Meet Ted Turner—Thanks, I’d Rather Not!

A profile of millionaire and humanist, Ted Turner.
By Wayne Jackson | Christian Courier

No narration available

“Meet Ted Turner,” was the title of a major article in the September (1998) issue of Reader’s Digest. My first impression when I saw that headline, was: “I’d rather not!” — because the man is a disgusting combination of egotism and infidelity.

A lot of people grovel at his feet because he is one of America’s richest men. He has a net worth of $4.8 billion. Recently his stock went up a quarter of a point and he made $12.5 million in sixty minutes. Turner is, however, an insufferable megalomaniac. According to the article, he thinks he’s in the same class with Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Gandhi, Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Washington, Roosevelt, and Churchill.

Turner had a troubled childhood. When his fifteen-year-old sister died of lupus disease, Ted’s father, who eventually killed himself by firing a bullet into his brain, renounced religion: “If that’s the type of God he is, I want nothing to do with him,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, Ted himself abandoned any semblance of faith. That decision demonstrated itself in a number of ways in the ensuing years; he became a profane, hard-drinking rogue. To get some idea of his character, he once told one of his wives, “My business comes first, my boat second, and you third.” During at least one of his marriages, he was a notorious womanizer.

By the mid-80s, Turner was having serious mental problems. A psychiatrist diagnosed him as a manic-depressive and put him on lithium. Eventually, he went off the drug because his behavior was erratic either way.

In 1990, Turner made a speech to the American Humanist Association (read that—an atheist convention). During that tirade he made his now famous quip: “Christianity is a religion for losers.” Though he apologized later for the statement, he still believes it. If that is the case, though, why does he aspire to be in the same class with Jesus Christ? Nobody has ever accused atheists of being consistent!

Turner ridicules the idea of hell, believes nature is god (see Romans 1:24-25), and contends that everyone eventually will “go to [the] happy hunting grounds.” Where did he obtain that bit of information?

Turner, commonly known as “The Mouth of the South,” complains that he is sick of all the isms (e.g., Catholic*ism*, Protestant*ism*, commun*ism*, capital*ism*, etc.). He has a right to be sick of some of these isms, yet he clings to humanism, because he says it respects all people. Does he appear to be one who respects Christians?

In 1989, Turner, having no biblical knowledge—thus being unaware that the Law of Moses was abrogated by the death of Christ (Colossians 2:14)—declared the original Ten Commandments obsolete and rewrote them. He carries his new version around in his wallet, though I doubt that scarcely anyone asks to see them.

Rejecting God and the biblical concept of creation, Turner argues that we have evolved from a lower form of life and that “basically we are [merely] chimpanzees with about two percent more intelligence and a little less hair.”

Speak for yourself, Mr. Turner. The fact is, were we dependent upon Ted as the solitary piece of evidence, we might be inclined to accept his statement!