By now you have probably heard about Anne Rice’s de-conversion from Roman Catholicism. The famous vampire novelist came back to Catholicism about 12 years ago (see video below), but now has decided that she can no longer be a Christian. In short, she wants to be devoted to Jesus, but she can’t stand what the Roman Catholic Church stands for. So she’s checking out. She made the announcement Wednesday on her Facebook page, and you can read her remarks there. Earlier today, she commented on one of the blogs at the First Things site. She writes:
“It is possible for a well informed, well educated and well intentioned Catholic, after considerable reflection to walk away from the church. It does happen. â€” I feel that I have always acknowledged the consequence of secular humanism and feminism and that they have been largely good in this country and in other countries in the West. I deplore abortion but it is scarcely the only consequence. â€”â€“ Yes, you are certainly right that Fr. Neuhaus was kind to me, and I will always appreciate his kindness.
“Whatever my faults, and I have countless faults, I am committed to Christ and I do have good intentions. I have endeavored to be honest with myself and others about my lifelong spiritual quest.”
This isn’t the only statement Ms. Rice has made since her initial announcement. There are at least three posts from her Facebook page that you should read, and they are printed below. The first one is her initial announcement.
10:36am, Wednesday, July 28: “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.”
10:41am, Wednesday, July 28: “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.”
2:06pm, Thursday, July 29: “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.”
For those who are interested, the video below is the testimony of her conversion that she recorded for the “I am second” campaign.
Anne Rice should be smart enough (and is for that matter) to grasp that for every anti- that she refuses to be, she just picks up a new one by adopting a different worldview.
I am particularly puzzled by the secular humanism one, since she could never expect a God believing church to embrace atheism…or is the world really that upside down?
Add Anne Rice to the growing ranks of those who like Jesus but don’t like the Church. It is very unfortunate on a number of levels. I hope that at some point Anne may find a Christian community (Catholic or otherwise) that she can embrace, even in its imperfections. It is a shame. You don’t have to be anti-life, anti-science, or anti-democrat to be a Christian. This, in spite of the fact that so many contemporary fundamentalist communities (Catholic or otherwise), would make you think you do.
I’m happy to hear this. I had always wondered how someone as exceptionally intelligent and compassionate as Anne Rice could be a Christian.
Russ – It is true that you may not “have to be anti-life, anti-science, or anti-democrat to be a Christian”; however, can someone be pro-abortion or pro-evolution and be a Christian?
Does the Bible say Believe in being anti-abortion and do not embrace evolution and thou shalt be saved?
Len – of course.
David…I know a lot of intelligent and compassionate Christians (and people of other and no faith as well). Such blanket statements serve little purpose.
Len, likewise, I know a lot of Christians who are pro choice, either seeing abortion as a neutral or positive thing, or, in contrast, seeing it better legal and safe for the woman than illegal and back ally.
And, from the Catholics (half of Christianity) to the Orthodox (big O) all the Mainline, here and abroad as a rule, believing in evolution AND being a Christian is not even an issue. It is only an issue for literalists, which, says a lot about literalists.
Why do you have to go to the ad-hominem here, framing everyone who doesn’t share your views as anti-this and anti-that? Would it be fair to say that a person who favors the Democrat party is “anti-life”? Of course not. This is no way for reasonable people to dialogue.
What are you talking about?
Russ, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m referring to. You’re making conservatives look hopelessly reactionary and progressives appear to be the true followers of Christ.
It is well worth pointing out that the wide road is packed with people who “love Christ”. People as diverse as the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Nietzsche, Thomas Jefferson, Muhammad and many others have expressed their admiration, even devotion. You’d actually be hard pressed to find people who will say anything negative about Christ. So it isn’t really a novel thing to hear of those who love Christ but don’t agree with his teachings or like his family. All that said, this is sad and I just prayed for Anne Rice because it certainly seems that her conversion a few years ago was authentic.
In response to your comments #10 and #8. I’m sorry, but I am suggesting/doing no such thing.
Very sincerely…Your general overreaction to my comments (here and in previous threads) makes dialogue with you very difficult. I feel you rarely respond to what I’m actually saying, but rather spend most of your time suggesting to me what you think I’m saying.
It’s very hard to figure out how to respond to that.
Apologies if I’ve misunderstood where you’re really coming from, but when you speak in terms like this: “so many contemporary fundamentalist communities”, it sure sounds as if you’re making a sweeping indictment that also categorizes much of contemporary Christianity in an unflattering, reactionary light.
In any event, for the reasons I mentioned in #11, I don’t think we should automatically use the occasion of Anne Rice’s commentary to take shots at believers we don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with. Plus, I’m sure she’s aware of the fact that there are liberal churches out there that affirm the things she’s concerned about.
Russ, it is nearly impossible to be pro-abortion and be a Christian. This is due to the fact that the twisted moral compass that leads one to support abortion usually also leads one to twist Scripture and Christianity, forming God into an unrecognizable idol.
I wouldn’t state it as strongly… “nearly impossible.” But, I generally agree that there is a strong philosophical incompatibility between Christianity and the pro-abortion position! Of course, if philosophical incompatibilities were a bar to the Faith, we’d all be in trouble.
I don’t see how you could be a Christian and be pro-choice if you truly think it through. Sure I have met people who love Jesus and claim to be pro-choice but most of the time it is because they have not thought about the issue in a careful fashion.
Jesus said the greatest commandments were to love God and love people. It is impossible to have a new nature that takes joy in loving people while being kosher with killing some. Being pro-choice is also an implicit denial of the Imago Dei and would force you to deny that we are made in the image of our Creator. Because we are made in the image of God we all have intrinsic dignity, value and worth. Our value comes in whose image we are made in. To approve of the destruction of other humans is a denial of the Imago Dei.
Everytime I read this blog you are here constructing the most offensive straw men, stereotyping, and generally trying to be the fly in the ointment, and then proceed to do as you did above, with the “what did I say?” act.
It is you that makes conversation difficult, because one needs to write a paragraph and spend an hour on bibleworks for every bit of offensive, prejudicial narrowness, bad thinking, and ever proliferating delight in limp-wristed error and theological laziness.
It has not been worth engaging you in this or any other matter, because you haven’t exhibited the slightest interest in others to whom you are speaking, about being in community in this matter. You only seem to want to be a problem, and never, ever, ever helping arriving at a solution.
You are the reason I hadn’t read the comments for at least 6 months, and I simply made the mistake of thinking, maybe, after all this time engaging those who frequent this space, for once, you wouldn’t show up with the mental molotov cocktail, and then stand back smirking and watch everyone else run around putting out your fires. My mistake.