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Oct 15 2013

Oprah Says Major Religions All Wrong

So Oprah says the atheist is really a believer
Cos she views the world with wonder and with awe
You see, wonder, awe, and mystery are really what God is
Thanks to Oprah, we can see religion’s flaw!

Oprah’s telling us the Christians have a silly view of God
So do Muslims, so do Hindus, so do Jews—
They are far, far, too specific, and the details are all wrong
Big mistakes that even Oprah can’t excuse!

There’s no “wonder, awe, and mystery” in mainstream Christian faith
There is certainty—adherence to a creed!
There are pastors, priests, and reverends who’ll explain it all for you
And a bible that’s the only book you need!

It’s the opposite of mystery—the answers all are there!
So it’s obvious—and Oprah gets the nod—
That religions, with their dogmas and their answers and their books
All have overlooked what Oprah says is God.

So, yeah, you’ve probably already heard, Oprah had a really tough time accepting that Diana Nyad is an atheist. The story is everywhere now, but everyone is missing the big picture. You see, in her eagerness to fold everyone into the believer camp, Oprah has redefined “God” in a manner that is incompatible with the majority of modern religious believers.

The thing is, today’s religions are not about wonder, awe, and mystery, they are about providing simple answers to the things that lead to wonder, awe, and mystery. How did we get here? Magic. (I’m paraphrasing Genesis here.) Why do bad things happen to good people? They don’t, not really, when you look at the big picture, so quit complaining and get back to work. What happens when we die? You get to see all your friends again, and your pets, and your family, and all the people you don’t like will be in another place getting what they deserve.

Awe, Wonder, and Mystery (don’t they deserve the caps?) are wonderful things, but a god that has specific dietary restrictions isn’t mysterious. No god ever described, when compared to the Hubble photos, or to our modern understanding of the depths of time in our cosmic and biological histories, or to our emerging understanding of the development of individuals from strands of protein, no god ever described deserves the word “awe”. Gods are simply too small. Gods are answers before we had answers, before we knew the size of the questions.

Wonder, Awe, and Mystery are far more worthy of our time than any god has ever been. And I, for one, thank Oprah for pointing out the petty inadequacies that currently make up so much of religious belief.

Gee, Oprah, I don’t call you a believer–you sound almost like a good atheist.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Pierce R. Butler

    Does Ms. Winfrey have a Fighting Keyboard Battalion ready to deploy across the web to defend her good name (as do Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Britney Spears, Scott Adams, George Zimmerman and sundry other Brave Heroes™)?

    I tremble in anticipation!

  2. 2
    Cuttlefish

    I wouldn’t worry, Pierce–the odds of the FKB finding this little cuttlefish backwater are very small indeed.

  3. 3
    Leo Buzalsky

    Good points. I myself kind of got stuck on her comment about God not being a bearded man in the sky (paraphrasing), noting that is a bit inconsistent with what seems to be taught in church.

  4. 4
    M can help you with that.

    Oprah hasn’t re-defined “God” — he has de-defined “God,” along with the majority of religious liberals. She’ll shift the meaning of the term mid-conversation as many times as needed to make herself right by definition and anyone she approves of as non-atheist by definition. It’s Humpty-Dumpty linguistics, where words mean whatever the speaker decides they mean at the moment (and whoever they’re speaking to has to scramble to adjust moment by moment); only worse, because the words are never used to refer to anything that could be called a “meaning” beyond a mixed jumble of connotations.

  5. 5
    M can help you with that.

    Oprah hasn’t re-defined “God” — he has de-defined “God,”

    *she

  6. 6
    Cosmas

    Well put:” gods are simply too small” as all human inventions are, they have built in limitations despite the soaring rhetoric.

  7. 7
    grumpyoldfart

    Oprah has redefined “God” in a manner that is incompatible with the majority of modern religious believers.

    I would change the last word from ‘believers’ to ‘teachers’. The teachers usually have a strict definition of god, but the mugs in the pews make it up as they go along (just like Oprah does).

    One day god is taking a personal interest in everything the believer does and he is using hurricanes to zap everyone the believer doesn’t like – and the next day he’s nothing more than the feeling of pleasure experienced when a baby smiles.

    That’s why he has lasted so long. He is adaptable (and his followers are scatter-brained).

  8. 8
    Aaroninmelbourne

    The other day thanks to astronomy I listened to a radio telescope’s recording of the sound of a pulsar’s gravimetric waves as it rotated, the very waves that scientists believe crushed a whole planet down into a single gigantic diamond. I watched the sun set over the horizon knowing thanks to physics that the atmosphere and curvature of the Earth meant that I was seeing a mirage of the Sun which was, by that point, already below the point we would call “the horizon”. I went to a concert featuring a full orchestra and thanks to neuropsychology knew that the music was affecting the brainwaves of the whole audience.

    “A man with a beard created the world to make people to worship him” just doesn’t cut it when it comes to anything we could describe as even interesting, let alone wonderful. It’s nothing more than the Star Trek holodeck. And frankly, I’ve heard more awe-inspiring and creative stories from pre-schoolers.

  9. 9
    gshelley

    I have wondered why this got so much attention, and so much anger. My understanding was the same, not that she was saying “you can’t appreciate the world unless you think god put it there” but was saying “well, the whole conscious creator thing is a bit silly, the important thing about religion is the sense of awe of the world”

  1. 10
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