Religion Dispatches: The Cult of Oprah

Kelly Baker

For those of you seeking any thing to read besides student term papers (back to grading for me), I would quickly recommend Gary Laderman's piece on Oprah over at Religion Dispatches. Laderman reflects upon a recent attack on Oprah that appeared on YouTube, not GodTube (how strange!). Here's a preview:

On March 26 of this year
"The Church of Oprah Exposed" was posted on YouTube receiving, as of this writing, 5,916,675 views. At the heart of the video's popularity is the allegation that the billionaire host of the most popular talk show in the history of television threatens Christianity and that she is, as's Bill Keller believes, attempting to establish a cult. Keller, who likens Oprah's views to "spiritual crack," joins others in conservative Christian circles who point to comments of hers that have been floating around the web for some time: "... One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way to live... there couldn't possibly be just one way [to God]..."


Anonymous said…
This looks like exactly the same argument that Kathryn Lofton makes about Oprah in her Journal of Popular Culture article from 2006. I'm surprised that Laderman didn't cite her very fine work--seems like an unfortunate oversight. Anyone who wants to read a fascinating article on the topic of Oprah as a religious practitioner (and inciter of religious practice) should start there.
Anonymous said…
He does cite Marcia Nelson's 2005 book "The Gospel According to Oprah."
Anonymous said…
Yes, he cites Nelson's book. But his discussion of Oprah as a religious practitioner is very much indebted to Lofton's article--but it's not cited.