Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lucia Anne Rice has quit Christianity

Anne Rice has quit being a Christian.  I'm not surprised.
Twelve years after she converted to Christianity from atheism, bestselling author Anne Rice has "quit being a Christian" because of the religion's attitude to birth control, homosexuality and science.

In a message posted on her Facebook page, Rice said she was "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," the author wrote.

An atheist for decades, Rice returned to her childhood faith of Catholicism in 1998. The author of a series of bestselling books about the vampire Lestat – brought to the screen by Tom Cruise in the film Interview with the Vampire – her conversion caused consternation among her old fans, while Christians questioned the morality of her vampire books.

In a 2007 essay, Rice answered her critics, saying that she saw her earlier novels as part of a long tradition of "transformative" dark fiction, from Dante's Inferno to Hamlet and Macbeth. "I feel strongly that dark stories demand that the audience earn the transformation; they require a certain suffering on the part of the audience as the price of eventual affirmation," Rice wrote.

"I would like to submit that my vampire novels and other novels I've written ... are attempting to be transformative stories as well. All these novels involve a strong moral compass. Evil is never glorified in these books; on the contrary, the continuing battle against evil is the subject of the work. The search for the good is the subject of the work. [They] are not immoral works. They are not Satanic works. They are not demonic works. These are uninformed and unfair characterisations of these books, and this situation causes me deep personal pain."

In 2002 the author "consecrated her writing entirely to Christ, vowing to write for Him or about Him". She began to write novels about the life of Christ, completing Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt in 2005, and publishing Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana in 2008 when she also released the memoir Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession, about her conversion at the age of 57. She is currently writing a series about angels, in which a contract killer is recruited by a seraph.

Rice posted on Tuesday revealing her distress about a news story in which an American "punk rock ministry" said that "executing gays is 'moral'". "The bottom line is this … they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator," the Minnesota Independent - linked to by Rice - quoted the frontman of ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide as saying. "On average, they molest 117 people before they're found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?"

Rice was horrified. "No wonder people despise us, Christians, and think we are an ignorant and violent lot. I don't blame them. This kind of thing makes me weep. Maybe commitment to Christ means not being a Christian," she said.

Later that day, she linked to a report about the Westboro baptist church in Kansas, which "spreads the message that because the United States condones homosexuality, abortion and divorce, all Americans are going to hell", according to the story.

"This is chilling. I wish I could say this is inexplicable. But it's not. That's the horror. Given the history of Christianity, this is not inexplicable at all," Rice wrote, pointing to Gandhi's statement: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

"When does a word (Christian) become unusable?" she asked. "When does it become so burdened with history and horror that it cannot be evoked without destructive controversy?"

The next day, Rice announced her decision to "quit being a Christian" – a comment "liked" on Facebook by almost 2,000 people. "I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity," she said. "It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For 10 years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."

I can't say I'm totally surprised. As another person who had been on the outer darkness for a long time, I've found that my re-entry in the Church has been incredibly challenging, as well as transformational. I am not the same person that I was nearly four years ago contemplating a return to the Faith. I had to be changed when I came back, otherwise the difficulty of being a Catholic in New Zealand and especially Wellington would have driven me back out had I not accepted major changes that I needed to make in my life.

It appears to me, from what Anne Rice has said, that she has not allowed herself to be changed. She can't accept that her vampire books are incredibly evil books. I've read them when I was lost, and there is no way I would open one today.

Not mentioned in the article I've quoted were her witchcraft series and also her S and M trilogy written under a different name. This woman has explored some very dark subjects, and unless a person renounces all of that completely, it will continue to have a hold.

The hold was there in her Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt book where she used some Gnostic sources to add to her picture of Christ. I haven't read her next book on Jesus, as she had lost any attraction for me as a trusted source.

Her latest series that she is writing on a contract killer being recruited by a seraph shows just how off her conversion had been. I read the first book, as my husband got it out of the library and said that it was very interesting.  If I had the book, I could probably describe what exactly was wrong with it that noticed as they came up (besides the whole idea, of course). But I can't do that, as I tend to put wrong things out of my mind.
Yesterday, the author reiterated that her faith in Christ was "central" to her 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," she said. "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."

Yep. Lots of heretics make that same mistake.

Anne Rice quits being a Christian ~ The Guardian

9 comment(s):

Kris K said...

To be fair, LM, did Rice convert to Christianity or to Roman Catholicism?

Lucia Maria said...


I know where you are going with that question.

It appears to have been a partial conversion according to the comments that I've been reading on her autobiography.

Such as:

The primarily fault with this book is that too much time is devoted to her cherished memories of her early childhood in the Catholic milieu. It moves very slowly and is unnecessarily long, even for the theme of the book. The second half of the book is much more interesting. Also, the narrative comes off as narcissistic. Whether or not you like her, you quickly get the feel that she is simply indulging herself and you are along for the ride.

Two things flashed out at me from this book, one creating curiosity the other creating delight. At one point, weighing her decision to write only about Jesus, she thinks about the people who depend on her and how they will be affected. She mentions a whopping "forty-nine employees." I thought, jeez! How much money does she have? What do they all do? But this was not explained. The other item I appreciated was that she freely mentions property she has bought and the freedom of buying and traveling as she pleased--this is refreshingly honest.

