Tag Archives: oprah

The End of Oprah

Priestess of the Culture of Self-Importance

Fr. Raymond de Souza has an insightful article in the National Post about the reign of Oprah here.

He makes a great point about how Oprah is the result and response to a culture that is so atomized that it needs to look to tv personalities for a ray of hope and vacant platitudes that make us feel better.  It is, indeed, a major cultural issue, and yes, it is due to the failure of our society, friends, families, churches, etc., that have brought about this atomized culture.

I remember when I was a kid when everyone knew each other on the block.  The kids would always become friends and play together, and the parents would quickly become friends as well, often hosting BBQs and nights to simply spend time together chatting while the kids played hockey or swam in the pool.

Today, if you attempt to get to know your neighbour, you’re seen as a bit of a weirdo almost.  The idea of “neighbourhoods” and “neighbours” are, in my mind, long gone.  Perhaps it’s just my experience on the West Coast; I hope this isn’t a reality everywhere.  But even though we have a physical proximity to people, there is no spiritual proximity – and I am not speaking here even in a religious sense!  Naturally, human beings are spiritual creatures who find fulfillment in creating community with others.  When that isn’t happening, then we are entering a spiritual crisis on the natural level (which is scary because it precludes a crisis on the supernatural level first!).

We no longer desire to know others.  I remember, for example, going to a Pizza Hut one day a couple of years ago in Edmonton and seeing four kids sitting at a table, texting each other: they wouldn’t even speak to each other!  I must admit that I myself have even fallen into this culture, and it is difficult to have the eyes to see in order to break out of it.

When we no longer desire community, when we no longer desire to be with others – think of the family in which each person eats the meal of their choice in front of their own tv, a sad but true reality in many households – then we seek others to fill our spiritual void, but in a way that the spiritual void is not actually filled, but only superficially.  We thus run to TV, self-help books, the internet, drugs, alcohol, promiscuous sex, and so on, in order to fill that spiritual gap in our lives.  We are empty, and we know we need to be fulfilled, but we don’t know how, so we go for those places, people, and things t hat seem to give us fufillment.  It is a sad state in the world when this is the natural spiritual condition of a culture.  I believe, too, that if this is indeed the case, then we are in for cultural suicide.  This is not just a spiritual hunger: when we become atomized, when we become isolated from others, then basic human principles such as love, compassion, forgiveness, reason, are no longer easy tasks to carry out, and thus man becomes more like an animal when, ironically, he is claiming to be more human than ever! 

It is a sad state when truth becomes a lie and the lie becomes truth.

in Christ



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The New Age Movement

This article gives a good overview of the New Age movement that continues to plague the world.


I am incredibely weary of this movement for the reasons expressed in the article.  It is funny, too, how, in the end, there is nothing new under the sun.  It is simply a re-hashing of ancient Greek and neo-platonist ideas.  It has fallen under the weight of reality before, it will fall under the weight of reality again.

What worries me, though, is that our world is indeed surrounded by relativism, and thus we live in a culture that is unable to think for itself anymore.  When people fall away from the use of reason, then that which is not reasonable becomes reasonable.  Look at how much people claim that which is true to be conspiracy theories, or arguments based on a silence of evidence.

I worry because people such as Oprah promote the New Age movement.  Many people are spiritually hungry, and even faithful Christians looking for a deeper meaning to their Christian lives.  Oprah waxes wisdom, and thus sucks many people into her web which is ultimately an instantiation of the New Age movement (her desire to constantly promote Eckhart Tolle is a great example of this).

I have also encountered it much in my life as well.  I encountered last summer in some of the peole I encountered when working at the hospital in Toronto.  When I made my reservations known, people said I wasn’t “open minded enough”.  They challenged me for daring to claim that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  While, yes, there are different perspectives in the world, it doesn’t negate the claim that there is universal truth.  If there is no truth, then talking is pointless.  Instead, they asked us to be syncrotistic, saying “everything is ok, everything is true.”  If that is true, then I wonder how it is they could criticize me for claiming that there is specific, universal truth.

Anyways, this is just a random gathering of ideas.  The New Age movement is scary, and we must be weary about accepting it in our lives.  Especially for Christians, there are many books that claim to be Christian, but are really just that on the surface (I think, for example, of people such as Richard Rohr) – in the end, they are New Age spirituality, a surface level mix of eastern spirituality and 14th century German mysticism.

I must end, though, by affirming one thing of the article that I know from experience.  Those of the New Age movement tend to be unabel to deal with reality, because they deny reality in their mind: it creates a cognitive dissonance in their life that becomes almost irrepairable.

in Christ


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized