Anne Rice: “I Quit Being A Christian”

Jim Burroway

July 29th, 2010

Anne Rice, the New Orleans novelist who single-handedly made vampires cool again, was raised as a Roman Catholic. But like most cultural Catholics, the church wasn’t something that she took seriously. That changed in 2004 following surgery for a life-threatening intestinal blockage, when she announced that she would henceforth “write only for the Lord.” She embraced her Catholic roots and published her next novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which was intended to be the start of a series chronicling the life of Jesus. Her next novel, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, came out in 2008.

But her embrace of Catholicism was of a personal and spiritual nature, and as is not unusual among Catholics, didn’t extend to social issues:

Her views will not please all of the devout. Rice favors gay marriage. She believes the church position regarding birth control is a grievous error that is not supported by Scripture. She repudiates what she sees as intolerant, “sex-obsessed” church leaders, and says she does not find support in the message of Jesus for their focus on sexual orientation or abortion. She argues for a more inclusive church.

“Think of how the church bells would ring and the pews would fill if women could become priests and priests could marry. It would be the great resurgence of the Catholic Church in this country.”

But Rice was ultimately unable to reconcile her belief in Christ on the one hand, with the actions of fellow Christians and how those actions have stained the Christian “brand” on the other. She appears to have hinted at this with this post on her facebook page which appeared on Tuesday:

Gandhi famously said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” When does a word (Christian)become unusable? When does it become so burdened with history and horror that it cannot be evoked without destructive controversy?

She answered her question yesterday morning, when she posted this to her facebook page:

For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten …years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

She then followed that a couple minutes later with this:

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of …Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.

She followed those posts with two more quotations from the Book of Matthew posted on her facebook page as part of an ongoing set of discussions. So it appears that she hasn’t quit Jesus, just his followers on earth.

AdrianT

July 29th, 2010

Well, even Richard Dawkins wrote a wonderful chapter called ‘Atheists For Jesus’ in the least interesting of his books, The God Delusion (least, because the fact of Evolution is a far more interesting subject, period.).

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2010

You might say that Anne Rice is far too Christian to actually be one.

tavdy79

July 29th, 2010

It is reassuring to know that I am in such good company.

neil h.

July 29th, 2010

The comedian Richard Herring said that Jesus was like the Fonz, in that they are both cool but the people who follow them are idiots … :-)

SharonB

July 29th, 2010

That Gandhi quote has been a fave of mine.

Lindoro Almaviva

July 29th, 2010

She just expressed many of my own feelings much more eloquently than me (and that should not surprise anyone…)

Muscat

July 29th, 2010

Well, on the one hand I understand where she is coming from all too well, and I also understand her choice is probably informed by being culturally Catholic and thus seeing “Christianity” as at least virtually synonymous with Roman Catholicism.

On the other hand, this strikes me as a bit silly given there are Christian groups and individuals that support every position she lists and it is also indirectly hurtful to those groups and individuals by playing into the cultural myth that they don’t exist.

Mark F.

July 29th, 2010

Oh come on, were Christians any better 400 years ago when they were involved in religious wars, and people were killed for heresy? When was the “Golden Age” of Christianity, pray tell? The major churches have held stupid ideas and have been filled with stupid people since—well, since the first century C.E.

I’m an atheist, but the idea that Christians have only recently turned bad is silly.

(Note: There are and always have been a number of fine Christians.)

Richard

July 29th, 2010

I totally understand where Anne Rice is coming from. I consider myself a follower of Jesus but I don’t call myself a “Christian” because I don’t want to be associated with the arrogant, homophobic, mean-spirited, anti-science yahoos in our society who call themselves Christians. I often wonder what Bible these people are reading from. They sure don’t act anything like Jesus.

Amii

July 30th, 2010

Well I for one, hope she resumes writing erotica, and novels about vampires and witches.

cd

July 30th, 2010

On the other hand, this strikes me as a bit silly given there are Christian groups and individuals that support every position she lists and it is also indirectly hurtful to those groups and individuals by playing into the cultural myth that they don’t exist.

Well, I can say for myself that when I came to realize the extent of what I term paganism- defective beliefs that mostly predate Christianity- as the bulk of Christian culture in practically all contexts, it became only a matter of time until I walked out.

