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.
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 quarrelsome. Disputatious. 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…