For the past few weeks, I have thoroughly been enjoying Oprah’s weekly motivational series Lifeclass in which she shares the stage with some of the most prominent life coaches around. Each week Oprah and her team have tried to inspire her audience to let go of past pains and regrets, tap into their power within, and rewrite the negative script they’ve been telling themselves to finally be successful.
The show encompasses everything I enjoyed about Oprah’s daytime show—her wit, the repeated aha moments, and walking away feeling like I watched something that fed my soul instead of something that I feel guilty for checking out in the first place (ehem, Atlanta Housewives).
But as I’ve watched this season of Lifeclass I noticed one major change in Ms. Oprah: she talks about Jesus and her Christian beliefs a whole heck of a lot.
During her 25 years on daytime TV, Oprah made references to her beliefs, but often couched them in terms that made me more palatable to nonbelievers. She’d often say she was very “spiritual,” or allowed “the spirit” to move her, and that she always listened to “the Universe.” Despite her influence (or maybe because of it), Oprah never really mentioned Jesus, the Bible, or being a Christian all that often. But as I tuned into Lifeclass, I noticed that a week cannot go by before I feel like Ms. Oprah is preaching and I done been to church.
Monday’s episode opened with Oprah giving a sermon (complete with opening the doors of the church) about the difference between being spiritual and religious. Oprah, again, proclaimed her Christian faith and even told the audience that—while she wasn’t trying to convert anyone—she could teach them how to be a Christian.
While I’m certainly not criticizing Oprah for sharing her faith with the world (I’m open to anyone doing so), I just find it curious that the Queen of Media didn’t think it was appropriate to do so when she was commanding bigger audiences than she is now.
But what do you think? What’s behind Oprah’s new openness to talk about her faith?