Friday, October 28, 2011

Where Has Oprah Taken Us?

Where Has Oprah Taken Us? by Stephen Mansfield will be a magnet for many. With Oprah being a household word, readers will flock to this book. Most who have watched Oprah’s show over the years love her. They may agree with some of her topics and disagree with others. But the general consensus is they like her and like her guests and topics of discussion. Some of those discussions have been difficult to watch, such as child and spouse abuse, murder and rape. Others have been enlightening. This book covers her personal life, her rise to fame, and her TV show and acts of charity and generosity. But the main thrust of the book is her faith journey and where it has led her.

Raised as a Baptist, Oprah has made a 180-degree turn, and then another turn and another turn. She’s studied many religions including most Eastern ones. And, according to Mansfield, Oprah has created her own “religion of self” based on the aspects of each religion she prefers. It was an interesting book about Oprah’s life but I disagreed with the Mansfield attempt to blame her for leading her fans astray. If a fan is moved to the point that he or she abandons his or her own religion then that person was searching for something different anyway. If a fan is so wishy-washy that he or she changes each time Oprah features a new guest and new religion, then anyone could have changed that person’s beliefs. If someone is strong in his or her faith, watching and listening to Oprah would have been interesting but not earth shattering.

If you are searching, read this book – it may lead you somewhere new. If you are strong in your faith, read this book – it will be interesting but won’t affect your beliefs. If you have no faith, then the book will still be interesting but have little or no effect on you. Me? It didn’t affect me in any way other than to learn a bit about Oprah’s childhood, climb to the top of her career, and her beliefs.

Mansfield’s Where Has Oprah Taken Us? is a quick read but only if you’re an Oprah fan. If not, move on to read something with more substance.

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