A friend invited me over to watch the Democratic Debates and I thought I’d better do it. We gathered in her spacious Koreatown apartment Thursday night with some beer and tacos. I was busy pointing out the candidates’ various PR strategies when I noticed an unusual woman in a powder blue suit taking the screen.
“Who’s that?” I asked.
“Oprah sent her,” said someone else.
Marianne Williamson. Where had I heard that name before?
“She wrote some book.”
“Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed. “She wrote Return to Love! That book changed my life!”
This revelation shook me the rest of the night. Last year, a friend referred me to an episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast featuring Marianne. It inspired me to read her first book, A Return To Love. I would describe Marianne Williamson as a Christian spiritualist who sees the world as fear/ love spectrum instead of a good/ evil binary. This perspective rocked my world. I now see things traditionally labeled as “hateful”, “evil”, “good”, or “beautiful” as merely coming from a place of fear or a place of love. Marianne also believes God is love and love is a force connecting all living things. Love is all around. She sees plants producing oxygen for mammals to breathe as an act of love (and so do I!). She believes the Universe is self- correcting and if we trust the natural order, our planet, our relationships and our lives will prosper. Marianne’s faith has no Hell, no Devil, no judgmental God- just love. See also: Yoga.
Her worldview really vibed with me. I felt alienated by traditional Christianity because of traditionalists’ attitudes towards sexuality and the Bible. Marianne Williamson validated my churchlessness. Her message was simple: trust the Universe. Love everyone. Everything is going to be OK.
Marianne undeniably floundered the debates. She targeted the “moms” faction of swing voters. “We should make America the best place for a child to grow up,” she said.
Later in the evening, I expressed my surprise at her candidacy to another friend. This friend seemed to think that because I liked Marianne Williamson’s book, I thought she should run for president.
“She’s only doing this to get publicity for her book!”
First of all, I *don’t think Marianne Williamson should be President because I liked her book.
Secondly, running for President is a GREAT way to drum up publicity for your book. What a great power move!
Thirdly, EVERYONE running for president is trying to get publicity for SOMETHING. A book, a policy, their next location election, their own damn selves- presidential elections are a popularity contest. Every one of the 20 democratic candidates knows only one will run against Trump. They might not all get a chance to lead America, but they all get a chance to say something. What a great platform for your cause! Especially if your cause is LOVING MORE. It’s like when people on reality shows say “I’m not here to make friends.” You’re stuck with these people for weeks on end! You’re probably not going to win! Of course you’re here to make friends!
I won’t be voting for Marianne Williamson in the Democratic primaries. Anyone more or equally divisive than Hillary will lose. But I do think you should read her book, and I do think her values should influence global society.