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Hot Post: Oprah: High Priestess of the Prosperity Gospel

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Posted on November 27 2010 11:30 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

This popular post was originally published November 22, 2010.

When’s the last time you were really excited about something? I’m talking ecstatic, bowled over, totally breathless. What was the reason? What happened in your life that was so amazing that you could not contain your enthusiasm?

Was it the birth of your child? Was it your wedding day? Was it finding religion?

If you were among those in Oprah’s studio audience on Friday, your answers would include receiving shampoo, a watch, and five years of Netflix.

The audience reaction to “Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things” was absurd beyond description. The madness is chronicled in the video below. You really have to see it to appreciate how preposterous it was.

I ask you. When have you been that excited about anything?

The day my son was born, I was filled with hope, pride, and enthusiasm. Even so, I did not jump up and down clapping like a seal.

I have received good news – a new job, a promotion, a raise. I never had to fan myself to keep from overheating with joy.

Personal accomplishments have come and gone, milestones which were worth a moment of celebration. I never hyperventilated over any of them.

Granted, I may be a poor point of comparison. Guys like me are not included among Oprah’s target demographic.

Regardless, should anyone allow themselves to be overcome with ecstasy over a new set of cooking ware? What set of priorities yields immoderate joy over a closet storage system?

My criticism is not entirely facetious. There is genuine cause for concern over the religious experience Oprah has provided her audience. Is religious fervor not the best way to describe what you see above? Some among Oprah’s audience appear to have caught the Holy Ghost.

Presumably, not everyone who received Oprah’s gifts are certifiably nuts. Surely, the vast majority are otherwise sensible people who lead largely unremarkable lives. That is hardly comforting though. To the contrary, it ought to give us pause when we consider that a random sampling of adults could collectively lose their composure over the receipt of a few material trinkets.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d be quite happy to receive a three-dimensional high-definition television for free. I’d probably even smile. I wouldn’t lose my mind over it though. It would not rank anywhere close to the most exciting moments of my life. That’s due to a little something called perspective. None of the gifts Oprah bestowed upon her audience merit a fraction of the enthusiasm with which they were received.

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