My brother-in-law sent me an email today asking me to sign a petition. The petition was put together by some group that was eventually going to be forwarded to Oprah Winfrey for the topic of show she had recently about "open" marriages. This is basically where the couple is candid with one another about affairs and feel this is good for their marriage. The episode, apparently, was advancing this idea as an acceptable alternative to "traditional" marriage. In addition, much attention was given to how healthy pornography is for a relationship. I think my reply to my brother-in-law is worth posting here as a forum for discussion as we head into this weekend of conference talks:
Oprah has been anti-marriage for years. I've seen her gloat with female celebrities over their singleness and desire to not be married. I've heard her say that marriage is antiquated and that it has outlived its usefulness. This is one of the main reasons I quit watching her a long time ago. She is not a political party; she is a woman with strong opinions and uses her talk show, in part, to promote a pro gay rights and anti marriage agenda. A petition is not going to change what she does or who she is. If the networks agreed to drop her syndicated show because of her various discussions then she might at least tone down her topics, but the networks will only drop her if people quit watching. But people DON'T quit watching. Instead, we circulate petitions asking her to change her opinions so that we don't feel guilty tuning in.
The sad part is, she does some incredible humanitarian things. If other extremely (or even moderately) wealthy people would start doing things on their own like she is, the government wouldn't "need" to ask so much from people. (I've heard lots of ultra-conservatives say that if they weren't taxed so heavily they could give more away. I think it is a load of garbage. If the government takes less of your money people just buy more stuff, and I'm not talking about food and clothing or basic shelter. With more money you just eat out more, buy designer labels and enormous homes. Our society is a perfect example of this.) I think her work in Africa is brilliant. She continues to do just enough of this stuff that sweet women everywhere keep watching her while her anti-social agenda is advanced.
In the Book of Mormon, there is a part that talks about how people reject true prophets only to raise up those as prophets who tell them what they want to hear. I've thought this description has fit Oprah perfectly for a long time. People are willing to listen to anything she says and call her one of the most "progressive" thinkers of our time. The truth is, three shows out of five preach contrary to all gospel teachings. (And 99% of all statistics are made up on the spot.)
This weekend we can turn on television in the day time and find a real message of hope and understanding for our marriages. We can listen to what the Lord has said will work to keep our relationships secure and balanced. We can have courage to shun things that will infest our homes like a cancer. And it won't be because a group of concerned citizens sent a petition to the leadership of the church.
It will be because a prophet of the Lord has been called and set apart to receive revelation not just for our church, but for the world. Only listening to his voice can we find the solace we seek.