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What would Anne Rice do? [Updated]

Anne Rice, the author of "Interview With the Vampire" and its sequels, has decided that her Christian faith no longer fits with the Christian church. She announced this very personal decision on Facebook on Wednesday, generating more than 2,000 comments on two posts that went up within five minutes of each other.

In the first, she wrote: "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."

"I quit being a Christian," she continued. "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."

In addition to the attention it drew on Facebook, Rice's declaration was circulated widely on the Internet and by the mainstream media; even the Associated Press picked it up. She may have created more of a media splash with her departing-the-church announcement than she did when she showed up at a booksigning in a coffin.

Rice's Christianity seemed an awkward worldview for an author who so thoroughly imagined evil vampires -- sexy evil vampires, even.

In 2008, Rice sought to illuminate her journey in faith with the memoir "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession." She had an inner voice, she wrote, that said, "Write for God. Write for Him. Write only for Him." Her recent books include "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" (2005), "Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana " (2008) and "Angel Time" (2009).

Yet despite this focus on Christ and angels, Rice, who was brought up Catholic, said in her memoir that the church's laws caused her pain. "How was I to become a card-carrying member of a church that condemned my gay son?"

If I were more of a religious scholar, I could find a church for Rice that is dedicated to Christ and not anti-gay or anti-feminist or anti-birth-control or anti-Democrat or anti-secular-humanist. I'm sure people who know more about this than I do have tried to help Rice find her way to a church that might fit her beliefs.

What I do know is that, sometimes, causing a stir can help spark interest in an author's work. So in case you're curious, Anne Rice's next angel book, "Of Love and Evil," is due on shelves in November.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

[For the record, 1:20 p.m. Aug. 2: An earlier version of this post referred to Anne Rice's novel as "Interview with a Vampire." The correct title is "Interview with the Vampire."]

Photo: Anne Rice at home in La Jolla, Calif., with some of her Christian icons in December 2005. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (30)

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what a pompous blowhard. Anti democrat? Too stupid to live.

Christ is cool, but God is fake.

I never knew she was "Christian" to begin with. It would have been an interesting twist, knowing the types of books she writes.

So...does this mean...Anne Rice is going to go back to writing vampire novels once more? Please please please let it be so!

As the author of great fiction, what's the big deal with her giving up the biggest fictional character of all?

With a little luck, Ann Rice may be on her way to a deeper way of thinking about what is correct. There is the possibility that every thing is correct and that nothing is correct.
The human limits come from limited intellect and the limits of lauguage. One would think you can not say "God is perefect" and then say "God wants something".
As with the constant changes in the explanations of the universe, each explanation accomplishes things, but, the explanation has to be changed.
Ann Rice may grow to see that a religion can be correct, the problem lies with the explanation by a limited language in a limited intellect.

If Anne feels like she wants to belong to a church community sh might try the United Church of Christ. They are very liberal, supportive of the gay community (actively recruit gay members and support gay marriage), are ok with birth control and don't even condemn abortion. I'm not a member, but as a child grew up in that denomination.

A church that comes to mind that would fit her her beliefs would be the Unitarian Universlist Faith.

I am sorry that Ms. Rice feels the need to leave "Christianity", but as a minister, I understand. There should be no room, let alone time, in Christianity for hate. All of the anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-(choose one of many,)hate filled speeches that are made on a daily basis in the name of Christ do nothing more than cause harm to the cross of Christ and drive people from Him, instead of to Him.

These are debates which I have engaged in with other ministers on many occasions, and almost always, to no avail.Would Jesus, if He were ministering today, be at abortion clinics? Of course He would...but He'd be at the back door, not the front...and He'd have His arms open wide with love for the brokenhearted. Would he be involved in the Gay issues? Certainly...but He'd be at AIDS clinics and hospices healing the sick and the dying...and they would love Him for His embrace.

I see all of the WWJD paraphernalia, and I weep. You see, if you really want to know what someone would do, you have to take the time to get to know that person, and that requires having a relationship with them...not just believing what others tell you. And, like every other relationship, that requires communication that goes both ways. Christians don't "listen" to Jesus anymore. They listen to televangelists. They read commentaries and christian self-help books. They go, with itching ears, to the voices that will scratch that itch with what they want to hear. Rarely, if ever, is that itch soothed by the actual teachings of the Savior.

Would Jesus go to any of the mega-churches? Yes...but He wouldn't be welcome when He arrived with His hand made scourge and drove them out of their gift shops and over blown memorials to self and self love. He wouldn't be welcome on TBN, or any of the other blasphemous TV shows when He called them vipers and, "...the drought that passes from the body...". He certainly wouldn't be pleased by those who use Him like a whore to line their pockets, while people within their own cities go hungry every night.

Lastly, it is sad that Ms. Rice is forced to take the only stand that someone who truly loves Jesus is resigned in their hearts to take: to distance themselves from the majority of those who, whether through ignorance or malicious intent, distort the teachings of the One who taught love...into words dripping with hate.

Christopher Blake

Gee. How interesting. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Why would you, author, ever be so presumptuous as to think you could in your right mind "find her a new church?" It's clear everything about the church and the hypocritical organized christian "faith" has turned her off and revealed itself to be bereft of meaning. End of story. She doesn't need another club to belong to.

She's just sore because one of her dolls didn't get a single pity bid at a Theriault's Marquis auction...

