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. UyeahU

    Now there's a new one, Ted Turner, one time atheist speaking for God! I don't see where God wants man to live like we did 500 years ago, and it is He that gave man his mind to create, build and use natural resources that He provided. At the end of the day we may just find out that this was not caused by greed, or terrorism, or even God Himself, rather it may just be what it appears, a terrible industrial accident. If the facts show otherwise I'm sure the Feds will be doling out punishment in all directions.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  2. coast2co

    T Boone Pickens another one of those Oil Men that is looking to make a buck by making us go to wind and geo thermal which is more costly and makes allot of money for T Boone and Ted Turner. WAKE UP DUMP PEOPLE

    May 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  3. coast2co

    Ted Turner is the biggest crook and liar there ever has been. I know to be fact.

    Ted Turner has money invested in Wind and Geo Thernmal. Its about money and plays on the simple minded people to believe on RENEWABLE Energy GREEN GREEN GREEN its about MONEY GREEN MONEY GREEN please people wake up stupid people with there emotions and feelings. If it went wind power electric would cost double.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Paul

    When Ted starts riding a black bicycle around Atlanta, I will listen, until then, shut up.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  5. lcky9

    I have to ask for those of us that use oil and coal to HEAT our homes in the MIDWEST where it gets really cold is GOD telling us to FREEZE to death??? I going to go with NO..

    May 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  6. bondservant

    I think what is often missed is that, when man sinned the first time, the work God called us to tend to would now include toiling. It was no longer going to be without sweat and struggle, weeds would grow where before they might not have, etc.

    Cars are neither right or wrong – if we choose to have them, then we need to find ways to make them run. And accidents (or abuses) happen. One could just as easily claim that God provided oil for us to use in cars.

    We are called to follow God's laws, and provide for our families. Oil, coal, etc – those are just current day methods to provide. There are risks and dangers involved in any line of work. I continue to believe that God has called us to take care of what He gave us – the message of conservation. But that's different than environmentalism, which makes God's creation into an idol to worship.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Jim

      Nice. Good points.

      May 19, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  7. Ric

    Ayatolla Ted. First was the Iranian cleric saying that earthquakes were caused by immoral women and now we hear from Ted.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  8. Chris W

    Who the hell is Ted Turner?
    That's right!
    He and Bill Clinton F___ed Hanoi Jane.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  9. Stormy

    MARRIED TO HANOI JANE ...TALK ABOUT TRAITORS !! G-D WILL PUNISH HIM IN H**L FOR ALL ETERNITY...I wonder how this loud mouth moron came to make so much money..money sure does talk....

    May 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  10. Jim Staudt

    So Ted Turner has now converted and believes in God. Will miracles never cease! Praise the Lord!

    May 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  11. frgough

    Chemically dispersing the oil allows the elements in sea water to more effectively break it down, just like what happens with the 5000 barrels of oil that seep naturally into the gulf every day.

    Princeton, faculty, and 60s were all I needed to see you were totally disconnected with reality.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  12. the town dullard

    He has invested million$ if not billion$ towards alternative fuels. Ted Turner, Goldman Sachs, Obama, Al Gore and a long list of wealthy people will profit from "Going Green". Look out for the Copenhagen Summit in Mexico this summer. This is where all the "leaders" of the countries will meet and decide how much they will "carbon tax" us all. Then Gore and Goldman Sachs and Ted Turner and all the other chronies will reap the benefits from these Alternative Energy investments. They attempted to pass these laws in Denmark recently but failed when emails surfaced proving the scientist falsified there data when try to support the global warming theory. Research "climategate".

    May 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  13. Eric Sly

    It's amazing how liberals are believers in God only when it's convenient to them. When it befits them to trash God and throw him out at will they have no trouble at all. Lack of conscience or just ignorance... or both. Liberals who throw the divine creator back and forth as if they have any business even mentioning him are going to burn in Hell. In this I find great solace.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  14. Baba Ganoush

    "Could it have been God" says them man who shat on religion at every turn.

    Ted, kindly STFU. He must be invested in wind farms or some other ghey BS "green" energy source that (So sorry) has no chance in hell of replacing oil or coal.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  15. NUMBERS29

    Ummmm. Didn't he divorce his wife Jane Fonda because she became a Christian. What a F$%^&$ing Hipocrite. Well his religion is probably the green movement. I used to be in awe of Ted Turner, now he is just another sad non-sensical tree hugger.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  16. Kristy

    So, how does he explain Katrina? What was God's message in that one? The recent European volcano? Maybe he should spend more time figuring out why the food at his "Montana Grill" is so crappy or why CNN is in the dumpster.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  17. R. H. White

    Who died and made Ted Turner Pope. Tell that to the 11 who died. British Petroleum and their arrogance killed those people.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  18. Mel Freedenberg

    "It’s just as important, if not more important, than getting to the moon.” That is the last sentence in the article. By the way Ted, what would you use for propulsion? Solar panels won't get you thiere. Methane from composted cow manure won't get you there. Wind turbines won't get you there. I do think even neoprene rings are made out of oil somehow. Although the fuel to get to the moon doesn't contain petroleum, thousands of parts in the ship are made from petroleum so if you want to get to the moon, you have to drill for oil first.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Shelly Vickers

    yeah Hater.......

    May 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  20. Aston patty

    Yeah, good luck Darrel. Guy gets hot and wound up on CNN computer postings. Read it once, comment and move on with life.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:06 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.