BP This Week: Oprah and “Bad Religion”

Plus: The Church and Abuse

John Stonestreet and Ed Stetzer remind us that the folks saying that Oprah will not be our next president said the same thing about the current Commander-in-Chief. They then take America’s religious temperature and discuss how celebrities have become such a powerful cultural and political force. They conclude the show with the tough topic of sexual abuse in the Church, and how congregations should respond to this kind of tragedy.

Resources

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics
  • Ross Douthat
  • The Colson Center Online Store
Amusing Ourselves to Death
  • Neil Postman
  • The Colson Center Online Store
Oprah: Prophet, Priestess...Queen?
  • Ross Douthat
  • The New York Times
  • January 10, 2018
Challenges Facing the Church in 2018: A Symposium
  • John Stonestreet
  • The Colson Center
  • January 11, 2018

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  • schieffo

    I pray she stays out of politics—

    • Phoenix1977

      I think a lot of people said the same thing about Donald Trump and look where that got them.

      And can you actually say she would be worse than what is currently living in the White House?

      • Scott

        “And can you actually say she would be worse than what is currently living in the White House?”

        Maybe… who knows what kind of policy she would concoct. One thing is sure, America needs to stop conducting social and political experiments if we want to hang on to our Republic. Celebrity politics in America has become a bad joke… one I wish would go away.

        • Phoenix1977

          The immediate question that raises than is: do people want to hang on to your Republic? For example: the majority of Americans are opposed of the electoral college, which is a unique part of your political reality.

          And I’m afraid you might consider “celebrity politics” a joke but the majority of the Americans does not. I mean, if Jerry Springer can be elected mayor, Arnold Schwarzenegger governor and Ronald Reagan president, why not Oprah Winfrey? Like I said, I don’t think she’ll be worse than some men who occupied the White House and most definitely better than what lives there now.

          • Scott

            “The immediate question that raises than is: do people want to hang on to your Republic?”

            Absolutely… but they probably don’t know why. We have a bit of an education issue over here. Also the majority of Americans have know idea how the electoral college really works. Most are just upset because it was the main reason Donald Trump won the election.

            “And I’m afraid you might consider “celebrity politics” a joke but the majority of the Americans does not.”

            There are many who do.

            “I mean, if Jerry Springer can be elected mayor, Arnold Schwarzenegger governor and Ronald Reagan president,”

            Yeah… don’t forget Jesse “The Body” Ventura. It all really started with the celebrity-like status of JFK. The joke I refer to is more about the reason those people were elected in the first place, which speaks to the undereducated/over entertained masses fed by a sensationalist’s media… Jerry Springer. Ugh.

            “why not Oprah Winfrey?”

            If she ran as a Democrat… No. Republican… Probably not. If neither, I would have to hear her policy ideas, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t have enough substance for me. : – )

          • Phoenix1977

            “Absolutely… but they probably don’t know why.”
            I’m not so sure. I visited the US quite a few times and lived there for a few months. I also know quite a number of Americans (mostly collaegues) and they state the way the political system of the US is organized made sense when the US was founded but is hopelessly outdated in the 21st century. The electoral college is one example, the judicial system another. There are even those who think the American Constitution is due for a major revision, simply because a lot of the values in that document are no longer shared by the majority of the people.

            “Most are just upset because it was the main reason Donald Trump won the election.”
            Which is quite understandable. After all, it’s quite difficult to explain the person who got less votes still won the election. There was already a call for retiring the electoral college after the 2000 presidential elections, where George W. Bush also won while not receiving the majority vote. And now that the electoral college has resulted in the most incapable president in recent history in the White House that call became even stronger.

            “There are many who do.”
            Perhaps, but not enough. After all, if enough people would be tired of celebrity politics celebrities would not be so influencial to begin with.

            “The joke I refer to is more about the reason those people were elected in the first place, which speaks to the undereducated/over entertained masses fed by a sensationalist’s media”
            That I can agree on. But that’s not only a problem in the US but everywhere in the world. If I take a look at my own country my heart regularly weeps. Here we have people voting for Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, who wants to close our borders for Muslims, close down mosques and prevent Muslims from founding their own schools. He just doesn’t mention our Constitution values equality above everything else, so if the prevent Muslim refugees from entering that means the Christians will remain outside as well. Closing down mosques makes it possible for people to petition the closing of churches as well and forbidding Muslims to found their own schools will prevent Christians from doing the same.
            And he knows this because he is an educated man. However, his voters aren’t and they believe everything he feeds them.

            “Jerry Springer. Ugh.”
            It was nice entertainment during a quiet night in the ER 🙂

            “If she ran as a Democrat… No. Republican… Probably not.”
            Oprah supported Barack Obama and both the Clintons during their run for the White House. What on earth makes you think she would ever run as a Republican? 🙂

            “I would have to hear her policy ideas, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t have enough substance for me. : – )”
            You might be suprised. Her views are more Christian-like than most Republicans who ran in recent past.

          • Scott

            “I’m not so sure…”

            You are a doctor if I am not mistaken?.. So your colleagues are probably well educated and most certainly not the majority of the American population.

            “And now that the electoral college has resulted in the most incapable president in recent history in the White House that call became even stronger.”

            True… but would go away if it helped someone more popular (say Oprah) gain the Oval Office.

            “Perhaps, but not enough. After all, if enough people would be tired of celebrity politics celebrities would not be so influencial to begin with.”

            What you say is possible… but it should be noted that I wasn’t trying to make the argument for “enough,” just pointing out that there are a fair number of us. Also the who is important to whether or not an idea is influential. There may be a few of us that are significant in that regard.

            “And he knows this because he is an educated man. However, his voters aren’t and they believe everything he feeds them.”

            Yikes! Are we absolutely sure Adolf Hitler didn’t procreate and Geert is of his line? : – ) Kidding but this guy sounds tyrannical.

            “It was nice entertainment during a quiet night in the ER :-)”

            Come on… Jerry Springer! I regarded you as more intelligent than that. : – )

            “Oprah supported Barack Obama and both the Clintons during their run for the White House. What on earth makes you think she would ever run as a Republican? :-)”

            You are absolutely right… still, I had to include all scenarios. : – ) There was a time (not so long ago either) when there were conservative democrats and liberal republicans.

            “You might be surprised. Her views are more Christian-like than most Republicans who ran in recent past.”

            True about many of the republicans!.. and I am open to surprises… but I am still conservative. If she claimed she was pro-life, that would be a good start. I would also need to see a commitment to the type of plural society I have mentioned before. One where people of different beliefs are allowed to exist in a way that doesn’t force those differences on others. Keep in mind that I believe that goes both ways.

            “Christian-like” is an interesting way of putting it. I do not believe that our country has to be run by a Christian although I would rather it were. I also believe a (true) Christian worldview is the only perspective that has the capacity to realize such pluralism. You would disagree with me, and have just cause for your disagreement… On the other hand, I (and others like me) stand as living contradictions to the reasons for your disagreement.

          • Phoenix1977

            “You are a doctor if I am not mistaken?.. So your colleagues are probably well educated and most certainly not the majority of the American population.”
            Which is exactly what is wrong with general voting rights to begin with. I have made quite a few enemies in the past by advocating a system where only those who can show they have educated themselves on the subjects the election is about should be allowed to vote 🙂 Like I said, that plan didn’t go well with my countrymen.
            Also, I did not only interact with colleagues. Whenever I am somewhere I have to talk to people. I cannot help myself 🙂 So I interact with a lot of different people with a lot of different backgrounds.

            “True… but would go away if it helped someone more popular (say Oprah) gain the Oval Office.”
            Perhaps, but you already said it yourself: “someone more popular”, meaning someone who would probably also be elected by the majority vote.

            “but it should be noted that I wasn’t trying to make the argument for “enough,” just pointing out that there are a fair number of us.”
            A “fair number”, albeit vague, simply won’t make a difference.

            “Also the who is important to whether or not an idea is influential.”
            I most definitely agree. Which makes it even worse when you think of who is living in the White House nowadays …

            “Are we absolutely sure Adolf Hitler didn’t procreate and Geert is of his line? : – )”
            Well, if he was he definitely gave his father the finger, since he married a woman of Jewish descent and has an undying loyalty towards Israel 🙂
            But you are right, he is tyrannical. The Dutch Freedom Party only has one member: Geert Wilders. Everyone else representing the party works for Wilders and can be fired by Wilders if they don’t follow his orders to the T. And that includes the members of parliament.

            “Come on… Jerry Springer! I regarded you as more intelligent than that. : – )”
            Trust me, on a quiet night in the ER you simply want brainless entertainment. Or to simply sleep.

            “There was a time (not so long ago either) when there were conservative democrats and liberal republicans.”
            You just as well could have wished for the moon. A conservative Democrat would be on his way to unemployment in a heartbeat.

            “I also believe a (true) Christian worldview is the only perspective that has the capacity to realize such pluralism.”
            I can imagine, as a Christian, why you feel that way. As a member of a minority group not that well tolerated by Christians I can honestly say you are wrong.
            No, scrap that. You are dead wrong.

            “On the other hand, I (and others like me) stand as living contradictions to the reasons for your disagreement.”
            In Dutch we have a saying: “De uitzondering die de regel bevestigt” (the exception that proves the rule). I can’t find a similar saying in English but that exception, that is you. You are not the rule. You may think you embody the average Christian but you do not. The average Christian is the reason for me skepticism and poses a threat to me and those I care about.