Anne Rice: “I Quit Being a Christian!” Yaaaaawn.

As you’ve likely heard, renowned author of novels about vampires Anne Rice has boldly declared that she is no longer a Christian. On her Facebook page yesterday 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’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.

So …  let’s ignore the unfortunately clarion pretentiousness of her “I’m an outsider,” “My conscience will allow nothing else,” and that awful “Amen.”

Let’s also ignore that “I’ve quit being a Christian, because I’m just too committed to Christ” is a waffle so huge it’d give Mrs. Butterworth a coronary.

And let’s definitely ignore that her entire statement is based on the assumption that being a Christian and being anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, etc., are virtually inseparable. It’s like saying, “I renounce my American citizenship, because Americans are insufferable jerks!” Well, sure, some are. But what about those who aren’t?

Finally, let’s ignore that this statement couldn’t be more perfectly timed to coincide with a novel Ms. Rice has coming out in November, Of Love and Evil, the second in her Songs of the Seraphim series. It is, after all, much too cynical to wonder if Rice chose this moment to publicly renounce Christianity because she knew perfectly well that it would bring her exactly the kind of media attention that it has.

So, if we remove from Rice’s statement its pretentiousness, prevarication, illogicalness, and (possible) shameless opportunism, is there anything left worthy of our attention?

There is for me; and it’s that I, too, have grown wary, and weary, of calling myself a Christian. The word simply connotes too much that doesn’t describe me or what I believe. In a lot of ways, calling myself a Christian makes me feel like a Jew who’s gone into some crazy universe where he has to identify himself as a Nazi. Right after the last time I wrote in one of my blog posts the simple sentence, “I am a Christian,” my fingers hovered still over the keyboard for a long time. I thought of how to modify those words, how to change them, work around them. I thought of deleting them.

But in the end I left it. Because … well, fuck ‘em. (Those of you who read my recent “Just Married” will recognize the official Shore family motto.) From the moment of my conversion, I have written and said, “I’m a Christian,” because I refuse to cede that term to those whom I feel are perverting and ruining it.

Anne Rice is too ornery to any longer call herself a Christian. I am too ornery not to call myself a Christian.

My conscience will allow nothing else.

Hey, so that’s two things Anne and I have in common!

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    Suspect that Rice has a black and white view of what it means to be a Christian. I tend to embrace a grayer view.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      That's cuz you're old. (Har! Good to hear from you, Bob.)

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        Gray does come with age for sure – and I am not speaking about hair!

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    I empathize with both you and Anne Rice. Yeah, it was grand standing, but I think she's sincere, especially after dealing with some of the people in the Christian publishing world I know she's encountered.

    The problem is not that Christianity is so large a tent that some unpleasant people can find a home for themselves under it; the problem is that too many times the freaks and geeks of the Christian sideshow have planted themselves squarely in the main entrance and declared themselves to be the arbiters of who is/isn't allowed in the tent.

    And the overwhelming majority of other Christians are so unwilling to provoke dissention in the ranks that they do far too little to let the folks outside the tent know the freaks and geeks don't have the final say in the matter.

    It may be time to get a little confrontational — in a "tough love" sorta way, of course — with the extremists and the opportunists who taint the message of Christ.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Yeah, that'll be my next book. (Yay!)

    • Diana

      "And the overwhelming majority of other Christians are so unwilling to provoke dissension in the ranks that they do far too little to let the folks outside the tent know the freaks and geeks don’t have the final say in the matter."

      This is slowly changing. Slowly as in "Slowly the ice-age ended," (simile borrowed from Rita Mae Brown), but it is changing.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      "And the overwhelming majority of other Christians are so unwilling to provoke dissension in the ranks that they do far too little to let the folks outside the tent know the freaks and geeks don’t have the final say in the matter.”

      This comment was what I needed to read this morning, thank you thank you thank you. I'm an equal opportunity "caller outer" and I can't tell you how many times I have gotten called out in the last couple of weeks for not "loving" my "Christian brothers and sisters" for being rather harsh with what they are offering. So this. This was huge for me.

  • Diana

    Should've known you'd be right on top of this one!

    "There is for me; and it’s that I, too, have grown wary, and weary, of calling myself a Christian. The word simply connotes too much that doesn’t describe me or what I believe. In a lot of ways, calling myself a Christian makes me feel like a Jew who’s gone into some crazy universe where he has to identify himself as a Nazi. Right after the last time I wrote in one of my blog posts the simple sentence, “I am a Christian,” my fingers hovered still over the keyboard for a long time. I thought of how to modify that articulation, how to change it, work around it. I thought of deleting it."–Yeah, this was my struggle for years. I disowned Christianity for over 15 years because I didn't like being associated with the more right-wing, fundamentalist version of Christianity, and I just didn't know there were other ways to "do" Christianity.

    "But in the end I left it. Because … well, fuck ‘em. (Those of you who read my recent “Just Married” will recognize the official Shore family motto.) From the moment of my conversion, I have written and said, “I’m a Christian,” because I refuse to cede that term to those whom I feel are perverting and ruining it. I’m too ornery not to call myself a Christian." Amen, brother! And I mean that! Us ornery Christians need to stick together!

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Maybe I'll make THAT the title of this book I'm now writing. "One Ornery Christian." I like it! Anyway, thanks, Diana, very much. There's not much that pleases me more than to have someone quote my own words to me.

      • Diana

        Oh, you're welcome! :-D

      • http://none Don Rappe

        Good title!

  • robin

    said it before, will say it again. christians blow. especially writers and musicians. come buy my book/album and then give much more credence to every little thing i say/do/write and tweet. guess what, christians are self-absorbed too. last i checked we are all human and i would bet a million dollars jesus struggled with saying, that's it i give up.

    and come buy my book.

    • http://soiledwings.com Sherry Meneley

      "and come by my book" that's sooo excellent Robin !

      • http://soiledwings.com Sherry Meneley

        grrrr —> buy

        {blush}

  • http://soiledwings.com Sherry Meneley

    John I like that unpacking. Very nice.

    While I'm not one for labels; I rather like being a Christian – it's the church that makes a wreck of the whole shee-bang. Groups ganging up together to be warriors for Christ in the most sycophant ways. Ugh, so very tiring. And it does tend to make me consider throwing out the (Christian label) baby with the (baptismal) waters.

    I must honestly confess, when asked what religion I am – I tend to respond with "I love Jesus". I have no shame in admitting that.

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      me too!!!!!

      i say (and it is on my facebook)

      "I am a Unitarian Universlist who loves jesus"

      • Gina Powers

        Sweet, blueberry! And I love your user I.D.!

        • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

          thanks. it is the truth. and perfectly describes my feelings and beliefs.

          blueberry pancakes for dinner is my new blog name, i found out there was already a UUmomma and she blogs for the UUA ( our church association) so

          blueberry it is..

          you can still find me on facebook via UUmomma, if ya want.

          • Gina Powers

            Awesomeness, will look you up! And I LOVES blueberry pancakes, too! ;)

          • Gina Powers

            Blueberry, I can't find you on facebook–help? ;)

  • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

    I've had scads of students in this very conservative area (and their parents) demonize me because I'm working to get them (their children) to THINK– read closely, be logical and critical, and do more than use scripture or some fallacy to submit an argument. They also get mad cuz I won't let them "research" abortion, capital punishment, the legalization of marijuana, and sometimes other hotly debated current thrills but that's to force them to have to THINK instead of regurgitate. (In eleven years I've had maybe one thoughtful paper on abortion.)

    Yup, they judge me because I'm trying to teach them a skill they think threatens their place in the universe. I get that. But I still get pissed.

    And I'm a born-again, spirit-filled, bible-believing Christian. And I'll take those labels for their intended meaning, not their associated connotations. I'm just not an idiot and I see no reason anyone should choose that. And don't you all judge me now too. I really love Christ and that means I love people too– even those little fag-hating, aggravating, narrow-minded, fear-filled flakes. :)

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Beautiful.

      • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

        Thanks

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      i wish you were my kids teacher.

      • Mindy

        That’s what I was thinking, Blueberry. Beautiful post, Beth. You’re much like my lovely sister!

        • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

          Thanks to all three of you. I wish I were your kids' teacher sometimes too– instead of the parents I sometimes get.

          Lots of really good ones too…

          • http://joechianakas.wordpress.com joechianakas

            I'm a teacher in a conservative area too. A friend of mine just introduced me to this blog tonight, and I have a feeling I'll spending the next several days reading through the articles. Very impressive, John!

            As for Beth, I couldn't have said it better. I struggle to teach students to move beyond scripture and fallacies to support an argument, but it's tough.

            I have to say, I'm very interested in this blog as the more I have learned in life, the less confident I am in the correctness of any one religion. I was Christian all my life, but today I would classify myself more as an agnostic with a deep love and respect of world religion (the respect stops only when religion discriminates). Anyhow, I have lots of catch up reading to do!

          • vj

            "I have a feeling I’ll spending the next several days reading through the articles"

            Days? DAYS? I found this blog about a 3 months ago and I'm STILL trying to catch up :-)… I'm up to about May 2009 (although I made a point of reading all the 2010 posts before going back to the beginning of the archives).

            SO much to enjoy and admire in the blog posts and comments, and still more to think/meditate on – welcome to the John Shore Fan Club, and enjoy the journey!

  • http://orangejuice-etc.com Elias Carlson

    First of all, can I just say how refreshing it is to see a Christian writer that I respect use the term, "fuck 'em" in his blog post. Thank God for people like you who aren't too uptight to add some spice and honesty to their life.

    I too struggle with the label "Christian". I can feel the doors closing and the walls going up every time I mention that phrase in conversation with my "non-Christian" friends. It's almost better NOT to bring it up, and instead focus on how similar their beliefs and values are to mine without ever mentioning the C word.

    While I sympathize with the frustration behind Anne Rice's sentiments, her statement is shameful. She's obviously not denouncing Christ, which means, for better or for worse she IS still a Christian. I sure hope it's not a publicity ploy, because that is just low.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Nice, Elias. Thank you. Wonderful.

  • Ace

    I can understand her frustration VERY well but…. if all the non-crazies jump overboard, who is left to keep the ship from going over the waterfall?

    I dunno, it seems like giving in to popularity or something else equally shallow and cowardly. Or, like you said, pandering to the media for publicity's sake. Meh.

  • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Do

    I relate to and understand why Rice wrote what she wrote, John. After the ultimate betrayal by a well-known ministry that I poured my life into, I rejected Christ–not God. Rice has not rejected Christ. At that time, I realized I could no longer call myself a Christian, because of those who do.

    I was so repulsed by the viciousness of what had happened to me that I refused to say or sing "Jesus" or "Christ." When I heard any name of Jesus mentioned, I felt physically nauseous. I inserted God or Lord into any worship chorus that mentioned God's son's name. How did someone who loved Jesus with all her heart since she was five years old come to reject Christ? On some level I understood that I was rejecting the people-who-call-themselves-Christians that behaved and participated in downright evil. Yes. Evil.

    At the time, I could not see how God could bring good out of evil. Today, I'm so thankful that I'm not a part of a ministry that restricted the employee's freedom of speech to protect the image they projected publicly. There was a severe disconnect between what they projected publicly and how they ran their business inside. If you offered another perspective, you were crucified. The dictatorial dysfunction, politically and spiritually, was soul killing. That experience caused me to begin saying, "I can no longer call myself a Christian. I am a follower of God and a student of Christ." And that infuriated my "Christian" friends.

    I studied with a Jewish Rabbi to discover my spiritual roots and was shocked to learn that I WOULD NOT be treated rudely, accused of being rebellious, demeaned, or shunned if I asked questions or expressed a different viewpoint. Like Rabbi said, "Where there are two Jews there are three opinions." Honest questions and asking theological questions was treated with respect. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. How does one come to their own faith, if they are never allowed to ask questions or even question it? I never felt that kind of freedom growing up or even today in Christianity to question or have a civil discussion about anything soul searching.

    I love God's Word. The study of the Hebrew names of God and embracing who God says he is and believing that he does what he says he will do, brought me through. And today, if someone tells me, "I'm a Christian," inside a big caution light blinks. I smile and treat them with respect. But inside I think, "I'll watch and see."

    Far too many claiming to be Christians are sheep–they idolize charismatic, religious leaders with a platform without knowing God's Word for themselves or thinking for themselves. They are like the majority of God's people in the Old and New Testaments.

    Today, I'm back on speaking terms with Christ. But I still walk on eggshells around dyed-in-the-wool sheeples and avoid any serious, deep conversations about my faith with them.

    God is all I have–and he's enough.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      It sounds like you must have worked in Christian book publishing?

      No, but what a wonderful testimony, Scoti. Extremely affecting.

      • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Do

        Actually, John, at one time I was editor at Harvest House Publishers. My boss, Bob Hawkins, Sr. was not only godly, but a man ahead of his time and not afraid to swim against the tide. Many in Christian publishing are too afraid to publish honest, raw truth. They keep regurgitating the same old worn rhetoric, because that where they live and the sheeple buy it.

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Oh, how funny that you DID work in Xtian publishing! I'm glad to hear about your good boss there. (How weird. One of my editors from the San Diego Union-Tribune was Bob Hawkins, Jr. I don't suppose that could actually be your boss's son?)

