Poor oppressed Oprah...

Few people are more typical of our age than Oprah Winfrey—even down to her misspelled name (Ruth 1:4, 14).

Three things—yea four—leave no doubt concerning God giving our nation over to lies: TV wrestling, TV reality shows, TV preachers, and TV talk. If I want a dose of horror, I choose any one of the four and give it five minutes. My friend, David Wegener, has been known to say he'd rather a man watch pornography than Trinity Broadcasting Network. I agree.

And I'd rather a woman read five romance novels than listen to Oprah for five minutes.

Speaking of Oprah, she's accusing the Swiss of racism because some clerk in some Walmart (or maybe it was an Aldi or T. J. Max) declined to show her a $38,000 purse, telling her it was "too expensive."

Now why would any sane person be... offended at such wise counsel freely offered by a woman who stands to benefit by the very insanity she's seeking to protect her customer from? Yet Oprah is telling the world this uncommon sense was racism.

Blah, blah, oPRAH, blah, oPRAH, blah, blah, blah...

Samuel Johnson once lamented a train journey he'd taken seated next to "a woman who had not one unuttered thought on her brain."

The only thing noteworthy in this news story is the shame of Oprah desiring a $38,000 purse. But you know, I'm thinking no one has the slightest idea Oprah is a woman who is filthy rich off parading shame—her own and others'.

Brothers and sisters, we are what we watch.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

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I read the story earlier and couldn't help thinking that what she is really offended about is that the clerk didn't know who she was. Another version of the story includes this quote, "I didn't have my eyelashes on, but I was in full Oprah Winfrey gear."

Because clerks in trendy boutiques in Switzerland have nothing to fear from tourist lookenspeepers who just might run off with said handbag.  And because said clerks need to recognize every celebrity every time....oh good grief.

Seriously, it reminds me of when I went to Dillard's to get nice sheets while wearing ratty jeans and a T shirt.  The saleswoman probably still laughs about the "bum-lookin' kid" who surprised her by going for the nicest ones they had, after she pointed me to the poly-cotton ones.

And why am I an engineer if I can get forty big for a piece of well-sewn leather?   I used to think I was so smart, but life is proving me wrong.  :^)

I haven't watched or kept track of what's going on with Oprah for years. However, her name isn't a misspelling of Orpah from the OT book of Ruth. As far as I know, her production company is (or at least was) Harpo Productions. Oprah is Harpo spelled backwards.

Sue, she has told the storsnob out Orpah herself. 

Bert, its not leather if its Louis Vuitton. It's plasticized canvas. 

Kamilla,

I might have left some candles out of my candelabra today, but what did you mean when you said, "Sue, she has told the storsnob out Orpah herself. "?

Thanks,

Sue

Kamilla; it makes me wish I'd kept the vinyl couch my parents had back in the 1970s.  Pull out the foam rubber and sew on some handles, and I've got my mortgage paid off.  Add the seats from the 1971 Townsman I used to drive, and I could retire.  Thanks Oprah!

((Choke)) 

she has told the *story* about it being a misspelling of Orpah herself.

I stand corrected, Kamilla. I thought I heard the other story (Oprah is Harpo spelled backwards) right out of her mouth, but it's been so long ago that it might have been something I read that turned out to be an urban legend.

You may not like Oprah, but that is irrelevant. If a purse was for sale, and the clerk refused to show it to her because she is black, that is racist.

Blaming her for this incident (or picking on things you don't like about her) is not racist, but it is certainly mean and unChristlike. And a bit jealous, too--jealous of her ability to spend $38,000 on a luxury consumer item.

"And a bit jealous, too . . . "

Didn't someone somewhere say "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your $38,000 purses are corrupted, and your Louis Vuitton accessories are moth-eaten. 3 Your full Oprah Winfrey gear are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your frequently-dieted flesh like fire. You have heaped up all that gold-paint-sprayed crap in the last days."

Not sure if it was 'zactly like that, but it's close enough for gubmint work.

I agree with Bob.  This smacks of envy.

No huge fan of Oprah, and she is no less materialistic than most people from her income bracket (though she very wisely can still pull off the down-to-earth persona--when she needs to--better than most).  But would this blog devote a special article if an outspoken conservative like Donald Trump were fed a slice of a humble pie by someone who told him he didn't need that new yacht?  Straw man I know, but this article seems very petty.  I'm glad, at the very least, you recognize the corruption of the prosperity preachers (who behave much the same way as Oprah, but under an even thicker veneer of righteousness) on TBN.

