17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, October 30, 2006

An email to Marianne

I recently started listening to Oprah & Friends on XM radio. I really like Dr. Oz and Dr. Robin. I had never heard of Marianne Williamson until the advertisements for her show came over the air. I happened upon her show today while driving home from the doctor's office. I had to turn it off. When I got home, I wrote her this email:

"Dear Marianne, I have been hearing advertisements over the XM radio about you being Oprah & Friends' spiritual leader. I listened to your show today for the first time. In 3 minutes you told your listeners to pray to God and ASK and RECEIVE...and then you said His name in vain "Oh My G--" about 3 times while you were telling the "resting your bones" anecdote.

How do you justify speaking respectfully about God in one breath, and taking His name in vain in the next? Do you think twice about how this might affect your credibility when God-loving people listen to your show? I really want to understand your perspective. I am not just emailing to be critical..."

I consider myself to be very tolerant of behaviors that I choose not to participate in, but two things really get to me: smoking and taking God's name in vain. I mostly hate the smoking when the one who is doing it is being rude: smoke blowing where I am having dinner, not paying attention to the object that you are holding that is ON FIRE resulting in your cigarette burn my child's face (yes this happened), and smoking indoors so that it travels up the stairs and into my apartment.

The Oh My G-- thing also just makes me cringe. I can handle a lot of other swearing and goings-on, but this one I really don't enjoy. It always stands out to me, much more than any other curse words. And it surprises me beyond belief that this woman who really has been advertised as the woman who will bring God back into your life, is saying this. Unless of course I totally misunderstood the advertisement...and this is her way of doing it! Ha!


  • You go girl. Keep us apprised of the response you get.
    I am glad that that phrase stands out so much to you...I feel like sometimes it goes unnoticed to me because it is used so ubiquitously. Probably different if a religious leader was throwing it out every other second.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 10/30/2006 08:30:00 AM  

  • While I have never listened to any of her shows or read any of her books, what I have heard about her is that her brand of spirituality seems to be the all-inclusive, whatever and whoever you want to believe in religiousness. I think when people become this PC about their beliefs, it's only a small step to really believing in nothing. While she may not believe in the same definition of "taking the Lord's name in vain" as members of other religions, I am still surprised that she would use it on her program as I am sure, with her background in Judaism, she has to be aware that some people will find it terribly offensive.

    I have heard her called "Hollywood's answer to God" or something like. For me, that's an immediate turnoff.

    I'm interested to see if you get a response.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/30/2006 10:05:00 AM  

  • melissa, funny...I do pay attention to who is saying it. eg. on extremem makeover home edition (one of my faves), you can tell who has had that discussion about it in their family. They either ALL say it, or ALL don't....(that is a show that lends itself to that phrase a lot!)

    And again, when Oprah says it it doesn't bother me as much as the woman that she is electing to be the Oprah and Friends spiritual leader.

    Carrie, thanks for the insight...
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/30/2006 10:58:00 AM  

  • her brand of spirituality seems to be the all-inclusive, whatever and whoever you want to believe in religiousness. I think when people become this PC about their beliefs, it's only a small step to really believing in nothing.

    While I know absolutely nothing about Marianne Williamson, I felt sad when I read this. I can understand where you're coming from & I have no idea how to argue that you are wrong. I guess I just took it a bit personally because I go to a church like the one you described. (I know, if I'm going to take things personally, I shouldn't read a Mormom blog, right?) I guess my purpose of this comment is to stand up for my church, which I haven't done a very good job of doing. I need to think about this a little more...

    Carrie - I am in no way upset at you. Your comment is actually pretty thought-provoking for me.
    posted by Blogger brenbot at 10/30/2006 02:12:00 PM  

  • brenbot,

    Maybe "believing in nothing" is not exactly what I meant. I do think that in order to not step on any toes or make anyone feel bad, religion has sometimes been turned into a watered down spirituality where the idea that we can actually know the character of God is undermined by a more all-inclusive PC view of a "God". Whether your church falls into this category, I have no idea. From what I have heard of your church, you do a lot of good for a lot of people and that is also very important.

    We can definitely talk more about this on the side as to not threadjack this discussion any more.

    The reason I brought up that point in the first place was to bring up the possibility that Marianne's "all-inclusive" view of diety might actually be very much removed from the word "God" and therefore she would not see it as using the name in vain like a traditional Christian might.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/30/2006 02:57:00 PM  

  • I apologize for threadjacking. I do see your point. In this video I have been watching regarding liberal Christians it mentioned that for many of them, the word "God" ought to be replaced with "the Divine" meaning they don't believe in God as a Heavenly Being as say Mormons do. Rather, their meaning of "God" is that special something in everything, an energy, etc.
    posted by Blogger brenbot at 10/30/2006 03:41:00 PM  

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