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)