Bertie, if it was envy, do you really think it would matter whether the person was conservative or liberal? I'm pretty sure envy is color-blind. Although the article being referenced seems to have gone missing, my father's equal-opportunity disgust at Trump is made perfectly clear here:

http://baylyblog.com/blog/2011/12/oh-my

As for you, Bob, how dare you accuse that poor store clerk of being a racist! Have you raised this concern with them personally? Were you present when the supposed incident occurred? Are you jumping to conclusions about his/her/its character based on unsubstantiated rumors spreading around the internet!?!?!?!?

4 ears between the two of you, but no hearing seems to be happening.

Oprah has come along way from her days in Baltimore when she and Richard Sher co- hosted People are Talking on WJZ TV. Then she confessed to being a born again Christian and was known as a religious person who quoted Bible verses. Along the way she lost her way. My prayer has always been that she would return to the faith of her youth. Lately I have read that she seems to be coming back to that faith. She needs our prayers.  Jesus always spoke the truth but He spoke out of love even when His words to some were harsh. He never used ridicule or mocked others to get His point across which is what I am seeing here in reference to Oprah. While as Christians we do need to point out error, is it really necessary to be disrespectful and rude with people whose opinions are different (and many times wrong) from ours?

On a side note according to her, her name is a misspelling of Orpah.

According to Wikipedia, "Winfrey was named "Orpah" after the biblical character in the Book of Ruth on her birth certificate, but people mispronounced it regularly and Oprah stuck".

MZ wrote about Oprah:

She needs our prayers.

MZ, I heartily concur. May our prayers open her heart to God's still, small voice so she will repent and to return the Lord of her youth. Although she has been a very generous philanthropist, she can't buy her way to heaven.

Actually, I meant that the criticism of Oprah on this blog smacked of envy. I have no idea what motivated the store clerk. 

Bob, are you claiming to be able to look into the heart of Tim Bayly and know why he wrote what he wrote? It looks like you are assigning motives... tut tut.

Sue said that "Harpo" is "Oprah" spelled backwards.  She's right--Oprah founded Harpo!

>>Actually, I meant that the criticism of Oprah on this blog smacked of envy.

Hey Bob (and Bertie), you're right: I envy Oprah, and until the two of you pointed it out, I must admit I had been completely blind to it. Yet there it is, plain for all to see, and now I've got egg on my face and I'm so embarrassed. Where would I be without you?

With a sense of relief at this cleansing admission of the truth of my own bondage to the green-eyed monster,

PS: I'll bet Elijah envied the prophets of Baal and John the Baptist envied Herod and the Apostle Paul envied the Apostle Peter and my Dad envied Bill Gothard and my father-in-law envied King James and John MacArthur envies Mark Driscol and Lig Duncan envies Doug Wilson and Elisabeth Elliot envied Jill Briscoe and Kamilla Ludwig envies Rachel Held Evans and Tim Keller envies the Elder Brother...

Shoot! When one comes to the realization that criticism is the fruit of envy, one can't help wondering about the two of you. But no, you guys wouldn't envy me unless I had money. Oprah money.

Bob and Bertie,

Every journalist, author, and astute reader knows that the very first sentence is always the most important sentence of the entire piece. Thus in this case the attentive reader will note the opening sentence, "Few people are more typical of our age than Oprah Winfrey." Setting then the tone for the whole piece, this is not an indictment of poor benighted Oprah, but an indictment of "our age," with Oprah as the representative poster child for all of the rest of us ("our age"). Pr. Tim is using Oprah as an example to warn the rest of us that "Oprah has made herself rich by parading her shame and the shame of others because we are a nation of fools who love to parade our shame and see the shame of others." This is pretty basic reading comprehension. Accusations of jealousy, whether or not they're true, are neither witty retort nor convincing argument, but mere distraction. If you are convinced, contrary to Pr. Tim's piece, that we are not in fact a nation of fools reveling in our shame, attentive readers would appreciate a well constructed argument plainly stating it, rather than all of this indignant huffing and puffing in defense of an unbelievably wealthy and shrewd woman who is perfectly capable of her own defense, were one necessary.

"Kamilla Ludwig envies Rachel Held Evans"?

Bwahahaha

Suzanne,
Sue said Oprah is Harpo spelled backwards, not that Harpo is Oprah spelled backwards. The latter is correct. Details matter...in this case, which came first.

Oh, but Jessica, I don't have my own pouting chair! And I've never Bowen on The View ...

Of good gravy Marie! I'm turning off auto-correct. *been

Jessica,

That was my point.  Oprah founded Harpo.  She came first, and thinks so well of herself that she essentially named a production company after herself.