          Um. Yeah. Christian book publishing. I believe I'll take a pass on commenting just now. But … safe to say it better change, or continue dying.

          • Diana

            "Um. Yeah. Christian book publishing. I believe I’ll take a pass on commenting just now. But … safe to say it better change, or continue dying."–My hope is that some maverick publishers (Christian, secular, whatever) will realize what a hunger there is for intelligent Christian discourse, market to us, make a truckload of Benjamins, and leave all these candy-assed publishers (Christian, secular, etc.) standing with their mouths hanging open wondering how the publishing business completely passed them by–but that's just me.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            Well, God knows that's how my agent is hoping one publisher or another will understand my new book I haven't even almost finished yet.

          • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Do

            I'm writing a book called "Living Single in a World of Drive Thru Sex." It was rejected because the editor said, "We've never published a book with the word "horny" in it. It's easier to wave fingers saying "Don't" than honestly addressing the issues.

          • Diana

            This is true.

          • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Do

            Bob Sr's son is Bob Jr.

    • Diana

      "And today, if someone tells me, 'I’m a Christian,' inside a big caution light blinks. I smile and treat them with respect. But inside I think, 'I’ll watch and see.'

      This is actually a good attitude to have anyway–at least the "watch and see" part. And I totally understand about the "big caution light." You're certainly not alone on that.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      Dear Scott,

      This made me teary to read. It took a lot of guts to leave that kind of life, that's amazing but there's something so wise about all of this. There's something really corruptive that seems to enter when we start believe we are "teachers" of Christ instead of students of his life. That hit me so hard. Thank you, thank you, I needed to read that. Even in my anger toward the hypocrites that hurt you and scared you (and so many people like you) so badly, I get in "teacher" mode when talking about them. When I think that Jesus would encourage me to take your approach to what He might be offering in my anger toward them.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    She may be sincere all the way through her journey, but I also have no doubt that her conversion to Christianity, and her later renunciation of it, both served to increase her visibility and her book sales.

    I'd like to see her make a public claim that costs her something. That's be mighty… Christian, of her.

  • Mindy

    Thanks for this, John. I am not a Christian, but I have family who are profoundly faithful and who represent the very best of Christianity – they live as Christ did, with kindness and compassion and good works abounding.

    I get very upset with the self-proclaimed christians (lowercase intentional, because they don't deserve to claim Christ's name) who use their religion to discriminate, to further political agendas and to pretend to appear superior to the rest of the world.

    I really have no strong opinion about Ms. Rice's announcement – self-serving, yes. I get her point, because it seems the christians are hell-bent on being the loudest in the room while simultaneously forsaking all that is good about Christianity. I think your take on your religion is how a true Christian would more likely feel. Perhaps, during her 10 years of trying it on for size, it simply never fit.

    I find it funny that you wrote this just a day after I watched Tim Lahaye (one of those christians I mentioned) being interviewed by Mike Huckabee, who treated him with great deference as if he is some keeper of great knowledge. Lahaye insisted that the Obama administration is bringing the country "closer to the apocalypse," which, in my mind, points out the gigantic farce of it all. As if the apocalypse, were it to happen, would only affect the US. Talk about misguided politics.

    And guess what? He has a new book coming out.

    • Diana

      "And guess what? He has a new book coming out."

      Woo hoo? Okay, probably more like boo hoo.

    • Gina Powers

      Wait, Lahaye has ANOTHER piece of crap due out?? Good lord, what did we all do to deserve THAT? (And I don't give a rip if I *am* being judgemental. I despise Jenkins and Lahaye and their drivel).

      • Diana

        And the horse they rode in upon? Yeah, me too!

        • Gina Powers

          AND the yacht Jenkins bought a few years ago with the LB series money….don't get me started.

  • Elle

    I can understand how Ann feels – it's so discouraging to live life under a label that feels hateful and narrow-minded. I work for a non-profit Christian organization, and I maintain two Facebook accounts (one for co-workers, one for friends) because I don't trust my Christian co-workers to be nice to my atheist, agnostic, gay, and/or liberal friends. On the other hand, my non-Christian friends are almost always nice to my Christian FB friends even when they post things that might offend them.

    • Alison

      Hey, Elle, I've had to defriend some of my over-the-top "Christian" friends, but I've also had to defriend an agnostic gay friend. If they aren't nice to each other, or there is too much vitriol in their exchange – they're gone! It works both ways.

    • http://www.lcweekly.com Margaret Evans

      Oddly, my FB experience is just the opposite. I only have one page, but it's quite diverse. And it's the agnostic liberals who are very harsh (about politics, religion, whatever), while my Christian friends (be they liberal OR conservative) couldn't be more considerate.

  • Alison

    John, thanks so much for addressing this. I was sad when I read about this last night, mostly because of the illogic of her statement. Reading your comments helped clarify this for me. I see that she is not rejecting Christianity, rather she is rejecting the organized church. And she is choosing her words for their dramatic effect. Her rejection is based on three perceived negatives that don't really represent what Christianity is all about – loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and loving your neighbor as yourself. And, of course, sometimes you have to admit that you could be wrong and God could be right. I sure don't fit in with every group that calls itself Christian. That's when you get up and walk out of a church and find something that fits you better or is more faithful to the great commandment. I've toyed with the idea of just calling myself a "Christ-follower" or "believer" and leaving it at that.

  • denver

    Hey John -

    If you actually follow Anne Rice on Facebook, for the past several months she has been posting articles and commenting and inciting discussion about various Catholic news pieces (she was Catholic), like the nun who was excommunicated for approving an abortion at a Catholic hospital to save the mother's life (it was either that, or both the mom AND the baby die; there was no way to save the baby or carry to term as the mom had such severe, critical pulmonary hypertension they couldn't even transfer to a different hospital and the baby was only at 11 weeks), or the pedophile priest scandal, or the pope's commentary on gays, etc. She only returned to the church a handful of years ago, prior to which she was atheist, I believe. Anyway, you could tell as the months went on and the news from these stories broke and some of the comments left on her posts by other people were rather, um, unkind? Judgemental? All those things she is frustrated about (quarrelsome, hostile, etc.)? – that she was distancing herself more and more and getting more and more frustrated, just based on what she was posting. She tried in the beginning, at least since I've been following her, to be of the "you can be Catholic without agreeing with everything the Vatican/the bishops/etc. do" stance, but finally I guess she just couldn't jive with that anymore. I don't see this as grandstanding, or timed for the book, at all. You could have seen this coming from a mile away if you read all of her posts over the last several months, all of which were quite thoughtful, or intended to start a discussion amongst her followers. Reading her posts, she seems to be very much where I was about a decade ago when I washed my hands of Christianity and all that went with it, because I just felt like the hateful, nasty types had planted their flag and taken over and I felt like I couldn't associate with anything Christian without being tainted by their negativity, hate, etc. I walked away for a very long time and was quite angry, though it took me years to realize that I was, indeed, angry. I felt like what had been a peaceful, loving thing to me was stolen by "the nasties." Only this past year was I finally able to get over that anger and realize that I can be what I want, irregardless of what others may be or think, and the fact that some would say I don't belong because I am a raging liberal doesn't mean that I don't belong, because, well, frankly, they are not the ones painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Anyway, so I empathize with where she is coming from, and just wanted to put that perspective here. Taken out of context, that one post alone, I can see where you might see it as grandstanding or whatever, but if you've read ALL of her posts over the past months it is not surprizing at all.