She should become a Unitarian. Or really, there's nothing wrong with being in organized religion or out of organized religion. We live in a secular society, you don't have to belong to a church. Since she was Catholic, in Catholicism it says that if your conscience doesn't agree with something the Catholic Church states, you don't have to follow it. Also Christianity is really violent, we have the Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch burnings, King Henry VIII murdering his wives (I saw it on Showtime) while forming the Anglican church. I'm Catholic, but I know Christianity is full of internecine bigotry and violence and small mindedness.

This message is for Christopher Blake

What church do you preach?

I would like to know, thank you.

Christianity is the epitome of evil to me, and I needn´t go into the religion´s past to refresh your memory about it, but the Inquisition, the repression of scientific thought, the insistence on a clergy (I can speak with god, if I should care to, much better and clearer than any idiot clergyman or woman--don´t need bells, books, or preachers) leap immediately to mind. Being anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-progress is typical of autocratic, top-down, guru-style religions that exist mainly to control the masses--sheep who love to be led. The Christians are just freaking lucky that I ain´t in charge--their nasty churches would be taxed to the hilt, the parasites!

Wonderful. The leftist buffet style of self centered "religion" where they pick and chose what feels good. No constraints for Anne or the other moonbats. Heaven forbid.
Good, get out and pray to your self image of what is right and wrong.

To Mr. Christopher Blake: I read your post with attention and found many good points. However, I'm not sure I understand the connection about Jesus being involved with gay issues by... "being at AIDS clinics." You made a long list of things that drive people away from Christianity, but the simplistic and factually wrong type of association you made between gays and AIDS belongs into that list.

And viola...someone who needs a little press, gets it. Good job, Times. Way to to get suckered into that one....

I'm so incredibly proud to read this statement by Ms. Rice. I find her statement very sincere and very aligned with how I feel. As a former reverend, I couldn't agree more.

If you were more of a scholar, you would know she doesn't need a church.

Good for Rice for finally getting out. I wish her luck with her recovery.

To Charles Dews,
Bigots like you have been in charge many times since the year 500. The church overcomes your taxes and confiscations of what we build with love and rebuilding. If you were thoughtful enough to judge the Church in historical context, and history as a developing continuum, you would see the church has contributed more to the development of science then any other organization. If you took out the observations and contributions of priests from western civilization, you would not have the concepts of observable science, or know who Plato was. People have historically choosen the church over the barbaric organizations of self interest in the public sector, and will continue to do so. Thank you for the opportunity to debate. Your descendants will be blaming us for abortion.

"Wonderful. The leftist buffet style of self centered 'religion' where they pick and chose what feels good." That brings up troubling questions about what you would do if you were alive during the Inquisition. Would you have supported it? Ethics goes beyond what feels good.

To benja75:

You mentioned that "People have historically choosen [sic] the church over other barbaric organizations." What's more barbaric than the repression, the torture, the shameful sale of indulgences, the burning of women and heretics, and other abominable practices that (thanks also to the fear, ignorance, and denial of people like you) have oppressed humanity for centuries? And the "Church helped the development of Science?" Sure it did: when it came to realize that it had become impossible to hold that the earth was at the center of the universe and that killing scientists who didn't agree did NOT work... Do you live in this world or you simply try to match it to your preconceived views?

To DL,
I no longer affiliate with a "church". My small group meets at my home once a week. We make dinner, have fellowship, study and pray. I've tried to model it after the first century churches. I still perform weddings, funerals, etc but continue to refuse payment for any of the work. My contact info is available on my website, which you can find at The DumbAss Speaking.

To Alex,
You have, for what little it may be worth, my sincerest apologies. I'm sorry that I didn't find a better example of Christ's love toward the homosexual community. You are correct that associating it with AIDS was not the best way to accomplish that, and in hindsite, I wish I'd chosen something different. Perhaps I should have chosen Prop 8, or adoption by gay couples, both of which might have been more inclusive and less simplistic. So, once again, I am sorry.

Christopher Blake

Major publicity stunt to get her name in the news again. Twilight and True Blood have made her stories obsolete so she needs a charge. What better way to do that than by throwing Christianity under the bus? The shut-ins and moonbats that read her stuff will be all over it! Besides since when is Christianity anti-Democrat? Isn't it the other way around? Don't you have to renounce your Christianity to be a Dem these days? But I will say she has a smashing Austin Powers outfit there, just groovy baby!

She had an inner voice, she wrote, that said, "Write for God. Write for Him. Write only for Him."
I must have been Glen Beck

Rice's "Christianity" seems an awkward worldview for someone who has been engaged with Christianity for ten years. Why does she think you have to be Catholic to be Christian? How does she figure she can believe in Christ without being at all Christian? It wouldn't take a scholar, or even a Christian, to give her a long list of options. I suspect she is just being profoundly inarticulate, which is certainly awkward for a novelist.

I applaud her commitment to thinking. If there is a God, I'm sure he/she/it/ is most insulted by being aligned with the most malignant force on earth: Organized Religion.
All bad, everyone of them. Responsible for more death than all the famine. plaugue, and natural disaster combined. The cause of most if not all war.

Welcome back Anne!
BTW- Unitarian Universalist might suit her well....

Good For You Anne!

res08hao is clearly intimidated by this article.


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