Is Oprah Winfrey “our most important religious leader”? New York Times columnist Ross Douthat makes that case in his op-ed article below. It’s an interesting argument. He finds Oprah a prophet of “the soft, squishy, unifying center” of America’s spirituality — where segments of religious secularism and traditionalism overlap.
Douthat is clearly not a fan of this spiritual worldview even though it “cuts across partisan lines and racial divides.”
I’m not a fan of the squishy center or, frankly, of Douthat’s more traditionalist views. But he has a helpful observation here for the liberally religious. What degree of Oprah-ness can we tolerate, what degree of a “do-it-yourself form of faith that encourages syncretism and the pursuit of ‘your truth’…in defiance of the dogmatic and the skeptical alike”?
I’m a Unitarian Universalist and Buddhist. This blog’s co-founder, Rev. Kate Braestrup, is a Unitarian Universalist minister who is comfortable with Christian language and traditions. I know that each of us finds comfort in a sacred tradition while at the same time enjoying a religious community that embraces the questioning mind.
What about you? Where is your anchor in the liberal religious voyage? — MHP