After she repeated a couple of quotes from Rick Warren's "The Purpose-Driven Life," I checked out and found a link to James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" and a couple of other fundamentalist connections, which left me confused. She seems to believe in a modern, all-inclusive Catholic Church that would honor women as priests, and makes a nod toward inclusion of gays--both by referrals to her life in 1970s San Francisco and full acceptance of her gay son, author Christopher Rice. I sensed some spiritual inconsistency, and that was confirmed when she stated her feelings about her writings of the dark side.

She does not denounce her earlier vampire works, though surely they had some influence on leading others away from religion--or at least steeping interest in dark supernatural possibilities. She frees herself by saying she was "sincere" when she wrote them, so all is well. Trust me, a sincere killer has still sinned. I got the impression that she is still defining her place within her faith, and that of course is fine--but maybe this book was written too early.

From Out of Darkness

Andrei said...

In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay.

The Church isn't anti-gay of course, it just refuses to validate the sin of gay gex, along with adultery, of avarice for that matter.

I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control.

eh? What does she mean by the first? As for the second it is my opinion the Good Lord wants us to have children, how else are teh ranks of "feminists" to be maintained?

I refuse to be anti-Democrat
I didn't realize this was a requirement - in terms of Salvation political allegiance means not very much excepting perhaps where political philosophy contradicts God's laws

Of course if you are not getting the media attention you desire a good Christian bash should be worth a column inch or two.

Kris K said...

Yeah, I think she sounds confused about what she actually believes, let alone what the Bible may say about topics she has certain views about.

There are many that like the label of "Christian", but in reality they redefine what God's word may say on any number of subjects, and therefore they likely follow a pseudo-Christianity of their own making; and invariably follow a false gospel which doesn't afford the individual salvation in any way shape or form.

It always amuses me when I hear about well known individuals becoming 'Christians' ...

Lucia Maria said...

Anne Rice typifies the 1st Chapter of Spiritual Combat (see our sidebar) and what we must be careful of:

But these external works, though all most holy in themselves, may yet, by the fault of those who use them as the foundation of their spiritual building, prove a more fatal occasion of ruin than open sins. Such persons leave their hearts unguarded to the mercy of their own inclinations, and exposed to the lurking deceits of the devil, who, seeing them out of the direct road, not only lets them continue these exercises with satisfaction, but leads them in their own vain imagination to expatiate on the delights of paradise, and to fancy themselves to be borne aloft amidst the angelic choir and to feel God within them. Sometimes they find themselves absorbed in high, or mysterious, and ecstatic meditations, and, forgetful of the world and of all that it contains, they believe themselves to be caught up to the third heaven.

But the life and conversation of such Persons prove the depth of the delusion in which they are held, and their great distance from the perfection after which we are inquiring; for in all things, great and small, they desire to be preferred and placed above others; they are wedded to their own opinion, and obstinate in their own will; and blind to their own faults, they are busy and diligent observers and critics of the deeds and words of others.

But touch only with a finger their point of honor, a certain vain estimation in which they hold themselves and would have others to hold them, interrupt their stereotyped devotions, and they are disturbed and offended beyond measure.

And if, to bring them back to the true knowledge of themselves and of the way of perfection, Almighty God should send them sickness, or sorrow, or persecution (that touchstone of His servants' loyalty, which never befalls them without His permission or command), then is the unstable foundation of their spiritual edifice discovered, and its interior, all corroded and defaced by pride, laid bare; for they refuse to resign themselves to the will of God, to acquiesce in His always righteous though mysterious judgments, in all events, whether joyful or sorrowful, which may befall them; neither will they, after the example of His Divine Son in His sufferings and humiliation, abase themselves below all creatures, accounting their persecutors as beloved friends, as instruments of God's goodness, and cooperators with Him in the mortification. perfection, and salvation of their souls.

Hence it is most certain that such persons are in serious danger; for, the inward eye being darkened, wherewith they contemplate themselves and these their external good works, they attribute to themselves a very high degree of perfection; and thus puffed up with pride they pass judgment upon others, while a very extraordinary degree of God's assisting grace is needed to convert themselves. For the open sinner is more easily converted and restored to God than the man who shrouds himself under the cloak of seeming virtue.

It seems that persecution under the label of "Christian" and not wanting to be associated with those she felt unworthy of the name, ie her "point of honour" caused her downfall.

ZenTiger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZenTiger said...

I think she is reading too much into the "anti" and not enough into the "pro".

Also, the comment about being "anti secular humanism" is perhaps misplaced.

I wonder if she sees any moral conflict joining the many people that are anti-Christian?

Given she has moved away from Christianity (however she defines it), is she declaring herself to be "anti-Christian"?

Does she expect to start going out Friday nights to engage in a bit of Christian persecution, given she is defining Christians as persecutors?

She has misunderstood the higher commandments to love others, even as we seek to avoid sin and respect life.

KG said...

Seems to me she is looking for a religion that's tailor-made for her preferences. Which would hardly be a religion.

Anonymous said...

Anne has posted

"Theories of Jesus dying for our sins frequently present a God the Father who is anything but all knowing or perfect.He's presented as severely limited,unable to be reunited with his "fallen" creation,on His own, and "needing" Jesus because of what He(the Father) can't do or be.I find this to be heresy. Doesn't make sense to see God the Father as less than perfect.

St. Anselm's doctrine of the Atonement is not something that I believe."

Anne is making up her own religion

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