Anne Rice Leaves Christianity and Christianity Breaths a Sigh of Relief

Here’s the link, but I’m cutting and pasting most of it below:

[Anne Rice] said Wednesday that [she is leaving Christianity because] she  refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.”

Rice wrote, “For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … 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.”

We could, of course, stop right there.  That’s enough meat for one essay.  However, I found what Rice went on to say equally appalling:

“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,” Rice wrote. “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.”

Now this will be my second time through on this essay.  The first one began more or less with “On you’re way out, don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you” and while it did improve from there, kind of, I felt the need to begin again.  What I had written was crude and childish, and while immensely satisfying  was, in the end, unworthy of my readers.

All four of you.

So instead, let’s try Version 2.o, shall we?

We’ll begin with this core truth:  A Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Jesus.  This person will often refer to Jesus as Christ, which means “anointed one” or “Messiah”.  Thus one could say that anyone who takes Jesus to be the Messiah is in fact a Christian.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

How, in the name of all that is good and holy in this world, can anyone, ANYONE say that they have faith in Christ, say this faith is central to her life, right after saying they’re leaving Christianity?  That doesn’t track at all.  To me, it’s like saying “I oppose driving into walls” while driving the car right into a building.

Makes no sense.

You know what else doesn’t track for me?  Saying that the only way to be Christian is to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and horrors of horrors, “anti-Democrat.”  I have spent close to forty years as a Christian and I can honestly say I’m not any of those things.

When I was a kid, I might have used gay as an insult.  I know I thought being called gay and all the other names associated with homosexuality was a bad thing.  But as an adult, I see thing differently.  I may not agree with everything a gay person says, does, or wants, but I’m not necessarily against him or her doing those things.

When I was a kid, I never believed the whole “boys were better than girls” thing.  While I didn’t think I was worse than a girl, I knew that some girls had every chance of being better than me.  I had a host of girl cousins perfectly willing to prove it in fact (still do).  I don’t think that makes me a “feminist” but I’m not against feminism as it comes to treat the Sexes equally.  I may not agree with everything a feminist stands for, again, but that doesn’t mean I think there’s no chance that they are right or I am wrong.

The older I get, the more I look at Science in askance, and I think that people in general should do the same.  I don’t think Science should be stopped outright, despite myself imposed Luddite label.  Watched, yes, halted in some cases, definitely.  But Knowledge should continue to grow.  It’s in the best interest of everyone that it does.

As for “anti-Democrat”… well, yeah, I’m against the Democrats.  I’m also against the Republicans.  I think both have too much power in our day-to-day lives and both want even more.  I’m very proud to be not aligned with any political party and if God is willing and the creek don’t rise I’m going to stay that way.

So if you want to take me as an example of Christianity, right off the bat Rice has slandered me.  Which might be the reason Version 1.0 of this essay was so heated.

However, if you don’t (and who could blame you?) why don’t we go over to Google.  What happens when we type in “Gay Christians”.  Right off the bat we have The Gay Christian Network and Gay Christians.Org.  These people might find it interesting to know that they are anti-gay.

You can do the same with “Feminist Christians” and “Democrat Christians” and find other people who might take offense at Rice’s thoughtlessness.  You could also try “Scientist Christian” but odds are good you might find a bad example.  Let’s call it a gimme, what do you say?

Net sum, there are examples of each of the four groups in Christianity.  Which should come as no surprise, as Christianity is the world’s largest religion.

So what does Rice mean when she writes: “It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group?”

It means that her faith in Christ is so strong that she can’t be bothered to seek out another church that matches her beliefs better.

Poor dear.

I mean, I’m not actively seeking to change my own church, but in the four or five minutes I spent on Google I found a number of possibilities from groups who seem to have a decent grasp on what Jesus was saying.  I can’t believe you can honestly try “for ten years” and not find Christians you can get along with.   I mean, biggest religion on the planet.  Hundreds of faiths.  It has to be possible.

We could dance on and on like this, but I’m sure you’ve got my point by this stage.  Anne Rice said something utterly devoid of thought or reason.  I’d say “Just like a woman”, but then I’d have cousins, aunts, and a mother lining up to give me a beating.  Not to mention countless other females who haven’t had to put up with me for as long as them.

And they’d all be right to do so.

Instead, let me leave Ms. Rice and people who think like her (please let than number be small) with a few words of wisdom to consider when she wants to bad mouth Christians:  “”Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

The guy who said that had that had some great sayings, but I’m sure Rice wouldn’t want anything to do with him more than she had to.  He was quarrelsomeDisputatious.  Argued all the time with anyone who’d listen.  And hostile,  too.  Boy was he hostile.  Tossed tables around at a temple once, shouting at people.  His infamy grew so great that they decided the only way to deal with him was to nail him to a piece of wood.

