Ted Turner sorry for anti-faith
stance, joins church to fight malaria
BY A CORRESPONDENT
April 5, 2008:
America’s media tycoon who once
disparagingly described Christianity
as a “religion for losers,” has made a
turnaround of sorts.
faith as a “bright spot” in the world
and apologizing for his previous
criticism of religion, Ted Turner, 69,
has launched a $200-million
partnership with Lutherans and
Methodists to combat malaria in
Africa, news agency Associated Press
(AP) has reported.
founder of CNN, had in the 1980s
condemned Christianity, and written
his own “version” of the Ten
Commandments. What is more, in 2001,
he asked his employees who
commemorated Ash Wednesday whether
they were “Jesus freaks,” remarking
that they should work for Fox.
However, he later apologized for these
was quoted as saying at a news
conference in New York, called to
announce the anti-malaria program, “I
made a few disparaging comments a long
time ago and I’m always developing my
thinking as I grows older. I regret
anything I said about religion that
was negative. As I get older, you
know, I get more, you know, more
Turner continued, “is one of the
bright spots as far as I’m concerned,
even though there are some areas, like
everything else, where they’ve gone
over the top a little, in my opinion.
But I’m sure God, wherever he is,
wants to see us get along with one
another and love one another.”
he does not now consider himself
agnostic or atheist, as he had
sometimes described himself earlier.
“I pray for sick friends,” he added,
“because it doesn’t hurt.”
maintains several churches on his
properties for employees and others
who live nearby.
at the news conference that he was
familiar with Methodist and Lutheran
Churches and praised them for
preaching “the brotherhood of man.” He
said he has read the Bible “cover to
cover twice” even though some of it is
“pretty tedious” and that he had, as a
boy, considered becoming a missionary.
He said he
rejected religion after his younger
sister died from a form of lupus when
they were both young.
who still has not completely embraced
religion, said he continues to
subscribe to his alternative
commandments, which he called the ‘Ten
Voluntary Initiatives’ which include
caring for people and the earth,
promising not to have more than two
children and contributing to the less
On April 1,
2008, Ted Turner’s United Nations
Foundation, which he started in 1997
with a donation of $1 billion,
launched the anti-malaria program
along with the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America, the Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod and the United
Protestant groups, who now
collectively have over 15 million
members in the United States, have
been working overseas against poverty
and to prevent disease for over a
The Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation has made
available a $10-million grant to help
promote charity campaigns by Churches.
foundation is already working with
many Church groups in their work in
malaria-infected cities and villages.
But the new joint project aims to
fight malaria aims at stopping deaths
from the disease.
over 1 million people die of malaria a
year, of whom a majority are women,
and children under the age of 5.