Oprah’s liberal prosperity gospel
by Terry Mattingly
There was only one way the Oprah Winfrey Show could end after 25 years, 4,561 shows and 30,000 guests — with a sermon.
“Here’s what I learned,” explained Winfrey, in a monologue now circulating as an online “love letter” to viewers. “Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did. It doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. …
“You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others. … All life is energy and we are transmitting it at every moment. We are all little beaming little signals like radio frequencies, and the world is responding in kind.”
God is in there, somewhere, along with love, grace, kindness, tears, empathy, consolation, compassion, and, above all, self-acceptance. Put it all together and you have a non-threatening faith that many Americans call “spirituality,” as opposed to religion.
Knowing this issue was sure to arise, Winfrey frequently played the God card during her farewell show and even used the oh-so-controversial J-word — Jesus.
All her success, she stressed, has been built on, “My team, and Jesus. Because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me.”
Was this any particular God? After all, Oprah’s only orthodoxy has long been her conviction that there can be no one, true orthodoxy. What God was she talking about?
“I’m talking about the same one you’re talking about,” she told her global flock, thus combining many cultures and religions. “I’m talking about alpha and omega, the omniscient, the omnipresent, the ultimate consciousness, the source, the force, the all of everything there is, the one and only G-O-D. …
“God is love, and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you.”
The key is that Oprah has empowered her followers to have a good cry, forgive themselves and move on, urging them to evolve beyond old-fashioned religions built on doctrines linking forgiveness to the repentance of sins, according to Sally Quinn of the Washington Post, a Beltway society maven for several decades.
Americans should celebrate this trend and Oprah’s role in it, she wrote, at the newspaper’s “On Faith” website.
“Gone were the fire and brimstone, you’re-all-going-to-hell-unless-you-accept-Jesus-Christ-as-your-personal-savior, the judgment, the fear, the punishment. … People don’t want to be lectured to and made to feel guilty for common human failings. People want to feel hopeful, as though they matter. They want to feel empowered. Oprah led the way,” argued Quinn…
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