Nah, don’t even talk about him, Ms. Rice.  What would the neighbors say?

The man probably wouldn’t even vote straight ticket Democrat…

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4 Replies to “Anne Rice Leaves Christianity and Christianity Breaths a Sigh of Relief”

  1. I agree – Ms. Rice’s essay is insulting to actual Christians the world over (you make many, many good points, and Ms. Rice must at least plead guilty to bad phrasing and being imprecise), but Anne Rice didn’t just go Christian, she went fundamentalist. And many fundamentalists identify themselves as being the only “true” Christians, and despite their sect refer to themselves as the Christian Church.
    The American Christian Fundamentalist movement is, in fact, anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science, and anti-democrat. I’m pretty sure that’s who she was talking about.
    Head on over to Netflix and watch the movie Jesus Camp (currently available on Instant View) to see the sort of people she’s trying to get away from. They’re scary.

    1. I went to her Facebook page (jeez, everyone’s got a Facebook page) and one of her comments there says she’s stepping away from ALL organized religions. So I think I’m on the mark here.

      Here’s the thing. I haven’t been to a mass of any sort since Grandpa Vickerman’s memorial. Unless the Future Ex-Mrs Cullen M. M. Waters wants it, I doubt it will ever be a standard practice.

      Do I go out making a big deal about it? Beyond this, no. Do I insult the practitioners who go on a regular basis? No. There is such a thing as class, and Rice’s comments display a lack there of.

      (Contrary to popular opinion, I didn’t burn on entering the chapel. However I did get very, very warm.)

      That aside, I intended to work in a quote from, of all people, Alice Cooper. Cooper is a born again Christian and has been for years. He doesn’t talk about his faith because it’s too easy for it to become more about Cooper than about Jesus.

      Which is what this looks like. To me, this is about Rice, about her shouting out “Look at me and what I’m doing!” And I think in doing so she does more harm than good.

  2. Speaking as someone who is at times very tempted to follow Anne Rice’s lead here I have to say that I disagree with you.

    I live in the deep south. I attend church and am a fairly active Christ follower. Using the word “Christian” to describe myself is something I have a hard time with. There are many reasons for that (And I have a broken space bar so this will likely not be as detailed or intricate as the subject (Or you!) deserves.

    I know people from all different walks of life. The most frustrating connections I have are ALWAYS with the “Conservative Christian” friends that I have. I attend a southern baptist church and have for the past 20 years. I have a hard time reading my facebook wall some days. I have to carefully filter what I post on my facebook wall. I cringed today as I supported my gay friends during national coming out day because I am afraid SOMEONE will make a derogatory comment about homosexuality on my status and i will be forced to respond and it won’t be pretty. I have a cousin who is a lesbian. She was raised in church. Does she need me to slap her in the face and tell her daily “I DO NOT CONDONE YOUR LIFESTYLE”? no. She knows how I feel and she knows that I love her. She knows what the bible says.

    Honestly, I ONLY listen to Christian radio and when The DJ was talking about it – I have to say that I agree with Anne significantly. The DJ kinda did too – he AGREED with her that Christianity is broken. He just stated that he felt like if something is that broken that you stick around and fix it – you don’t just say “OHHHH Look here – it’s broken – i’m out! Peace!”

    I don’t think that she has really done that and I don’t think that she is making it about herself. I think she is trying to point out issues that she sees to give the church the opportunity to fix the issues…

    and Christianity is very broken as a whole….Just look at how several of the prominent mouth pieces speak. I’m sorry – telling the media that Haiti is suffering (Last January) because of a pact they made with the devil hundreds of years ago… while hundreds of thousands of people are suffering and dying – that doesn’t really make CHristianity look good.

    hate-speech is NOT good advertising for Christ. Persecuting others is NOT very Christ like.

    anyway. that’s my two cents.

    🙂 Had to offer my differing opinion 🙂

  3. Thanks for the reply!

    I don’t think you and I differ as much in opinion as you might think. While I wouldn’t say Christianity is broken, it does contain a lot of self righteous bigots and loons with far too loud voices. My main complaint with what Rice said and what you seem to be saying is that they are being held up as the whole rather than as either a faith on within the religion or as a part of a faith.

    Obviously the hatred and bigotry need to be removed. They need to be removed from every aspect of society. To paraphrase what you said in your comment, hate speech is NOT good advertising for society in general and Humanity as a whole.

    It’s just too bad Humanity seems so addicted to it and other forms of persecution.

    I had thought this line of thought on my part was clear in the original essay. Please forgive me if it wasn’t; sometimes the words get away from me.

    In any case, thanks again for the reply!

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