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Jul. 30 2010 - 1:36 am | 893 views | 1 recommendation | 19 comments

Did Anne Rice just suck the blood out of Christianity?

Anne Rice

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There’s something kind of vampirish about Anne Rice’s faith dilemma as it plays out. To wit:

Anne Rice, on Facebook, Wednesday at 1:36 pm:

For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: 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.

Anne Rice, Chapter 1, Called Out of Darkness in 2008:

If this path to God is an illusion, then the story is worthless. If the path is real, then we have something here that may matter to you as well as to me.

And so, it’s worthless and we can all move on. But wait (Facebook):

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. 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 the name of wha… But maybe we could see this coming (Called Out of Darkness):

Is it not possible for us to do with gender, sexuality and reproduction what was long ago done with the stars? To realize that…new sources of information on them may be as valid as the information given us long ago?

Probably not anytime soon with the Catholic Church, so (Facebook):

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. 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.

But of course (Called Out of Darkness):

…my concept of God came through the spoken words of my mother, and also the intensely beautiful experiences I had in church.

Which leaves us with a Body that once sustained Anne, but is now dead to her. However, the life source of the Body has somehow been extracted. So is it still real? Or is it an illusion? This can get a little creepy if you think about it late at night.


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  1. collapse expand

    I was wondering why Ann Rice was number 1 @ Trending Now on the Yahoo home page, so this it. Well, I applaud her for being smart enough to hedge the bet if you will, she is still a believer. I can also say that I think I get where she is coming from, as some of the flock are more into protecting corporate America or America itself than the teachings…”put your treasure in heaven”!

    Political activists mixing with the “values” speech lines are something, speaking for myself the whole gov. seems so perverse and corrupt on both sides I quit getting my blood up about it.

    “Interview with a Vampire” may have had the most hooking first page of any popular novel written, you had to keep reading. I think that was her debut.

    • collapse expand

      Joey,

      Your first comment is very Pascalian Joey — and I get it too. I think many, many people can relate to her plight. Having come from, and returned to, the Catholic Church, she gave herself quite a challenge. When you read her memoir — as I did quickly last night — you can see that the church’s beautiful imagery is what drew her in again. I get that too, but there are some real struggles with the modern world under all that symbolism and eventually you can’t avoid that.

      Thanks for your comment.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Christianity as practiced by the Romans has always been about keeping people from actually doing any of what the man said.

  3. collapse expand

    Mr. Humphrey,

    Such is the nature of faith. Consider the two sentences you reproduced here from Ms. Rice’s Facebook account:

    “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.”

    It is entirely an internal process made without appeal to external facts or arguments. Faith is not about logical arguments or examination of phenomena, it is about what we know about God without any evidence what so ever. As the author of Hebrews 11:1 noted; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and again in Hebrews 11:3; “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.”

    Is not her decision the very embodiment of these two verses?

  4. collapse expand

    While I too can see where she is coming from, you can’t have Christ without Christianity. One is literally the other. While the bible speaks about having pure faith it also speaks that Christ is the husband of the church, and therefore you can’t have one without the other.

    What saddens me first is that she lost her faith but also that since she has reasoned a way to hold on to her god without the tenants he commands then she very well could justify anything and in the name of her god which is actually the worst kind of “Christian” out there. Fact is fact: if she holds on to the Christ figure she is still a Christian, per se.

    So, while the verses you quoted are correct david, I leave you this:

    “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” – John 14:15.

    • collapse expand

      I don’t think that’s what she’s saying. “Christianity” as a concept has gathered a lot of baggage over the years–the context that a Christian wallows in is complicated and depressing, especially if your conscience leads your thoughts and actions. As she said, she had trouble accepting the standard or stereotypical Christian viewpoint on many of the important matters of today, such as condemning gays. What I took her to mean by saying she still followed Christ but was no longer a Christian, was that she wanted to rightly distance herself from the mess of an identity that the Christian world entails, and from the beliefs other people have about you when you mention that you are a Christian. A rose by any other name, as it were.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      I agree with maje. People may not obey Christ but that does not invalidate the message. P.S. Interestingly pro-lifers are also “not anti-life” but then is this what Ms. Rice meant? Hmm.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    I agree Anne. I no longer call my self christian. But believe and maintain my faith in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah (the Christ). When people ask I tell them I am a
    “Messianic Gentile”. He is who the whole world has been waiting to meet, but because of people mis-representing Him sadly some never give Him a chance. Keep the faith and true fellowship God has his remnant, and it is the time they are supposed to be called out from the “CHURCH” so do not despair, but look forward to our appointment with Him.

    Grace and Peace Out,
    PappaSmurf

  6. collapse expand

    What’s creepy is your inability to accept the fact that personal religious beliefs have the ability to change….

    You post various comments she’s made, obviously out of context, in some attempt to create a narrative. This disgusts me.

    If this path to God is an illusion, then that path may be worthless, but why should a person not seek an alternate path?! You imply that if the first path to God is worthless, a person should just give up….There is more than one pathway to God, even when you discover the current path is an illusion….open your mind…..and stop taking comments out of context.

    She hasn’t lost her faith, but lost faith in organized religion. Concepts in God are only the beginning to a personal spiritual quest to understand one’s own religious beliefs. Concepts are not concrete, and losing faith in organized religion does not mean she’s lost her good memories of her concepts of God and family as a child.

    What is your problem in accepting others for their personal beliefs? Can people not change? Can people not have battles within, and if they do, should they just keep it internalized if they have any possibility of popping up under a blogger and taken out of context?

