TV-mogul Ted Turner received an award yesterday at the 27th annual meeting of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. According to a report in the Washington Times, he drew laughter and applause with remarks about sex, the Ten Commandments and Pope John Paul II.
Turner, who has five children, commented that everyone should promise to have no more than two children. He said he came to this conclusion years ago after talking to doomsayer Paul Ehrlich; this was after Turner contributed to the “population explosion.” He also dubbed the Ten Commandments “a little out of date,” adding that “If you’re only going to have 10 rules, I don’t know if prohibiting adultery should be one of them.” Of the pope, Turner showed his idea of ethnic humor: “Ever seen a Polish mine detector?” He then said the pope should “get with it. Welcome to the 20th century.”
Catholic League president William Donohue took note:
“Ted Turner embarrassed himself yesterday with his silly remarks, though it is doubtful he even recognizes what he did. Any man who thinks that the pope needs to ‘get with it’ while quoting Paul Ehrlich is a true embarrassment. Thirty years ago Ehrlich predicted that pesticide-induced cancers would soon cause life expectancy in the U.S. to plummet to 42 years (he was off by about 34 years—it’s now 76). ‘If I were a gambler,’ he said back then, ‘I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.’ If that wasn’t bad enough, in 1980 Ehrlich wagered a $1,000 bet with economist Julian Simon over the availability of scarce commodities in the year 1990; Simon collected the money in 1991. But no matter, Ehrlich is the same guy that Turner continues to quote as a reliable source.
“In the end, it is the pope who should welcome Turner to the 20th century, and not the other way around. Now as for his reservations about the adultery taboo, perhaps someone ought to bring that up with Jane.”