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      Thanks for this Denver.

    • textjunkie

      oooooh! Well that DOES make more sense. If she's coming from the spot where Catholic = Christian, then getting fed up with the Vatican would equate to renouncing her Christianity.

      However, there's an awful lot of Protestants who are not anti-feminist, anti-science haters. (There are a lot who ARE, but seriously, if you turn your back on Catholicism there's still a lot of Christianity going your way.)

      Why doesn't she just say she gave up on Catholicism?

      • Mindy

        I have many friends, and an ex-husband, who were raised Catholic – and while I can't completely relate, I learned a lot about viewing life through that lens. Hard to explain, but I can understand how for a Catholic, it would be hard to leave Catholicism but not Christianity. My ex and his new wife did – they now attend an Episcopal church headed by female priest, and they love it. It took him a long time, though, to be able to make such a move. Our girls still lean toward my agnosticism, but they tolerate his new church much better than our former Catholic parish.

      • denver

        Well if you read her facebook page she says that she is still a follower of Christ and that her faith and God are very important to her. It's organized religion she is giving up on. I don't know if she has checked out, or is interested in, other denominations (some people have posted links to some that are NOT anti-gay, anti-feminist, etc., as these were some of the things she said she was frustrated about). Catholicism teaches transubstatiation – that the eucharist *literally* becomes the body and blood of Christ, that it's not just symbolic, and that doesn't happen in any other denominations, and that Christianity is not just scripture (there's a term for that – that scripture is all you need, but I can't think of it at the moment). Just as some Protestant Christians argue that "Catholics aren't Christians" (which is untrue), it could be that she's coming from the Catholic = Christianity. Period. standpoint (though I don't know, that's just a possibility).

        • Alison

          I think you're right, Denver.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

    hay.

    does any one remember if Bob Dylan did the same thing?

    i know he was a Christian for a while.

    i think he is Jewish now.

    • Alison

      I didn't get the impression Bob Dylan gave up on anything. He just added something to it.

      • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

        He gave up on shampoo in 1979 and never looked back.

        • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

          har.

          i just seem to remember he jumped on the band wagon during the "jesus freak days"

          • alison

            I do remember when Bob Dylan was going through this time of his life. He appeared on Saturday Night Live. He played, "Gotta Serve Somebody," and got booed off the stage. That didn't strike me as being very tolerant and nice. I really felt bad for Dylan.

  • Lisa

    I can certainly understand where she's coming from. I've long felt like an outsider amongst my conservative, Republican brothers and sisters. (Of which the majority of my church are.) I especially feel disenfranchised during election years. I also refuse to be anti-gay, anti-feminist and many of the other "anti's" they espouse. But, I refuse to quit calling myself a Christian!

    • Mindy

      I just have to say that is very refreshing to see posts from so many REAL Christians here. Makes this ol' spiritually agnostic gal feel not quite so cynical. :)

    • Sarah Caldwell

      Lisa,

      I, too, feel that way. Have you tried being an outsider in other religious contexts, with Progressive Christians or atheists or adherents of another faith? With Progressives, I find myself the conservative one, an odd position.

      Keep the faith,

      Sarah

  • http://facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

    Well, sounds like a sound business move on her part. I applaud her savvy. Market principles apply to every aspect of life, even religion. She can still follow her god just fine without being a part of the Christian organization, so really she did not even give up anything.

  • textjunkie

    I have to chuckle–I'm reading a book from the early 90s that is a series of interviews with writers of gay pornography, and several of them have lauded Anne Rice's work at the time for what it did for the field. Took me by surprise–I think of her as a vampire storyteller and have never thought about the erotica/porn she wrote, gay or straight or otherwise.

    But it's funny to me to see her name in that context recently, and then the next news blurb is, she's not a Christian any more. I appreciate it's bookending a 20 year span of her life, but still, there's something ironic to it.

    • denver

      I think her sleeping beauty series is supposed to be erotic, though I haven't read it. A lot of people consider her vampire and witch novels to be erotic just because they were so sensual, and many of the characters "seem to be bi" – though they don't have sex or anything in the vampire novels, because in her vampire world they don't get any pleasure from that, it's just that they get sensual pleasure from the blood drinking (from either gender). So some people consider that "bisexual erotica," despite there being no sex. XD I haven't read the witch novels either, so perhaps there is something more erotic there that I'm not aware of. But she hasn't written in either of these genres for years – when she went back to Catholicism, she abandoned all of that and started writing religious novels, starting with the life of Christ.

    • Diana

      My favorite book by her is "Cry to Heaven"–about the 18th century Castrati.

      • denver

        Oh, I haven't read that one. The only "solo" novel I read of hers that wasn't one of the Vampire series was "Violin," which I also loved. :)

  • http://eastofedenfarms.wordpress.com eastofedenfarms

    ,

    Sorry. Did I miss something? Celebrity professes faith. Believers celebrate. Non believers groan. Celebrity renounces faith. Believers groan. Cast stones. Non believers gloat. I think I saw that movie.

    I read in a book once this thing about seeds and soils. Camels and needles. Logs, specks and eyes. or something like that….

    I'm sorry she gave up. I'm more sorry if we gave up on her.

    Sam Burton

    • alison

      I don't see any believers casting stones yet. I don't plan to give up on her. Or on anyone.

  • Gina Powers

    As usual, outstanding responses on here. Have to agree with William E., too; the timing of her proclamation with her upcoming new work just seems to be too much of a coinky-dink. And as has been previously noted, she's not renouncing Christ, just bailing on the title due to her own admitted frustrations with the current negative connotations surrounding the label "Christian".

    If I'm gonna be painfully honest, hell, I've walked away from the title AND my faith more times than I can count. I have to admit, I'm one of THE shittiest Christians ever, and am constantly reminding myself that I'm a perpetual work in progress. And like Mr. Shore, MANY are the times that I hesitate before I identify myself as Xian, not only because of what Right-wing zealotry has done to the title, but my own previous experiences with the faith (including my mom and her toxic wasteland of spirituality that she calls a "church"). At this point: unless I find a suitable substitute title–because I am lazy–I will stick with my current identifier. Besides, as hubby just pointed out to me: if those of us RATIONAL believers bail out on calling ourselves Xian because of the rampant nonsense of the right-wing, we are simply "letting them win".

