Elizabeth Tenety, writing at the Under God blog of the Washington Post proposes that Oprah is a spiritual leader, especially of those who claim to be spiritual but not religious:
Winfrey may be tapping into her higher power, but she’s also connecting with trends in religious behavior in American culture at large. We are a nation of seekers who increasingly report being unaffiliated with any particular religious tradition. A 2010 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life found that “more than one-quarter of American adults (28 percent) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all,” and that the ranks of the unaffiliated are the nation’s fastest growing group. Oprah proves to her fellow seekers that you can leave religion behind but keep the spiritual journey.