"This is why some people get [annoyed] at me. But I don't care," she said. "I'm tired of people telling me what to do. I think you should be the best Catholic, Jew, Muslim, agnostic or Zoroastrian you can be. Be a good human being. That's God's will."
"God doesn't hate anybody," she said. "In the Catholic Bible, God says, 'No one can tell you you are wrong but me. Come to me. It's me, baby.' People should mind their own business. Tend to your own house."
Although speaking her mind is part of Goldberg's persona, some people still have trouble adjusting to it. And when her stand-up shows take political turns, not everyone in the audience turns with her.
"I get protests all the time," she said. "If they're not of a mind to listen, if they want to heckle, it is not going to work out well. And some people are determined to come to the show and mess me up by sitting stone-faced. I feel bad for them. They could be somewhere else. But it doesn't matter what they're like. I have to be good."
In addition to periodic solo gigs each year, Goldberg remains committed to "The View," where the occasional testiness among the co-hosts should not cause alarm.
"The differences between us are never personal," Goldberg said. "I don't ask anyone to change anyone's opinion. I just want to be heard, and I try to listen."
Goldberg has found time for occasional guest shots on "Glee," in the role of the stern teacher at a New York arts school, and would do more "If they ask me," she said. Doing more films would appeal to her, too; she has seen "a couple of good scripts, but not everyone has money to make their movies."
Meanwhile, she is working on a documentary about the pioneering comedian "Moms" Mabley and is discussing portraying her onstage next season (Goldberg first did a show based on Mabley in the 1980s).
And what of Goldberg's life offstage?
"You mean me and my cat? We're very happy," she said. "His name is Oliver. He's a fantastic cat."
If you go
Whoopi Goldberg performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets are $55.45 to $96.50. Call 410-547-7328, or go to Ticketmaster.com.
An eventful life
What's in a name — Born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City in 1955. During the 1970s, having settled on the entertainment field, she changed her name to Whoopi (as in "whoopee cushion") Goldberg (her mother suggested a more Jewish-sounding name would help with a show business career).
Grammy nod — Goldberg had a Broadway success with her one-woman stage vehicle, "Whoopi Goldberg," in 1984. The album from that show earned Goldberg a Grammy the next year.
Courting Oscar — Goldberg was nominated for an Academy Award as best actress in "The Color Purple," her film debut, in 1985. About a half dozen movie projects later (including "Clara's Heart" which was shot in Maryland), Goldberg appeared as the fake psychic in the hit "Ghost" and received an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1990.
Trekkie treat — A fan of the original "Star Trek" as a child, Goldberg played an alien bartender named Guinan on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," 1988-1994.
Leaving her mark — Goldberg added her footprints, handprints and braid prints to the famous courtyard of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood in 1995; her star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001.
A Tony, too — Although Goldberg appeared as a performer on Broadway, it was in her capacity as co-producer that she won a Tony Award in 2002, for the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
Daytime Emmy 1 — Goldberg received the honor in 2002 for her work as host of a special, "Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel."
Back to Broadway — Goldberg starred as the title character in August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" in 2003, and performed "Whoopi: The 20th Anniversary Show" in 2004.
Sharing her views — Replacing Rosie O'Donnell as moderator and co-host of the hit ABC daytime talk show, "The View," in 2007, Goldberg has made news periodically disagreeing with her conservative colleague, Elizabeth Hasselbeck; walking off the set with Joy Behar in 2010 to protest guest Bill O'Reilly's comments about the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero.
Daytime Emmy 2 — Goldberg received another Emmy in 2009 for Outstanding Talk Show Host, an award shared with her colleagues on "The View."