  • Brenda

    I think I would say .. I refuse to be a religious christian. Im at a point in my life.. All i trust is the teachings of Christ.. Only the red letters for me at this point. I grewup in a christian home.. lived the life.. was in the ministery full time.. I know have found that in jesus all things are fulfilled. I dont have to follow anyone else. I think thats what she is saying too.

    • http://none Don Rappe

      Huh! I'd been wondering what was meant by the term red letter christian. Now I get it.

  • JohnB

    I guess we are all wrestling with something. Good for her! …for taking steps toward coming to grips with her own personal challenges. I can't say I understand what she is going through, but see it all the time. People are denouncing the classical version of Christianity and moving more toward Jesus lite.

    The leaders of Christian community are always in the news for some scandal or another, to me demonstrating that there is no moral high ground to be found there. Fundamentals like Pat Robertson blaming the earthquake on the people of Haiti, the scandals over the last year in the Catholic church, the nut cases in Florida who say God hates gays, and the list goes on and on.

    This sucks. I've had to make a choice to be outside of the community because I cannot stomach this kind of thing.

    Forsaking morality in favor of dogma is wrong. More people recognize this nowadays, and I honestly think some of these religious leaders are doing more to increase the number of atheists than anything done by the likes of Dawkin and Hitchens.

    I'm pleased that another author has decided to turn her back on established Christian religion. This will give them more incentive to change. Religions that have changed with the people have survived the test of time. Those that remained rigid have faded away into obscurity. Know anyone who worships Zeus?

    • http://www.friendofiron.com Nathan

      Why be outside of "the community" though when you can help to change the community?

      Isn't it better as a writer to use your words to change the way people think than to just shut up?

      I agree with most of what you're saying JohnB but is the answer really to back away?

      I don't have the answer myself because I struggle with closed minded Christians all the time; but I just hope and I pray that I can help change the thinking on both sides.

      BTW, I just met a guy a few weeks ago that says he practices and worships the Norse gods; but that's a different story.

      • JohnB

        I think pulling away, and finding a loose community (i.e Facebook, blogs, etc) of people who feel the way that you do is a pretty good solution to the problem. At least in the short term (an for me it's been at least a medium term).

        I believe that the people who are most offensive have made up their minds, and no amount of writing, regardless of its passion, eloquence, or facts will ever change their minds.

        Perhaps I'm a bit extreme in backing away. Seems right for now though…

    • Diana

      "I honestly think some of these religious leaders are doing more to increase the number of atheists than anything done by the likes of Dawkin and Hitchens. " I agree with you on that one, fervently.

      "I’m pleased that another author has decided to turn her back on established Christian religion. This will give them more incentive to change." I wish I agreed with you on this, but I don't. I don't think anything short of Jesus coming back down and telling them to their face that they're wrong would give them incentive to change. In fact, I think they'd just…um…crucify him. Pretty much like the last time he made his appearance, don't you know? I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • http://none Don Rappe

      Is he related to Dios?

      • http://none Don Rappe

        I hate it when I can't control my fingers and this Zeus/Dios smartass shit gets in. But I have picked up such respect for JohnBs thoughts that I want to point out that the true worship of Zeus can hardly end while the Christian religion still has followers. Many of my English as a second language friends address their prayers to Father God. (Padre Dios or Dios Padre) This language has evolved continuously from Zeus Pater or Jupiter, Don't you think? I suppose my question is a day late and a dollar short.

        • JohnB

          That's an interesting thought. Deities live on through etymology. And thank you for the kind words :)

  • Kim

    John, I totally agree with your take of Rice’s announcement. It’s well timed on her part for the most media spin to surround the release of her next book. I read it online yesterday and instantly felt drained and irritated. She’s grumpily feeding the stereotype of the intolerant, hate-filled, bigoted “Fundamentalist Christian” who many non-believers see as reality. I AM A CHRISTIAN. And one of my core purposes is to help change the stereotype of what that means…I am a woman, studying for an MDiv degree, a conservative Democrat, liberal Christian, full time employee, working mother, church Deacon and group leader, and loving relative and friend to many gay, non-Christian, “different than me” people who merit, deserve, and consume the love I give them, because they give the same to me. Christ is about respect and love. “The Jesus Creed” by Scott McKnight is a great book on the topic of Christ’s love and commission/commandment. There are plenty of things in my church I’m not exactly crazy about – things I work to change…I, unlike what Ms. Rice is portraying, work to create positive change — instead of whining about what my church is not feeding to me. She is too guilty of pigeon-holing: all Christians are not anti science ( some good apologetics texts would show her that ), not all Christians are “anti life” as she says (not sure what she means by that), we’re not all anti-feminist, and we’re sure not all anti artificial birth control. She is wrong, wrong, wrong, and attention seeking. Unfortunately, she gets the platform…

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Wow! Nice comment! Rich!

    • Susan

      Bravo! Well said, Kim!

  • LoneWolf

    I didn't even know she was one in the first place.

  • http://www.friendofiron.com Nathan

    I definitely suspect shenanigans on the part of of Ms. Rice!!

    I am a Christian that was raised by an atheist, buddhist, muslim,agnostic, liberal or whatever my mom currently believes is the hip religion band wagon to be part of!! It has never been hip to be Christian though!

    Anyway shortly after I met my wife I “found God” in the early 90′s. My family (mom’s side) has stereotyped me as a Christian. I hate being stereo-typed and profiled just as much as anyone else that has had to put up with such closed minded thinking. My mom upon finding out that I was now a follower of Jesus (whom, by the way is a group she is very unforgiving of) assumed that I began hating my favorite uncle that happened to be gay and died of aids that he contracted from sharing needles to support his heroin addiction. Which by the way I only point out because I had plenty of reasons to quit liking him other than my faith. For the record I didn’t quit liking or loving him; but found that he did quit talking to me because he bought into the things my mom told him about me and my faith which she has never asked me about.

    Interesting that a liberal ex-hippie that tells the world to be open minded has such a closed mind when I don’t agree with her line of thinking; and not only that when I do disagree with her it’s amazes me how that automatically means I am personally attacking here…

    Wow you must have hit a nerve! And upon recognizing the exposed nerve… I continue…

    So beyond that my (step) Dad that adopted me when I was seven committed suicide when my oldest son was a baby. Wait that means i’ve condemned him to hell because of my faith!! NOT!!

