Oprah was born a Baptist in Mississippi, but has recently endorsed the New Age spritualism of Ekhart Tolle and some suspect she is starting her own religion.
Oprah has only come out with an official political stance once to endorse Barack Obama for presidet. Her record of philanthropy, however, speaks volumes about her concern for a better society.
Guide us wise and mystical "O."
One important thing to remember is that Oprah has real influence. When she speaks, millions listen. When she likes something, millions buy it. When she endorses a politician, millions vote.
Oprah grew up very poor in various parts of the U.S. from Mississippi to Milwaukee. She was raised a Baptist and her original name is actually Orpah from a biblical character.
She spoke about going to a Baptist church and her rejection of it, saying:
..then he [the minister] said, 'The Lord, thy God is a jealous God.' And I was, you know, caught up in the rapture of that moment until he said jealous….and something about that didn't feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love and God is in all things.
God is in all things? We've got ourselves a Pantheist!
And strangely, Pantheism is often associated with silly New Age religions, which is exactly what Oprah's in to. She has relentlessly promoted the views and writings of New Age spiritualist Eckhart Tolle and held seminars on the web, given speeches about it, and talked about it on her shows to the point that many are saying she is trying to start her own religion–and it's really pissing off the hardcore Christians, including the fundamentalists at Fox News.
The question is: Why Tolle? His brand of New Age juju is no different than the thousands of other New Age gurus, with principles like "Awakening" and "Enlightenment" and various other words that don't actually mean anything. It certainly is confusing.
Oprah, in her own words:
"took God out of the box."
She has come to promote a much wider view of God and religion, saying:
One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way to live. There are many paths to what you call God.
Oprah's real effect on world politics
Oprah has said that she doesn't consider herself political, but c'mon, power corrupts, right?
Oprah really came out in poltiics when she officially endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008. She had never before endorsed a candidate and some speculate that she was instrumental in him winning the election.
It appears that she fell for "hope" and "change" like so many of us, saying:
I don't consider myself political and I seldom interview politicians. So when I decided to talk with you [Barack], people around me were like, 'What's happened to you?' I said, 'I think this is beyond and above politics.' It feels like something new.
Or maybe, it's because he's black?
She seems to be more liberal than anything, interviewing far more Democrats on her show than Republicans.
To her credit, Oprah has used her vast wealth and influence to advance various noble causes, including over $60 million in donations to third-world countries, an all-girls school in South Africa, and the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.
One can only assume what her overall view of how society should be based on what she says. She has spoken out in support of gay marriage and surely promotes the acceptence of a diverse society, saying:
I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that's how I operate my life.