Saturday, May 28, 2011



Cam Cardow/The Ottawa Citizen
I liked the Oprah Winfrey show.  Especially after she got away from delving into people's personal lives.  I'm sorry she invited that genre of encouraging people to spill their personal problems and allow an audience of strangers to make commentary and judgments.  I'm sorry she gave Dr. Phil that job.

But she really is the best interviewer, she asks interesting questions and  can get the person to open up better than anyone else.  I liked watching her and Gayle go on a road trip.  I even bought some books just because she liked them.

I had to turn off her second to the last show, even though I liked a lot of her special guests.  I felt like it had turned into worship of Oprah.  But on reflection I thought it's really no different than a retirement or ordination of anniversary party of a colleague, where your friends get up and say nice things about you.  It's just that we don't have as many friends or friends who are as dramatic.

The New York Times has an interesting critique of her spirituality.  The Church of Oprah Winfrey and a Theology of Suffering.  I think it's on the money.  Once when she got on the band wagon of that ridiculous book "The Secret" that claims if we just have enough positive energy only good things will come our way, I wrote a newsletter article debunking it.

But honestly, someone with good Lutheran theology is not going to have a TV show that reaches as many people as Oprah does.  That's the ELCA's job ;-).  But having a message about not being a victim, taking care of yourself, being honest, being true to yourself, doing good for others reach that many this world?  I'll take it.  Well done, Oprah.


  1. I didn't watch her so much, but I really liked that she promoted reading.

    Yeah, there are theological problems with some of her stuff -- but I do like your last paragraph!

  2. Loved that she got people interesting in reading books!