    Sorry John for the Rant I just really hate when others tell me what i’m supposed believe because of my faith in Christ. I am however disappointed in the Christian community for the hatred we have shown towards other people; because the last time I checked hatred is not a trait taught by the Jesus I follow!

    Thanks for listening, I will now calmly sit back down and get back in my place…

    • Ace

      I'm sorry your family reacted that way. I see that a lot though. People of all varieties can be very shallow indeed.

  • SJM

    There is a great Christian book called Damage Control. We need a make over quickly!

    Also the New face of Christianity has become the Conservative Republican Party, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and everyone that disdain gays and liberals. As an African American devout Christian I have been left out in the cold for supporting issues surrounding the poor and working class.

    I was a little ticked off at the Conservative Christian leadership when Rick Warren was criticized to the nasty extreme of saying Pastor Warren was a backslidden traitor for inviting Obama along with McCain to speak on issues during the Campaign. However, Warrens efforts to raise money for poor African Aids Orphans was mainly downplayed. The Conservative Christian community even verbally protested Warren's prayer at the Inauguration. Obama was darn if he did and darn if he didn't

    (have a Christan) pray at this ceremony. Obama said we were no longer a Christian nation but so had other Pastors preached that American was in Apostasy toward the things of God. How they twist and spin things against the groups they abhor. One of my white friends clued me in on a prayer they many Conservative Republicans Christians are praying against Pres. Obama taken from the Psalms

    "may his days be few and another take his office" I was more than a tad bit ticked off! I had to remind them that the Babylonian King Darius was greatly respected by the beloved man of God and Prophet

    Daniel who proclaimed in Daniel Chapter 3 verse 9 "Oh King Live Forever"!

    Christianity is known for eating their own more who reach out to the hated group-Liberals and gays.

    How can we change this image of us as hostile, self righteous Pharisees?

    • Ace

      The Tea Party people and their ilk are neoconservatives who dress up their politics in tattered, shredded trappings of Christianity.

      Go have a look at that horrifying "conservapedia" site and their "let's take at all the lib-rul passages from the Bible" project if you want to see just how actually Christian they actually are (what they *really* want is a "christian" theocracy and a "christian" version of Sharia law, point simple).

      It's frightening, really.

      As for changing things, more of us non-looneys need to speak up, and do so loudly and publicly. The media has a sad habit of focusing only on the outrageous (it gets more ratings after all) so it's an uphill battle, but it's one worth fighting.

      • Tim

        Ace, you make the point that the media focuses only on the outrageous, but you seemingly dismiss the entire Tea-Party movement as looney based upon that point as well? Isn't it wiser not to dismiss anything or anyone based upon one-sided storytelling? First rule of marriage counseling—One side of the story always sounds plausible until the other side of the story is told. Trouble is, (as you said) the media only gives voice to the side of the story that creates buzz, outrage, ratings and therefore garners sponsors. Media whores abound. Beck is just the tip of the assburg.

  • Don

    The full name of the book is Damage Control: How to Stop Making Jesus Look Bad by Dean Merrill

    but the book "Lord Save Us From Your Followers" written by a Christian needs to be required reading

    • Diana

      Also required reading pertinent to this subject: UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons–even if I do find this book somewhat frustrating because it has such great research, and proceeds to ignore the implications of the research when actually looking for solutions. I haven't read the other two books listed above, but I've heard of them–obviously it's time I read them.

  • Don

    Another great Christian book besides, “Damage Control” by Author Dean Merrill, is the book and documentary DVD “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” by Dan Merchant. This researched book on our public persona gives us Christians an inside look at ourselves and it is not a pretty picture!!

  • Tim

    What Anne seems unwilling to consider, is that ALL humankind regardless of religion, politics, culture, what-have-you…are given to hypocrisy. If she MUST resign from Christianity, she's a hypocrite if she doesn't doesn't resign from humanity to boot.

    Sheesh!

    • Diana

      Unfortunately, we can't resign from humanity. Trust me, I've tried.

      It's like the Hotel California. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

      • Ace

        I’d rather be a kitty myself. =^.^=~

        • Diana

          Kitties are cool. I love me some kitties.

          • Gina Powers

            Me too! Kittehs rawk!!

      • Tim

        Diana, I realize we can't resign from humanity. The point I was trying to make is that nobody is good…no, not one. Rice talks about her love and devotion for Jesus, but she ignores His teachings. "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

        To bail on the church because it houses a good number of knuckleheads is like divorcing your spouse because the in-laws chafe your crack. If she can't abide a brother or sister whom she can see (even a knuckle-headed brother or sister), how can she honestly abide the Lord, whom she can't see.

        • Diana

          I understand, Tim. I was just being a smart-mouth.

          And you're right when it comes to bailing on the church. Moreover, I recognize the various biblical verses you're referencing. Unfortunately, she's not there yet. It takes a certain amount of spiritual maturity to continue to love your Christian brothers and sisters (or, for that matter, your non-christian brothers and sisters) when the less attractive aspects of their humanity are showing.

          And, like a lot of us who count ourselves as Christians, she's probably a lot harder on Christians than she is on non-Christians. After all, Christians are supposed to know better, right? We forget that there are different levels of Christian, that not all Christians are spiritually mature, that we ourselves are probably not as spiritually mature as we'd like to think (man, I hate that!), and that there are people in other religions (and nonreligious people for that matter) who are more spiritually mature than some Christians. So, that's probably what's going on with her.

        • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

          That makes no sense. If she does not like the way the church is going, then she should leave. If she has to stay to please god, that is the same as being trapped. It is amazing how some people are perfectly rational about everything else in their life and then turn around and make super silly assertions when it comes to religion. Come on now, stop with the nonsense. If she was not happy with the church, then leaving was her best option. This is obvious. She is not under obligation to participate in a group she disapproves of. No one is. Walking away is like voting with your feet and wallet. As a customer, that is the only way to let a business know you are not happy. Take your business elsewhere.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          I used to think this way TIm, but now I don't, not entirely. Though I do get your perspective and I'm not entirely sure where I've landed is correct.

          The "church" has relied upon this kind of loyalty for years. And as a result, things stay the same. People still attend, they still give money, everyone walks away with some kind of half-satisfaction and the hypocrisy keeps spinning.

          Addicts know this best, but the biggest catalyst to change is loss. And for some reason, the Church has been exempt from loss like it's been exempt from taxes, and she's done so through manipulating those of us who love her into staying due to not throwing out the baby with the bath water. It's misplaced loyalty and I am done with it. I adore being a Christian. Like John, I won't let go of that title, but I won't give my time, money or investment to an organization that seems to refuse to change and in doing so, continues to cause some serious damage to what I believe God's Kingdom to be. And when people like me leave and find our fellowship through more creative outlets? Then maybe the loss of that will translate into action instead of a subtle accusation of us being disloyal to Jesus. In fact, we might be the loyal ones. Think about what we're losing, we're losing everything that's ever kept us safe and cared about.

