CNN has a fascinating and wide-ranging feature on Ted Turner today. Among other things, it says that Turner has grown more reflective about his mortality in his later years. Turner even confesses that he doesn’t want to go to hell. It’s a provocative piece in many ways. Here’s an excerpt:
Even though he is a son of the Bible Belt, Ted Turner and God haven’t been on the best of terms. Despite his strong stance against religion in the past, he’s not an atheist. He’s an agnostic, trying to make sense of it all — his way.
He revised the Ten Commandments, which he considered outdated, coming up instead with his Eleven Voluntary Initiatives, which he printed on cards small enough to carry in a wallet. He tossed out the commandments that struck him as outdated — a host of the “thou shalt nots,” particularly the one banning adultery. “People have had a lot of fun breaking that one. I know I did.”…
He once walked into the CNN newsroom on Ash Wednesday and, spotting several staffers with smudges on their foreheads, blurted out, “What are you? A bunch of Jesus freaks? You ought to be working for Fox.”
He has said famously that “Christianity is a religion for losers,” even though some of his closest friends have a deep and profound faith.
“He knew I was a Christian when he said that,” said former President Carter. “Ted had a tendency to say things like that just to be provocative. And to stir people’s interest. But later he retracted that statement.”
Carter continues to hope his friend will someday “have a profound religious experience.”
Turner said he respects the position of his religious friends, but he’s a skeptic by nature. He described himself as an agnostic, although as a younger man he was an atheist, and virulently anti-religious. These days, he keeps the door open a crack. He allows for the possibility.
“When I have a friend that’s dying of cancer, I say a prayer for them,” he said.
To whom does he direct the prayer?
“Whoever is listening.”
Read the rest here.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
(HT: Jim Smith)