Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oprah as a TV preacher?

There's that darn WORD again!

An article appeared in "USA Today" this past week entitled,
"the divine Miss Winfrey?", talking about her prominence
not just as a talk-show host, but as (in some people's minds)
some kind of modern "guru"...

The key phrasing comes early in the piece:

"Over the past year, Winfrey, 52, has
emerged as a
spiritual leader for the
new millennium, a moral voice
authority for the nation."

MORAL ???! defines "moral" in these two ways, in the
context of this article:

1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or
badness of human action and character
2. Conforming to standards of what is right or just
in behavior; virtuous

The obvious question is this:
What "morality" does Oprah represent? Whose standards
of "goodness" and "badness" does she preach on her show,
in her magazine, books, and public appearances? By what
authority does she promote what is "right" or "just"?

In a pluralistic era in which the idea of any "absolute truth"
is shouted down, can *anyone* be said to be any kind of
"voice of moral authority"?? By whose estimation??

Later in the article, Oprah is compared to Billy Graham;
the comparison could not be more inappropriate:
Reverend Graham has unequivocally preached the authority
of the Bible and the deity of Jesus for nearly 60 years, and
his altar call is the same as that of John the Baptist,
2,000 years ago... to repent of one's sin and accept the
atonement of the cross and the hope of eternal glory.
Graham's message is the simple message of Christianity:
Self-denial, not Self-Realization, is the first step
toward the Truth...

With her "I have my truth, you have your truth" World View,
Oprah Winfrey is certainly no Billy Graham; and her
Relativism disqualifies her as an "authority" in matters
of morality...

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