The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23 NRSV

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oprah for President (of something)

I haven't decided who I'm loving in the Democratic field for 2008. I actually have a fair amount of contentment with the platforms of Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. I would be delighted to break the tradition of a white man as President; but I also like John Edwards. And I don't dislike the next few contenders down the list either. But I do need to say a word about Oprah.

We need to pay attention to Oprah, not so much for her endorsement of Obama, but for the way that she has taught us to live purposefully. Although her theology is a bit murky and hard to pin down, her integrity provides a lesson in living. I'm not saying Oprah is perfect, just that there are few people who live in the public eye who so clearly make their decisions on the basis of what they value and believe most fundamentally. She takes risks, exhibits generosity, invests in what matters, and proclaims her version of the truth, even when it's unpopular. (Remember the mad cow fiasco?) Because of Oprah, a lot of people are more aware of significant issues, are reading better books, and are watching better movies, with black characters who are not just stereotypes.

There is something powerful in that.

For a much more detailed and lucid exploration of Oprah and Barack Obama, read Patricia Williams's The Audacity of Oprah , which I read after I had already written this post.

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