I’ve seen claimed elsewhere that Anne Rice’s son is gay. She’s also not entirely psychologically stable, whatever that means. But she’s also in her early sixties, when many women I know seem to become radical. They tell me they’ve been compromising and holding back and allowing distortions of truth all of their lives, and now they’re tired of it and have everything to gain and little to lose by living to integrity- in and by and for the truths they had felt necessary to suppress.

I read walkout stories and am always reminded of something Joan Didion wrote. She described those popular children’s books where the child is supposed to look for something hidden in a picture. One of the pictures is of a nice tree with very ornate and complicated green foliage. No one sees it at first, but the black lines distinguishing the leaves in a section of the tree form a terrifying tiger’s face. And once a person sees the tiger in the tree, s/he can never look at the tree picture again without seeing the tiger.

I think Anne Rice has seen the tiger in her tree, i.e. the inadequate humanity or inhumanity in Ancient World religious tradition. It’s an innocence that can’t be recovered. It can be whitewashed by agreeing with it, but at an obvious price in integrity.

APG

December 12th, 2010

.

If I could meet her in person, I would
love to say “Thank you Anne Rice –
for so very articulately stating what
I have felt in my heart for years” !!!!

One’s ‘Faith-in-Christ’ should IN NO WAY
be tied into the man-controlled ‘Religion’
that so many refer to as “Christianity”
(especially that apostate, psuedo-religious
political-movement called ‘evangelicalism’)

It took me forever to realize that my
relationship with God (as established
through Christ Jesus, God The Son) was
IN NO WAY dependent on the apostate
psuedo-religious movement sweeping
America in the name of the “church”.

If Christ were walking the earth today,
a lot of these same “religious” types
would be the first to demand that He
be ‘crucified’ — and based merely on
who He chose as FRIENDS (women,
gays, foreigners, immigrants, the poor,
the rejected, the downtrodden, the rich,
men, old, young, happy, sad, and so on).

The “evangelicals” (not to be mistaken
for TRUE FOLLOWERS of Christ) and
other “church” types have essentially
hijacked the Christian ‘Faith’ in order to
turn it into a mammon-worshipping,
power-mongering, “Religion” of hate.

These people are more akin to a system of
ANTI-CHRIST (i.e. “against”-Christ) than
to anything tied into WHO CHRIST IS.

Their evil has reached such profound levels
that even people who know and love Christ
are turned off from them and their words
(again proving these “church” types are
really nothing more than anti-Christ,
self-righteous Pharisees and are not
even remotely related to Jesus Christ).

Never again will I waste my time stepping
into the psuedo-religious social-club that
is known as “church” or associate myself
with the political-clique that is known as
‘christianity’ — because FROM NOW ON
— I realize that I do NOT “need” either
in order to have a relationship with MY
LORD JESUS CHRIST (in fact, those
two entities were actually ‘interfering’
with my relationship with God)

THROUGH CHRIST — GOD HAS OPENLY
EXPRESSED HIS LOVE TO ‘EVERYONE’
(no matter if rich, poor, gay, straight, male,
female, sickly, healthy and so on) — AND
CHRIST (not the so-called”church”) IS
‘THE DOOR’ and ‘WAY’ TO GOD!!

ALL ARE WELCOME TO APPROACH AND
TO ENTER THROUGH ‘THE DOOR’ TO GOD!!

NO ONE IS REJECTED BY JESUS CHRIST !!!

JESUS LOVED AND LOVES EVERYONE !!!

LET’S ALL TRY TO REMEMBER
THE BIBLE VERSE OF ‘JOHN 3:17’:

“For God did NOT send His Son
into the world – to condemn
the world, BUT that the world,
THROUGH HIM, might be SAVED !!!!”

JESUS CHIST – and *not* the institution known
as “the church” or the religion called “christianity”
— IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE!!!

LIKE MANY OTHER PEOPLE – I AM DONE
WITH THE CHURCH & WITH CHRISTIANITY
— AND FROM HERE ON OUT – MY FOCUS IS
ON (AND FAITH IN GOD RELIES IN) JESUS
CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE !!!

.

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