• Oprah and Rielle Hunter

    What is the “Authentic Self”?

    The concept of the “authentic self” is a wonderful-sounding, important element of politically-correct thinking. Especially if one’s “authentic self” includes a deviation from standard sexuality. Many people are proud of themselves for being progressive in encouraging others to admit and embrace inclinations and desires that a few decades ago were considered shameful. Oprah was a major proponent of the idea. On her television show and her magazine, she encouraged her faithful followers to be open and real about their true thoughts and feelings, desires and dreams, passions and embarrassments. She was (and continues to be) especially insistent on the importance of coming out as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender)…

  • Engage

    Oprah: America’s Beloved False Teacher

    Tomorrow is the last episode of the Oprah Winfrey show on network TV. Oprah will be throwing her considerable energies and resources into her own cable network (OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network). But she has left a huge footprint on the culture and on the hearts of minds of millions of loyal fans. People have said for years that they wished Oprah were their next door neighbor or their best friend. And for good reason: she is winsome. She is open and transparent. She is incredibly generous. She not only asks the questions you would ask of her guests, she has the power to draw some of the most powerful…

  • Engage

    Challenging Oprah

    Recently Oprah interviewed Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle. You may remember that Ted, a charismatic pastor of the megachurch he built and head of the National Association of Evangelicals, was outed in 2006 for same-sex immorality. Ted has come a long way in terms of facing his fleshly “inner demons,” but I thought he still skirted around a number of issues. (See former pro-gay spokesman Joe Dallas’ excellent blog on what he wished Ted would have said.) What broke my heart, though, was how Oprah continued to come back to her mantra: “That is who you are!” She SO wanted Ted to own a gay identity, and kept bringing…