Ted Turner, born Robert Edward Turner III, founder of CNN and TBS, was named 'Humanist of the Year' in 1989.
At a baseball news conference on March 29, 1997, Turner called the Heaven's Gate mass suicide in California "a good way to get rid of a few nuts."
He then tried to look on the bright side: "You know, 29 people, 39 people committed suicide to go up to the comet. Well, what about the other six billion that didn't, you know? That's a small percentage, 39 out of six billion," he said. "That comet does look good. I've been looking at it. I would kinda to go up there myself. I mean, is it that much different from other religions that say you're going to heaven?"
An April 20, 2001 wire service story describes the reasons for the divorce:
Fonda's divorce papers, however, were filed on the same day the New Yorker published an interview with Turner in which the 62-year-old media mogul said he and Fonda split up partly because of her decision to become a Christian.
"She just came home and said 'I've become a Christian,' " Turner told the magazine. "Before that, she was not a religious person. That's a pretty big change for your wife of many years to tell you. That's a shock."
Replied Fonda: "My becoming a Christian upset him very much--for good reason. He's my husband and I chose not to discuss it with him--because he would have talked me out of it. He's a debating champion."
Turner--an atheist who previously questioned whether prohibiting adultery should've been one of the 10 Commandments--also acknowledged that he had become suicidal after his breakup with Fonda, and after losing of control over Turner Broadcasting when AOL Time Warner was reorganized.
"I felt like Job," he told the magazine. Turner's own father, Ed Turner, killed himself when Ted was 24.
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On Charlie Rose broadcast July 23rd, 2004, Ted Turner labeled himself as an agnostic. He said he had a little bit of faith, but didn't go into detail on any technical philosophical definition. He described his youth as being seeped in Christianity and described himself at one time as having been more born again than Ralph Reed.