Anne Rice’s Apostasy

In 1998, the famous agnostic vampire novelist Anne Rice quietly converted to the religion of her youth—Roman Catholicism. The news of her conversion was fairly dramatic. The “I Am Second” campaign even featured her testimony in one of their videos (watch it here). In a recent video, however, Rice explains that she no longer believes in Jesus (see above). She doesn’t give much explanation as to why she no longer believes, but she does mention that her first steps away from faith happened in 2010 when she decided that she could no longer be a part of organized religion (read here). At that time, she left the Roman Catholic Church and determined to follow Christ on her own apart from the church. Sadly, she’s no longer even claiming to do that.

The video above gives very little insight into why she abandoned her faith altogether. But in 2010, Rice told NPR’s “All Things Considered” why she could no longer remain a Roman Catholic. Here’s what she said:

I didn’t anticipate at the beginning that the U.S. bishops were going to come out against same-sex marriage… That they were actually going to donate money to defeat the civil rights of homosexuals in the secular society… When that broke in the news, I felt an intense pressure. And I am a person who grew up with the saying that all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing, and I believe that statement.

She knew that the Roman Catholic Church would never sanction same-sex marriage, but she was surprised that the church would actively oppose it. When she heard that, she knew she could no longer stay in the church. In short, the church’s stance on homosexuality appears to have been a watershed for her.

In this latest video, it’s interesting that she makes a passing reference to homosexuality again. She says that a person can no more choose to have faith than one can choose to be a homosexual. She says that faith—like sexual orientation—is something you discover, not something you choose. And she has discovered that she no longer believes.

I don’t know to what extent the Bible’s teaching about homosexuality influenced her decision to apostatize. I know that she used to cite D. A. Carson as one of her favorite biblical interpreters. That seems to suggest that she takes a pretty straightforward reading of scripture when it comes to controversial topics. Perhaps she just could not abide what the scripture says on these things. Rather than reinterpreting scripture or explaining it away (as many liberal theologians do), she was intellectually honest enough just to walk away.

I don’t pretend to know all the reasons for Rice’s falling away. But I do know that the Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1). That alone is more than enough reason to pray and to hope that her story doesn’t dead-end with this latest news. Maybe there’s a real and lasting conversion in the offing. I hope and pray that there will be.

(HT: Trevin Wax)

6 Responses to Anne Rice’s Apostasy

  1. John Klink, Jr. September 24, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Keep in mind, that her “conversion” was to a branch of Christianity that does not teach salvation by faith alone. However, “heartfelt” her conversion was, it a conversion from one form of lostness to another form of lostness.

  2. Joseph Torres September 24, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Thanks for the heads up, Denny. We should certainly be praying for Ms. Rice. Her story strikes me as a helpful reminder that in God’s providence “organized religion” is bound up with knowing Jesus. One cannot long maintain apathy or hostility to Christ’s bride without it turning into apathy, hostility, or a lack of trust in Jesus himself.

    I value her sincerity, and hope other Christians would continue to show her the love of Christ.

  3. Mark Smith September 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    John, you put it well. It was a heartfelt conversion, it certainly seems, to a religion and probably not to faith in the Biblical Jesus — the Messiah, the Christ. It sure sounds like she had some interest in the Biblical Jesus, though.
    Though she has left an apostate church, it is sad to hear this news — just as it is sad to know of friends of mine whose early growth after what seemed to be a conversion to Christ, was choked out by the thorns that are the cares of the world.

  4. Don Johnson September 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    When I heard she became a believer I was pleasantly surprised, but when I heard she became Roman Catholic I was much less so. I simply have no model for why someone would become Catholic, altho I know there are many Catholics that are smarter than me and some that are believers; so I intend no insult, I simply cannot figure it out, it just seems like too big a pill to swallow.

    When I grew up, one of my mother’s brothers married a Catholic and he converted, they had 7 kids they raised as Catholic, today NONE of the 7 are Catholic, some are protestant and some have no faith at all. This may sound like a bad joke but it is true, one of their sons got in a car accident and they had to operate and remove half of his brain to save his life, he then became an evangelical and eventually became a pastor, so he was literally an evangelical pastor with half a brain. But I recalled that it is better to enter the Kingdom lacking something than not enter it at all.

    One always should be seeking truth because that will lead to the person who is Truth. If Ms. Rice identified being a Christian with being a Catholic I can certainly understand why when she left Catholicism, she felt like she left Christianity also.

    • Stephen Beck September 25, 2012 at 1:41 am #

      I know someone who enrolled in a Baptist school and while still enrolled and participating in a (non-denom but very conservative) ministry, became Catholic. It’s a crazy world.

  5. Dan Phillips September 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Over six years ago, WORLD magazine did a giddy, bubbly puff-piece subtitled “Novelist Anne Rice leaves the vampire Lestat and embraces Christ, ‘the ultimate supernatural hero’.” At that time, I confronted their shallow, shoddy non-reporting on my blog and at their site, and was blown off. it was sad. WORLD promised such great things to us longing for a genuinely Christian news magazine… but they wouldn’t even ask Rice what she thought the Gospel was.

    Later, a WORLD writer did the same thing about cultist Glenn Beck. No change.

    I’m as happy as anyone when anyone (including big names) profess conversion.

    But really. Is it too much to ask them what the Gospel is, and what their conversion means?

    Seems like basic Christian reporting to me.

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