Anne Rice - Leaving Christianity but not Christ

Anne Rice, known as the author of the Vampire Chronicles posted this past Wednesday on Facebook:

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.


and continuing on..

As I said...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.

Then on Thursday she clarified her previous statement:

My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.


What do you think of her statements? I personally agree with her. Following Christ does not require following the religion that uses his name. I consider myself a follower of Jesus. His message is radical and life-changing. But what does it have to do with these churches who sell t-shirt, open private tennis courts, create a sub-culture protected from much of the reality of real life. Where are the people reaching out day to day with the poor? Why is Christianity known for their stances against gay people, their opposition to tree-huggers, their neglect for the poor, their judgementalism. I know there are those who enter into that narrow way of compassion and mercy to ALL people...but sadly they are few and far between. Did Jesus want huge buildings and multi-million dollar complexes and cathedrals or did he want that money given to the poor? Anne Rice, I believe, has heard the voice of Jesus to follow him, which is not the same thing as following the church.

Comments

  1. Kudos to Anne for following her heart. I thoroughly enjoy(and collect) her vampire series books and was quite torn at her conversion and new writing style.

    I hope that she continues to question while exploring the real spirit of love and unity instead of following what others tell her. It is disheartening to know, though, that she has lumped all denominations together as all being wrong. Catholicism is on the fundamentalist side of the spectrum.

    And here's an interesting tidbit: did you know that one of her books, "Memnoch the Devil" can be read through gnostic lenses? Yep. It was a real eye opener to me, to see the typical celestial characters act so OUT of character. And to see someone question that is shocking. Especially coming from an obviously intelligent atheist. Anne may surprise us yet and begin writing again; possibly even explore gnosticism.


    Yours in gnosis,

    ~Angel

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  2. Hi Angel,
    I do find it sad that Anne has lumped all Christianity with one lump sum. I know so many Christians, Catholic and otherwise who are not fundamentalists. They are thoughful, wise, compassionate, and spiritual people. Though at the same time I do understand her frustration at the things done by some in the name of all Christianity. Thanks for the poignant reminder that even though these few claim to speak for Christianity and Christ, they only represent some not all.

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  3. Makes me wonder what would happen if all the more moderate members just up and left the more fundamentalist members to themselves. I think a lot of good. There'd be anarchy and questioning for a while. But the lines would be drawn. "No more insanity."

    Once moderate members put their foot down, change happens.

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  4. Interestingly, I posted the same story at my blog (http://mysticalmundane.blogspot.com) I attend an Anglican church weekly, although I consider myself to be a Gnostic. The people I know through the church are caring, loving, welcoming and kind. They are NOT those people she describes and it saddens me to have such an over generalization. The media only highlights the negative and ignores the positive. Rather than quit Christianity, it might have been just as moving and poignant of her to have stated simply how saddened she is by her fellow Christians, perhaps gone on the same tangent, but rather than abandon the name Christian, simply make a statement in regards to how there are MANY MANY Christians who are not like the ones whom she despises.

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