Suzanne, I'm no fan of Oprah, but I can't find it particularly incriminating that she founded a company and named it after herself. It doesn't require great amounts of hubris to do that -- very ordinary business owners do it every day.

Methinks I tapped a nerve.  If "criticism is the fruit of envy", then where do you fall within the give-take nexus?  You still decided to devote an entire blog article to sniping at a woman who didn't own a pair of shoes until she was six years old.  She embodies the best and worst of the American dream.  We all have formed our opinions of how she has chosen to promote herself to perpetuate those riches, but not all of us choose to blog about it.

At the very least, I don't claim to be a person of faith.  And maybe Oprah, who once claimed to be a born-again Christian, developed something after having seen so much of the world through her riches: a little something we non-fundamentalists call "discernment".  Keep winning souls with human demonstrations of grace. 

Jane,

I'd buy that if she hadn't also named a show, a magazine (where she appears on the cover of every issue) and a television network after herself as well ;/)

Well, I didn't say she didn't have hubris, just that naming your company after yourself is hardly a leading indicator. The guy who owns Joe's Barber Shop would be might surprised. :-)

Naming a production company after oneself is a high sin now?  Hate to think of what that says about Bing Crosby . . .

I think all of this is going to come back and bite Oprah. Maybe instead she was unsympathetic to an Italian speaking English as their second language. Or what she heard is what she wanted to hear. There is another side to this story. Whether these quotes from said "shop girl" are true or not, it paints a different picture of their interaction: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2389798/Oprah-Winfrey-branded-li...

Actually, if she's an Italian-speaking Swiss, or an Italian living in Switzerland, English is her third language at least in terms of frequency of use, possibly fourth or fifth. Bet Oprah couldn't even manage to order off a menu in a third language (nor could most Americans.)

I missed it first time time I read this piece. And I missed it when reading the comments. Then I read the piece again and I got it. This is about lies and how readily we believe them and defend them, whether our own or others. We ARE what we watch. So when the truth is presented so simply all we can do is cover our ears and scream "lies!".

After reading the linked article that Jessica provided, I wonder if it's that Oprah didn't look that dressed up to afford the expensive handbag she wanted to see. And maybe she's just not that popular abroad now that she's not on TV anymore. I doubt that many cable systems outside the U.S, except for possibly Canada, carry her TV channel.

When my husband and were much younger, we visited Neiman-Marcus in downtown Chicago. I'm sure we were dressed casually, probably jeans and inexpensive sweaters, because it was fall. If Alex had asked to try one of their most expensive suits or I had asked to try on a winter coat that cost several thousand dollars, I suspect they would have steered us to their sales racks (or maybe sent us over to Marshall Field). And golly gee, he was just a grad student and I was a low-level university minion.

I'm surprised no one has commented on the offhand remark which you attribute to a friend that he would rather a man watch pornography than TBN. TBN is pretty bad, but really, to say you would rather a man watch pornography over anything is a horrible comparison. Pornography has ruined millions of lives and thousands of marriages. While TBN might be pretty horrific if one actually gets their theology from it, I think pornography is definitely nothing to joke about. Imagine how that comment would sound to a wife who has had the horror of walking in and discovering her husband looking at pornography? . . ."Well, at least he's not watching TBN." I don't think that would bring her much relief. I get the point, but I don't need pornography made light of in order for me to get it.

>>the offhand remark which you attribute to a friend 

Dear Jonathan,

The remark was not offhand, but precise and pointed. And the wickedness of pornography was not made light of except by those who think greed and heresy aren't real bad, thereby failing to get the point of the comparison.

This comparison is an a fortiori argument: if fornication and adultery are wickedness, how much more wicked is the direct denial of God by TV preachers who use the Blessed and Holy Name of our Savior and the Holy Spirit to promote the very greed and idolatry God hates, thereby leading trusting sheep to Hell. Yes, the fornication and sodomy and adultery of pornography is wicked, but false shepherds leading Christ's little ones to Hell is more so.

The point of the comparison is to shock you and other Christians into realizing a whole bunch of things normally unmentioned by shepherds, including that pornography is not the only sin that shepherds need to guard their sheep from. Or better, that Biblical shepherds ought to be much more intense in guarding their sheep from the depredations of false shepherds promoting greed, heresy, and envy than guarding them from lust.

Trusting this explanation will help you, dear brother.

Love,

I have this great truth that has been buring in my soul, and nowhere else to exclaim it but here, on Baylyblog: Oprah thinks that racism is why the clerk ignored Oprah's request, but maybe the clerk just doesn't like Oprah. I'm just sayin'.

I'm racist against people who cry "racism" every five seconds.

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