The theology behind Oprah's 'stirring, spiritual call to arms' at Golden Globes? Time magazine nails it

Unless you live in a cave with no television, social media feeds or electricity, you know about Oprah Winfrey's "stirring, spiritual call to arms" at the Golden Globes.

Winfrey's speech — tied to the #MeToo movement — "has fans dreaming" of a presidential run by the talk-show icon and Democrats from Hollywood to Iowa "captivated" by the possibility.

Here at GetReligion, editor Terry Mattingly suggested months ago: "Yes, the religious left exists: Can you think of a logical person (Oprah) to serve as its leader?"

Oh, her.

But speaking of religion, have the breathless news reports since Sunday night acknowledged — or mostly ignored — Oprah's Gospel-meets-New Age religious maven role? 

Take a wild guess.

However, a leading Godbeat pro has an extremely insightful story on the surprising theology shared by Oprah and, believe it or not, her potential 2020 adversary, President Donald Trump: 

I'm talking about Time magazine religion writer Elizabeth Dias, who notes that Trump and Winfrey both "preach a gospel of American prosperity, the popular cultural movement that helped put Trump in the White House in 2016."

More insight from Dias' highly relevant piece:

If Oprah Winfrey runs for president in 2020 — as some are clamoring for her to do after a powerful speech at the Golden Globes Sunday — she may test how followers of that movement will respond to a different manifestation of it.
Winfrey and Trump both preach a gospel of wealth, health, and self-determination, following in the relatively recent prosperity gospel tradition, which broadly speaking says that God wants people to be wealthy and healthy and that followers are responsible for their own destiny here on Earth.
In fact, some argue there is perhaps no one better than Winfrey to represent its influence in American life right now. “Oprah is no longer a word that just means a person,” says Kathryn Lofton, a Yale religious studies professor who wrote Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon in 2011. “It also represents an idea, an idea about the world, an idea about what it is to be a person in the world and create a good life.”
Winfrey has also promoted ideas that are influenced by a range of religious thought. On her talk show, she pushed The Secret, a best-selling New Age self help book that argued that if you put out the energy you want to receive, you can create the life you want. “She is this polyglot consumer of religious thought ideas,” Lofton explains, citing how Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and more all come together in Winfrey.

Keep reading, and the Time writer goes into more detail in terms of how the differing backgrounds of Oprah and the Donald influence their theology, and how "the prosperity gospel community is divided along racial lines."

No, it's not surprising that Dias is the journalist with this exclusive: Her Time magazine reports on Trump's prosperity gospel connections frequently scooped the rest of the media world during the 2016 campaign.

Her Oprah/Trump reporting, meanwhile, is "smart stuff" indeed.

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