          At minimum, be wise about how you encourage people along these lines, be careful about what it is you might inadvertently infer. These are interesting times indeed where none of us really know what is good and what is bad when it comes to the Church and our attendance.

          DR

          But w

          • Diana

            There's a lot of truth in what you've said as well, DR.

  • http://none Don Rappe

    I sympathize with and respect Ms. Rice. The excellent discussions on this and the other fellows HuffPo post make me want read one of her books. What can be more ambiguous than the meaning of the word Christian? It's been all over the map. Using it as a label for people? Not necessary and probably not helpful, I think. Anne Rice clearly uses it as synonymous with Catholic and this is a pretty accurate view of her church's teaching. So the small time mathematician in me keeps wanting some kind of definition, but these ideas are so wide spread they can no longer be clearly defined. I would use the term for those who confess Jesus as Christ. The word "confess" reminds me of a distant time when you might be "accused" of being Christian and confession could lead to horrible punishment and death. I think the accusers might get to split up your property among themselves. Those who witnessed to this faith gave new meaning to the Greek word for witness, which is martyr. I have no more way of knowing whether Rice is trying to pump up books sales than whether Shore is looking for a writing niche, but I have no reason to believe either of these things. Nor am I called to judge.

    The other idea shifting around here is the idea of "church" (the thing that belongs to the Kyrios.) We have the visible church and the invisible (seen only by God), the church on earth and the church in glory, the church by grace and the church triumphant. Can I "join" any of them? Can I "quit" them. Not so clear to me as it seems to be to many.

  • Derek

    Thank you John! Rice's timing and motivation certainly are suspect. Like many of my generation, I attended church regularly as a child, but gave it a pass for thirty years when I felt that fundamentalism was not something I wanted in my life. I continued to believe that there were so many good messages in Christianity, and when I decided to get married to my partner after 17 years together, I wanted God to be part of that commitment, so I started attending church again. As a gay Christian member of the largest protestant denomination in Canada, I was married in church by the parish minister with full support of the largely suburban and elderly congregation 18 months ago. My congregation is supportive of everyone, regardless of where they are in their faith journey, and I have found the community to be very encouraging to those who have questions or doubts. For me it has been as welcome a place to discuss what I don't believe as what I do. I find it surprising and very sad that the welcome I found by doing a few hours research on the web, Ms. Rice has been unable to find in ten years of searching! I don't know if she is a good writer, but I suspect she is not the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to research.

    • Diana

      @ Derek: 1) " I continued to believe that there were so many good messages in Christianity, and when I decided to get married to my partner after 17 years together, I wanted God to be part of that commitment, so I started attending church again. As a gay Christian member of the largest protestant denomination in Canada, I was married in church by the parish minister with full support of the largely suburban and elderly congregation 18 months ago." Congratulations to you and your partner on your marriage and on finding a good church home. 2) Re: "I don’t know if she is a good writer, but I suspect she is not the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to research." Or, maybe she's too angry to do research on this subject. She wouldn't be the first person to throw her hands up in the air and walk away from Christianity in disgust. Of course, a lot of us eventually come back, but still….

  • Don Whitt

    The word that comes to my mind is "reverence". Where is the reverence for Rice's chosen religion and where is her commitment to it? The phrase, "All in", keeps coming to mind as well. She obviously wasn't.

  • http://grahamghana.wordpress.com Graham Knight

    I'm not sure if I can really know Rice's motivations for her public statement. I'm not how important that is. What is important is the debate we are now all taking part in from the challenge she has thrown out. An earlier post claimed Christians as doing more to turn people off Christianity than Dawkins. Others have suggested people like Dawkins are the new prophets of God challenging outmoded models of reality that do not belong and are not needed by Christianity. The point with all these people are the questions they raise and the way it helps religion to mature.

    • Diana

      Good point!

  • Chris Timberlake

    Hate to break it to everyone out there… But its not our beliefs that get us into Heaven or Hell. You can be Pro-Choice, Democrat, Pro Homosexual Marriage, Pro Science, Pro Whatever you want to be. You can still get into heaven.

    Jesus said to follow him and whoever believes in him shall be saved. Nothing in the bible to my knowledge states "You have to be pro choice!". It says in the bible that Homosexuality is a sin. It also says that lying, cheating, stealing is all sins too. God does not discriminate against sins, a sin is a sin.

    Even in 1st Corinthians it says multiple people will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. HOWEVER, if they believe in Jesus Christ as their savior their sins are washed away. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20C

    As for science? Any church that doesn't believe in science is plainly and blatantly stupid. The bible was compiled to be a book to live and lead your life by. There are many writings that were included in the bible that match the bible and explain much more in regards to science. [Which is probably why they aren't in the bible. Surprise Surprise]. You'll find when following these books that they have scientific basis, but then again. What is scientific basis anyways? We just found out that a triceratops dinosaur is actually the same as another dinosaur just a younger version.

    Constantly on a daily basis science changes its tune and finds something that contradicts or changes itself. What has remain true? What has remain proven? The bible.

    They found that there is numerous parts of the bible that are rules that protect people. An example is when God told the Jewish people not to eat crab fish. Why? Because it was later found that crabfish of that area has to be cooked a specific way otherwise the person eating it would die. Theres some chemicals in it that cause this.

    My point in all of this is, Science Changes, People Sin, Shit Happens. Jesus died for our sins and said if he want to goto heaven just believe in him listen to him and follow him. Its not that hard.

    • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

      Science changing is exactly what makes it so great. When a theory is disproven or changed as new information arises, it is a victory for science, because our knowledge has been expanded. This is not a flaw, but the very thing that makes it relevant.

      For instance, we know now that gay people are born that way. So really, being gay cannot be a sin. So that idea needs to change to match the information we have discovered. Things that don't change become irrelevant. If religion was as willing to correct itself as science is, it would have much more to offer.

  • whatifmovie

    Jesus promised that those who followed Him and identified themselves as his followers ("Christ ones," which is where the term comes from) would suffer mockery and persecution. So as you say, John, why would we change what we're called just because it's been bastardized by someone else? Are we that weak, that easily influenced? If we changed our identification to "Blartonians" or "Moodheads" or whatever, then eventually those terms would suck and we'd move on to something else.

    We're SUPPOSED to be hated. The message of the cross divides. We're just supposed to be hated for the right reasons.

    Dallas

    • Diana

      "We’re SUPPOSED to be hated. The message of the cross divides. We’re just supposed to be hated for the right reasons. "

      Exactly. Which is why some of us "Ornery Christians" insist upon:

      1) continuing to claim the name of Christ by calling ourselves Christians, even when other Christians tell us that we're "not real Christians."

