. na

    Turner is a another Dopebama.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  15. jck1225

    I thought Ted Turner was an atheist? I guess I was wrong......he's a prophet of God! (In the same arena as the brilliant Obama!)

    May 18, 2010 at 7:30 am |
  16. cwc

    Ted Turner now believes in GOD!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:27 am |
    • Bluebeard

      So what! If the man is being converted to christian thinking, what do you have to say sbout it at all? Maybe from reading some of your posts, many may need a conversion from God! These are very troubled times and God may very well be starting to speak in a way that man can understand. What would He do next to cause a man to accept Him and His awesome powers. Maybe one only needs to read the book of Revelation to understand what maybe occurring. For those who don't turn, well I am glad that I am not in your shoes. By the way, who is holding back the hand of God? YOU.

      May 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jim

      Stop and think a while about what Bluebeard has written.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:47 am |
  17. Shawn

    I am not one inclined to agree but his conclusion makes sense. ie the cost of getting this energy in terms of lives and environmental damage. We should maximize our use of clean energy sources to the extent of cost and possible damage to environment, visually and alternative sources that should be used.
    In rebuttal, I don't know that we could discontinue use of oil, fuel, gas and nuclear; but reduce the use at least.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:26 am |
    • Obamanation

      Yes, those solar and wind powered cars seem interesting, lets all switch to them...


      May 18, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  18. gary staab

    this comes from an old democrat drunk who has found god next think he will be telling you he joined to gop

    May 18, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  19. gary staab

    yeah te stop getting drunk

    May 18, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  20. Pepper

    Yeah, He'a sending a message alright, Teddy. "Drill on land. In Alaska."

    May 18, 2010 at 7:23 am |
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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.