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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. steamboatwz

    Teddy's leftist opinion concerns us how ? Teddy must have had Froot Loops again for breakfast ? Maybe he should move to a fourth world country where they don't have any economy, and therefore don't polute.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  2. Satch

    I hear God telling me that Ted Turner Is full of s**t,-–now that I can believe.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  3. edwardo

    Ted's dad made $1mm on pine trees, then committed suicide! if you listen to Ted you know what the problem is, the nut is not too far from the tree! except Ted has some prescient for success? how, i do not know, he sound s like a babbling idiot, those who work for him must not understand a think he says, he was too crazy for Jane, that should tell you something.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  4. edwardo

    GOD!? what does Ted T know about him, he is an atheist! i get the biggest laugh out of liberal progressives when they enlist the name of the Almighty in their causes, and bad mouth him when they want to expose their secular BS ideas! Harry Reed said it was greed?! so what the hell is it, one or the other! i think it was a faulty blowout preventer, and bad Quality management and process by BP! and incompetence on the part of the obama administrations staff at Interior! just like homeland security! if i did not know better i would think ole Brownie is working for Obama on the Gulf coast, still!!!!! the ghost of Brownie is haunting obama!!! ITS George Bush's fault.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  5. RefreshTheTree

    God doesn't speak to me, but Ted does....... He is saying he is CRAZY!

    May 18, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  6. CLee

    Dry up and blow away, Ted! Blow away! Blow away! Nobody cares about your opinion. You are your own biggest fan.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  7. L. Hill

    The only God he believes in is Ted Turner. Does anyone really think he is a compassionate rancher whos goal is to reintroduce the American Bison. The reason he's buying up the state of Montana, currently holding 100,000 plus acres is so that he can act out his delusion by playing God and have total control in the upcoming water wars. Conspiracy theory? Perhaps. We'll see how it plays out.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  8. sara

    Turner has made clear he hates God. He is speaking for a lessor god.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  9. JJFlash

    This is just another example of a Limousine Liberal showing their hipocracy. When religion suits his beliefs, God is speaking out but when it's against what he believes we're Jesus freaks. Make up your mind Ted.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  10. Thomas Noell

    Wow, that's odd. I thought Ted Turner was an avowed atheist. He was once quoted as saying, "Christianity is a religion of losers." Now he references the Almighty to advance his leftist, militant-environmentalist agenda. Yet another profile in liberal hypocrisy...

    May 18, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  11. FreemonSandlewould

    If you did not already know it ..........Ted Turner is an absolute numbskull.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  12. Danbury

    I thought Turner WAS God!

    But maybe, just maybe, he'd rather have drilling in Montana, where he owns half the state and one of the world's largest oil fields is just waiting to be tapped.

    Naw, couldn't be.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  13. Red Ruffansore

    Uh, athiest Ted (the Red) Turner preaching to us? Give me a break . Shaddap Ted and go back to supporting mother Russia you back stabbing two faced weasel.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  14. wrangler911

    BP could have had the leak plugged a couple days after it happened. BP decided that it would be more profitable to collect the lost oil than to plug it and re-drill. Now that the cost of recovery is exceeding the cost that it would to plug and re-drill they are now going to do so. BP is threatening the livelihoods of every resident on the coast just so it can come out with a profit. These crooks will burn in HELL!

    May 18, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  15. Ira Meanwell

    Rather than what Ted is proposing, God is more likely to eliminate the "somewhat" religious or as He would say, "spit you out of my mouth.".

    May 18, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  16. pyeatte

    Ok, I'll play, perhaps God is telling us: "Since you are going to need coal, oil & gas for a long time – be careful!"

    May 18, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  17. Pompey

    Ted Turner is a "head case", unfortunately it is in his sad family history. In light of this why media insist on exhibiting him as a public spectacle I'll never know.

    May 18, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  18. Warre

    God is speaking to us, he is saying "Quit listening to the environmental wackos and become self sufficient, drill for oil, build refineries...and oh btw, I have given you nuclear power, how about you use that too!"

    If we want to do the green stuff, sure lets do it, but not via the government, but while we are waiting on technology advancements (and efficiency), lets use what we have in this country...

    May 18, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  19. rolandotx2

    Of course Ted does not actually believe in God, however he has an alternate source of fuel. While we cannot heat our homes or cook our food by burning his BS we can use the buffalo chips from his ranches as fuel to generate electricity. By the way, why doesn't some reporter ask him how much drilling he allows on his ranches and how much natural gas El Paso produces from his Vermejo Ranch in N.M.?

    May 18, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  20. seenbetterdaze

    Ole TED...the Atheist! That's RICH! Blame it on GOD! Ted probably KNOWS who actually DID the dirty deed. Some loony tunes Enviro-Whackos probably HIRED it out...you know, SABOTAGE! That would ensure the $10 TRILLION FRAUD Cap and TAX bill a better chance of passing. You know...the final NAIL in the COFFIN of the US ECONOMY!

    Mission ACCOMPLISHED...by Owe-bama and his crowd of communists who HATE AMERICA! OWE-bama is blaming it on BP...you know, BP...they contributed mucho dineros to the Dearleader's campaign!

    I believe in God...and pray every day for GOD to SAVE us from these Demonic DEMoRATS who are destroying the USA!

    May 18, 2010 at 9:16 am |
    • kw

      Keep praying...we are all in trouble...it isn't over yet!!

      May 18, 2010 at 1:03 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.