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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. The Oracle

    Isn't this the putz that humiliated Catholics for receiving ashes on ASH WEDNESDAY ? Ted ! Ted !! What religion are you affiliated with ?! What's that, Teddy ??! None !!! None !!!! You're a Putz, Turner. And Teddy, why don't you own CNN anymore........ hmmmm. That problem must too have been, AN ACT OF GOD. Good luck in future endeavors, bub!

    May 18, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  2. luckyturquoise

    Mr Turner is a proponent of depopulation right from his own mouth. How would you do this Mr Turner? Anything else after that statement from you is not well received. Go back to counting your money boy, that's what you care about!

    May 18, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  3. chilepepper99

    Yup, and hurricane Katrina flooding New Orleans was God's fault also.

    Oh, no wait, hurricane Katrina was Bush's fault........

    May 18, 2010 at 8:30 am |
    • Cory

      Does that mean God = G. W. Bush? lol sweet! Gotta love libbys...

      May 18, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  4. Barry Soetoro is a domestic terrorist

    BREAKING NEWS: Ted Turner is still an idiot.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  5. Bangus

    Wow, I'm suprised at all the people slamming Ted for talking about God. I think one thing we should keep in mind is to not judge him. There are a lot of people who have changed the way they believe (me being one of them). Some people it takes a little while longer than others, but to go from being atheist to believing in God is a major step. Only God knows where Mr. Turner's heart is. We gotta pray for Ted that he gives his heart to the Lord.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:29 am |
    • Cliff

      Wow! Now that's a Christian filled with the Spirit of God and allowing God to speak thru him. Good for you...Speaking with your heart in Love than with an imperfect mind filled with too much of the world and what goes on in it. We are not going to change what Satan is trying to do and which is inevitably leading to a conclusion that is plainly described in Revelations.Praying for all Atheist and the unsaved is what we should be doing. God knows what he is doing and some times he can use disaster to lead people to him.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  6. JB

    Maybe God is saying -"Look here for your supply- I have provided an endless supply for you HERE !" (Maybe we are tuning that out)
    Maybe we should figure a way to harness it instead of plugging it.
    While the oil companies should have had alternative remedy's for this leak- let's tap into it-
    not plug it.
    Maybe when the earth spews oil/volcanoes/etc, it is it's way of purging things from where they have built up so much (much like a human abcess).
    Maybe the leak- even while it is HORRIFIC and should have been dealt with from day ONE from ALL, could be an endless supply so we don't require the middle east. Sometimes blessings come in a disaster.
    The people in charge (all involved and oversight comittees) should have been more prepared (what are they doing all day for pay?) and jumped in sooner. Maybe it should be looked at as tapping in to release the oil cleanly- not plugging so it can have pressure and pop open elsewhere naturally.. Just my opinion.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  7. Richard Z

    Wow, I bet Ted Turner doesn't use any oil or natural gas at all to run his empire and suck dollars from the rest of us. The electrical power from his brain and cosmic energy run everything he touches. I bet he doesn't own any stocks in oil companies either. The man is a true Saint and the Holy Spirit blesses his every action and word. Let his brilliance shine forth. He should get together with Woody Allen and help Obamo attain his dictatorship so the rest of us will not be able to stand in the way of commiecrat enlightenment.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  8. Bryan H.

    Of course Ted thinks that Hurricane Katrina was a man made disaster as well. This is why stupid people shouldn't breed.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  9. Ghost Rider

    Oh puh-lease!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ted Turner????? He's nothing but a millionaire loud mouth redneck with little intelligence!!! Reading an article from that fool is about like reading something scrawled on a public restroom wall!

    May 18, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  10. Richard

    Ted doesn't believe in GOD he's made that clear many times.. but he does believe in the Religion of global warming. It's ashame that so many idiots like Ted are going to be sooo rich on the backs of poor peoples electric bills soon.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  11. pd

    Sounds like Ted is turning into one of those "Jesus freaks" that he used to point at and complain about. Get real Ted. I love your steakhouse, but it is time you dedicated more time to ranching. A lot of blame going around, but why not fix this thing right the first time?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  12. TfromTexas

    Seriously, how do such delusional people become so weatlhy? His interest is one sided – he is the largest privat landholder in the US. How much do you think his natural gas and oil are worth on his land. Same goes for any type of wind power that could be generated on his land as well. He's crazy like a fox.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  13. casey

    and rightly so...

    May 18, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  14. Randy

    Obama is a judgement be God aganist the United States. I've been praying that this judgement will end in November with an overwhelming Conservative victory making Obama an early lame duck. He is without a doubt the worst president in U.S. history.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  15. Chad

    Seriously? Ted is going to invoke God. The same Ted who said Christians are losers? What an idiot.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:09 am |
    • Joy

      Christians are the only believers in God? Several people up-thread berated others for confusing religion with faith. It appears you are confusing God with Christianity. It appears to me that Ted Turner has no use for Christianity but maintains his childhood belief in God. You certainly don't have to be a Christian to believe in God.

      August 14, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  16. RoberT

    Ted Turner believing in God, now that's funny.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  17. casey

    hmmm. maybe ted turner is right? im about as far radical right as it comes....but perhaps ol' ted is onto something. more than likely though he's telling us to start siding with israel on everything!

    May 18, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  18. Peter North

    So when some idiot conservatives said the hurricane that hit NO was God speaking to us libs and the media howled. Ted Turner says this and...cricket...cricket... Dont look now CNN, your liberal bias is showing...again.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  19. Pastor Bob

    How is it that communist like Turner do so well milking the capitalist system. And to use God to make his communsit point is bordering on insanity.

    May 18, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  20. Kevin

    The baby boomers are the most feminized and crazy generation to ever ruin a once free country. I'll see all of you in the interment camps (we just call them prisons here though). Bunch of fools....

    May 18, 2010 at 8:04 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.