    Come on….I could show how silly you’re “replies” to each of her comments are, but that would be assuming your mind wasn’t already made up about the narrative you intend to present.

  7. collapse expand

    Its a shame that people worship Mary and the Pope,more than Christ himself.

  8. collapse expand

    This comment is on a comment:
    Let’s get a little closer to some truth here:

    1. Yeshua, the historical probable name which was Latinized into Jesus, was born Jewish, lived and died Jewish. Christos comes from a Greek word meaning anointed (as royalty and others were apparently for certain ritualistic reasons. SO you CAN have him and his words (some of which were buried by a meeting in Nice or Nicaea, 300 years later) without having christianity.

    However, in light of findings that we carry around 98% of our DNA pretty much exactly that of chimpanzees, our social behaviors are quite close to theirs, and not at all changed by imagination or faith.
    We form coalitions to seek social power (this efficiently results in mating ops – so much so that it appears to be universal in adolescent/adult behaviors until certain aspects of senescence predominate.
    This significant behavior includes is what psychologists call “ingrouping/outgrouping.”

    More importantly here, is that coalitions may be defined as temporary associations. Such an activity is far more universal than the Beatles OR Jesus. Your behaviors can generally be looked at in this way.

    To persuade is a social event. Da_n, I thought I could escape it for a moment. I was wrong, and so are you, if you believe that any social act is any different than this beautiful adaptation. It is a universal characteristic, at the basis to all adherence to large, malleable social groups.

    The difference between someone who sees this in all its evolutionary glory, and “pessimistic atheism” is a vast gulf.

    Humans appear to have evolved, with our typically mammalian brain that processes information through emotional experience (for great reason: powerful emotion makes for great focus and efficacy: “If thine eye be single, thy whole body will be filled with light”, to quote from one of Yeshua’s sayings deemed by later revisionists not to be in the interests of their organization – in Nicaea).

    This emotion includes the transcendent. In hundreds of thousands and more likely shared through millions of years with other hominids, if not experienced by many other creatures, single-mindedness, faith as well as hope and love, are characteristics that would clearly have been selected for.

    The fact that we cannot escape our inherited traits, is not a tragedy, except in light of the destructive effects of persevering, believing that we are “right”, even though we extinguish the life around us for no other reason than social climbing.

    I leave you with the obvious explications of of “original sin”, etc.

    We are magnificently immersed in nature; the ancient tiny cultures to which we are still adapted knew this far better, before ecstasy was co-opted by those who desired to control the output of a species turned to agriculture a few millenia ago.
    We are mostly the inheritors of the peasants of that time, and our brains have shrunk, it is postulated, as a result of the willingness of survivors (those who produced the most offspring) to take orders withut question.

    Yet we still retain traces of true individualism in the face of this lemmingness of ours, and we do see this in Rice’s thinking!

    • collapse expand

      I believe what you did there is called the straw man. The truth behind our DNA is that the vast majority of it (I believe over 80% for some but mostly over 90%) is common amongst the vast majority of species of animals on the planet. The fact we share 98% of our DNA with apes means nothing special.

      That being said, Christ and the early apostles preached against multiple messages. I too do not believe in today’s church system. There are too many messages and too many interpretations. Popular church society has become more diverse than what the Bible describes as right. While I believe the Bible wholly allows for individuality and to be who you are it is very clear that the way to Heaven is narrow in spite the fact that a way may seem right to man and that the only path to Heaven is through Christ.

      A singular body is also prescribed for the body of Christ. This body is commanded to meet regularly and has come to be called the church. This command is out of love as people are individually weak but together can be stronger than any outside message or army. However, today’s “church” has become split into many factions and interpret things in so many ways practically anyone can find a “church” that endorses their life style. The Bible is a divisive thing. The truth is a divisive thing and the Bible teaches there is an absolute truth. Either you are wrong or you are right. The Bible teaches us to accept each other with love but we don’t understand love. Love accepts but also corrects and we do not like correction.

      It is my personal belief that my faith is between my Lord and myself. I share my faith and discuss it wherever possible without being a stumbling block to others. I do not participate in the vast majority of “church” functions and embrace the wholistic message of the Bible. That is to say that we should embrace each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and love them but recognize the way to eternal salvation is through Christ and Christ alone regardless of how another person may rationalize or explain another belief system. It may be described as a closed minded way of thinking but this is my faith and I am a Christian. Those who can not abide by the Bible should not describe themselves as Christian as it damages the word to the world as a whole. You are either Christian or you are not. There is no inbetween or mincing what specific pieces of Christianity you want be it Christ, the church, or something else.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  9. collapse expand

    PS,:
    Thanks michael H, for your immense humor – I hope it’s not cryptic to the commentators!

  10. collapse expand

    Interesting but why believe in an imaginary savior son. There has been several savior son primitive legends (extending back to pre-history (Adonis, Osiris, Attis, Raa, …). with christ the most recent incarnation. If necessary, just believe in your own imaginary savior daughter that holds your set of values. I want to see what imaginary qualities are given to a savior female within our current morals and ethics.

  11. collapse expand

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    About 10 years ago, this lady in her 80s told me a childhood story about the day her mom tied her to a post on the porch. It was punishment for riding her tricycle past the curb at the end of their block. In the middle of the story she said to me, 'Wait, mom didn't tie me to the porch, she tied the tricycle to the porch. I just remembered that.' I've been fascinated by memory ever since.

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