If Oprah Calls, Should I Answer?

Cheryl Dickow explores discerning "gray" areas of everyday living.
by Cheryl Dickow | Source: Bezalel Books

When I finished editing The Green Coat by Rosemary McDunn, I immediately contacted Oprah. Well, I didn’t actually contact her but I sent off an obligatory email that, no doubt, joined the ranks of thousands of other emails imploring her to “read this book.” This was a few years ago and I was convinced that The Green Coat was exactly what Oprah would want to bring to her audience and that it was a book that deserved the attention.

At the time I was a lite-viewer of her show, which meant it depended entirely on her guest and my own schedule. On the occasions that I made the attempt to catch her show, I was usually multi-tasking because of the time of day. Dinner was being made, emails were being answered, last rounds of daily laundry were being thrown into the dryer. You get the idea.

Then, one day I caught parts of a show that did not sit well with me. Maybe I was just getting older. Maybe I was just getting wiser. I’m guessing here but I imagine it was some heavenly combination of both.

Anyhow, the audience’s absolute gushing about a book recommendation that sounded highly new-age to me that made me stop in my tracks. The idea of Mrs. McDunn’s book joining the ranks of anything considered new-age wasn’t something for which I was hoping. I felt less enthusiastic about her having me or Rosemary on the show. After all, I was still positive I would be hearing from Oprah.

It was only a matter of time.

By my estimation, Oprah staffers had already purchased the book and were writing questions that Oprah would ask Mrs. McDunn, or maybe even me! I even had my outfit for the show selected when I happened to catch a “teaser” from an upcoming episode that completely tipped the scales. Some woman who had become a “man” now was pregnant. Well, of course “he” was able to get pregnant because “he” had the original “she” parts that God gave him/her. Come on! Who was buying this?

Anyhow, for me there was a real question as to whether this wonderful book by a Catholic author had a place on the Oprah show. I felt I had a real dilemma; what was I going to say to the staffers when they contacted me about Rosemary’s book?

I posed this question to a couple of people with whom I worked. I’m guessing they knew me well enough to answer even if in their heart of hearts they really didn’t anticipate the call as much as I did.

But God bless them, they humored me.

And here was their response, “Yes, you would still have to go on Oprah if she calls.”

Wow, I was floored. They didn’t miss a beat in their answer. And I responded,“Really?! How can you say that?”

To which they patiently explained that the size of Oprah’s viewing audience created a possibility for a positive outcome that far outweighed the negatives that I had begun to worry about. They had read Mrs. McDunn’s book and knew that the message was one that needed to be given to kids everywhere. I felt myself torn between the possibilities of a national audience and the need to consider how being a Catholic should affect such an opportunity. As a Catholic was it better to promote the book to millions of viewers or pass and let God get the word out. Or was God opening the door? I felt like I was in a really “gray” moral area.

“Hmm..” I said out loud. “I will have to take that under advisement.”

We’ll just forget about the rolling eyes at this point and focus on the real issue at hand. How do we make our decisions when there seems to be a whole lot of gray area? What about just a little gray area? Or what about those numerous times when one person’s gray area is another’s black and white? How is it that two Catholics can see or hear the same problem and give two very different answers that are each deemed “right?”

Every situation we are in offers us an opportunity for prayer and discernment. As a Catholic, the formation of conscience is a critical piece of who we are and how we operate in our day-to-day lives. The Truth is there, in Jesus Christ. If we each seek Him diligently and with an earnest interest in serving Him, we will see the Truth. He will provide us with the answers we try to find if we try to find them in Him.

I can only find the answer to my Oprah question when I put my personal agenda aside and seek to serve Christ. My personal interest in seeing “The Green Coat” become a best-seller cannot guide my response to appearing on Oprah’s show. As a Catholic both the answer, and the search for it, must always be based upon how best to serve God. 

About the Author:
Cheryl Dickow is the author of Our Jewish Roots: A Catholic Woman's Guide to Fulfilment Today. Her website is
www.BezalelBooks.com. Cheryl can be contacted at 248.917.3865



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Published by: Rosa Ruz
Date: 2010-07-28 13:44:42
Hi, more than a comment I have a Question i'll really like you to answer, I really like Robert Kiyosaky boocks because i find then very clear and logic. Is it ok to read them? I have like 15 boocks. hi appear in Opra's show and im very strict on what is ok for God, please tellme if is ok to read him. thank you a lot Rosa

Published by: youbetu
Date: 2010-07-27 18:43:32
I would wish that you don't go on Oprah. I have seen and heard enough of Oprah shows to not think that it is the venue to promote anything that is worth pressenting Godly issuses

Published by: Shoshana
Date: 2010-07-26 20:21:32
Hello I really liked the Oprah show, until one day I saw on youtube a clip from her show on Eckhard Tolle, some New Age guru, and i fell discusted. How can this women, denied Jesus, on such a public way?. Then I start searching, and all the pieces fall in to place. This show is a channel for New age teaching. She preaches freedom and respect, but deep down is just some New age "were all ok" philosophy. People are afraid to stand up for what is right and wrong. Some things will NEVER EVER will be right, no matter if its scientifically posible. So, I stop watching, the show, in stead I used that hour for praing The holly Rosary, to Our Blessed Mother. And I think, I have become a less "cool and hip" people, but a much wise in the One and only truth, that is Our Lord Jesus and His Church, The Catholic Church. God bless you. Shoshana

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