Prologue: Back when I was a mom-of-one and living far from my family in Boston, I fell in love with the Oprah Winfrey show. Every day at 3:00 p.m., I’d settle in while Joe was napping (and even when he wasn’t) and I would prepare to be inspired. I joined her book club and dreamed that she’d pick me to discuss it. I carefully considered her recommendations in light of my household budget, and I loved her interviews with all the big-name actors.
Gradually, though, I fell away from viewing. I don’t even know what it was now; probably—as with so many fond attractions in my life—I just got busy and distracted. Pretty soon Oprah’s influence over me was reduced to her appearances on the supermarket tabloids. I’d look to see if she was fat or thin (because I am just that superficial) and would briefly consider whatever problem she had going on with Stedman. Then that was that and my real life went on.
Such was my brief love affair with Oprah.
One of the reasons why I don’t watch much TV is that I just don’t have the time right now. Another is that so much of what’s televised is either a. drivel or b. immoral.
In short, we risk our immortal soul.
If we do watch, we must be careful and discerning, lest we become like the proverbial frogs getting boiled alive as the lukewarm water keeps getting hotter…and hotter…and hotter.
It’s hard, though! Satan is really good at hiding his evil under the appearances of good. (He’s just insidious that way.)
Let’s take Oprah as an example. If she were just health tips and celebrity gossip she would not be that bad. Instead, you have one of the richest and most powerful women in the world—indeed, she is exactly the sort of “world” that our spiritual books warn us about—and she is using her clout and her popularity to sway the masses.
She deals in fads, feelings and frauds—it’s that simple—and apparently she is very effective at convincing people to follow her well-packaged crock of nonsense.
When asked why she refused to interview her anointed one’s political opponent, she balked and got caught in a nasty public relations double-bind which is what usually happens to people who play games with their own popularity. Her refusal would have been easier to swallow if she had just said simply that she didn’t like the other candidate and didn’t want her on the show; that we can accept! But then again, basic honesty is probably above Oprah’s pay grade. The truth is that Oprah has put her social clout to partisan political use, and when she was called on to be fair, she just couldn’t admit that she was playing the political hack.
Think about it. A smart, ambitious and camera-friendly woman like Sarah Palin is right up Oprah’s alley. Think about it. Sarah Palin will not be a guest on Oprah’s show. Why is that?
Finally, and most importantly, we must be very, very careful when consuming such culture as Oprah Winfrey promotes. To use another common metaphor, she offers us cake and invites us to eat freely. Just mind you avoid the piece with all the poison.
Oprah’s menace is fundamentally spiritual though, and that it feeds off the growing spiritual superficiality of the American populace. Its treachery is not to be underestimated.
Father Euteneuer’s letter is worth your time and careful consideration. As a nation, we have much at stake.
You may read it in full here.
Ad Jesum per Mariam,