      2) continuing to claim the name of Christ by calling ourselves Christians even when other Christians (usually, though not always, the same Christians mentioned in "1") embarrass us by behaving in the following Unchristian ways:

      a) being hypocritical

      b) aggressively shoving Christ down the throats of unwilling others

      c) being mean to gay people (other people too, but Christians are specifically perceived as anti-gay, maybe because so many of us [not all!] are anti-gay)

      d) trying desperately to turn the clock back to the 1950's (or earlier) while willfully ignoring the fact that the '50's weren't good for everybody and that they probably weren't that good even for those for whom they were good

      e) shoving our right-wing, fundamentalist politics down the throats of unwilling others (fact: there are some left-wing Christians. Some of them have even attempted to shove to shove their left-wing politics down the throats of unwilling others. However, that particular wing of Christianity has grown weak since the 1980's

      f) harshly judging the sins of others while cheerfully ignoring our own (this is actually a form of "a", but a more specific version and obnoxious enough to deserve its own category.)

      3) Sucking it up when as a result of our insistence upon claiming Jesus, we end up getting bashed on all sides.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      The reason I get uncomfortable with this kind of thing is because how Christians just *stop* here and blame some of the anger people express towards us as a spiritual reaction to being "hated" due to the reasons you've offered here. And I don't like that because it makes everything about our feelings when we're supposed to be loved enough where we're able to step outside of our self-absorption and see that the issues people are facing as a result of some of the decisions Christians are making on behalf of others who aren't Christian are actually really crappy, and them telling it to us with a little heat isn't a spiritual attack.

      I'm being hard on Christians here and in doing so, I'm not acknowledging the millions of great ones out there. I'm focused on the ones who act with recklessness and do so unconsciously but have no desire to move the unconscious to the conscious. A lot of us actually do some really shitty stuff in the name of Jesus and somehow expect our intent to do the talking for us. We don't educate ourselves, we treat people with disrespect, we're invasive, we're insensitive, we're often classist and racist and a lot of the time it's due to some ideology we are subscribing to. That, or we have somehow decided that being 'saved' means we don't have to keep challenging our character, that we get some kind of magic pass from Jesus when we screw up and we make no substantial repair.

      So sure, this is true but it's getting old. It really is. I'm tired of hearing how we're so persecuted by the big bad atheists when in fact, we're kind of fu&ing up their country and their lives in a lot of ways and they're telling us directly. That's not a spiritual attack, that's them holding us accountable to living the Loving God we say we have inside of us.

      • Diana

        I think what you said is what I was trying to say in my comment–only better. Thanks DR!

  • http://www.headpress.info Robert James Luedke

    John:

    I agree with you on two fronts.

    One: I do believe the timing of this could very well have something to do with the release of her next book and I think she still trying to recoup some of the readers she may have lost during her "Christian" writing period (re: Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt et al).

    Two: I think her statement is more metaphorical in nature…that she is putting a face on the same frustration many of us feel (including myself) toward the corporate form of our chosen religion.

    I too do not agree with much of the religious-politics that TV/Radio Christian talking heads say "I must believe" IF I'm a Christian. I too have felt like an outsider since I began to publish my Eye Witness graphic novel series (www.headpress.info) and being rebuffed by many corporate Christians for any number of reasons. Like Rice, I've had to defend and justify an unorthodox presentation, because it doesn't fit others view on what is the proper way or style or format to share the word.

    But mainly I think she's voicing what many of us feel (at one time or another) that the faith has drifted back to the very same place that Judism was during the time of Jesus…and thus naming this religion after someone who's very ministry railed against many of it's current foundations it's just to hypocritical to stomach.

    Finally I think she saying….she's still a beliver…still a lover of Jesus, but just not the psuedo-politico organization that some of modern Christianity has become.

    But then again, that's just my viewpoint.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric Booth

    I've read some of the more gracious blog posts on this (and there are A LOT of blog posts on this!) and I've come to the conclusion Anne Rice is extremely shrewd. Or she has a very good agent (who maybe told her to hold off until just now). So I think you nailed it, John. Besides railing against a group because some vocal minority routinely rails against group? Really? I think there is more to it than that.

  • Jaylen

    "She may be sincere all the way through her journey, but I also have no doubt that her conversion to Christianity, and her later renunciation of it, both served to increase her visibility and her book sales.

    I’d like to see her make a public claim that costs her something. That’s be mighty… Christian, of her."

    I think she DID do this when she publicly announced that her Vampire series of books was over because she had decided to "write for Christ" I believe she plans on continuing her Christ centered series of books: "the songs of the Seraphim"

  • Old Stuff

    I have written and said, “I’m a Christian,” because I refuse to cede that term to those whom I feel are perverting and ruining it. I’m too ornery not to call myself a Christian.

    And I say "I am an atheist" because I refuse to cede the term to those who have foisted meaning upon it where none should exist. I am a-theistic…I merely lack theistic belief and it says nothing about what I am…only what I am not. It says nothing of my worldview. It says nothing about my ethical framework. It says nothing about my values. It says nothing about my politics. Bald is not a hair color. I'm too ornery not to call myself an atheist.

  • Diane Bourg

    Leonard Pitts' most recent column says it better than I could: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/04/1760058/kee

    How and when did we let the political right decide what it means to be a "Christian?" They have taken over the definition so completely that anyone who introduces themselves as Christian is automatically assumed to be anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-feminist, anti-evolution and Republican. It's enough to scare any thinking person away from Christianity.

    • Diana

      "It’s enough to scare any thinking person away from Christianity."

      Yes it is, but that's all the more reason for us "ornery" thinking Christians to stick with it.

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      thanks for this diane, i reposted on my facebook.

  • Curt Russell

    My first response was and… I guess it will keep her name noticed. I mean after all, her books have become rather dull.

  • APG

    .

    If I could meet her in person, I would
    love to say “Thank you Anne Rice –
    for so very articulately stating what
    I have felt in my heart for years” !!!!

    One’s ‘Faith-in-Christ’ should IN NO WAY
    be tied into the man-controlled ‘Religion’
    that so many refer to as “Christianity”
    (especially that apostate, psuedo-religious
    political-movement called ‘evangelicalism’)

    It took me forever to realize that my
    relationship with God (as established
    through Christ Jesus, God The Son) was
    IN NO WAY dependent on the apostate
    psuedo-religious movement sweeping
    America in the name of the “church”.

    If Christ were walking the earth today,
    a lot of these same “religious” types
    would be the first to demand that He
    be ‘crucified’ — and based merely on
    who He chose as FRIENDS (women,
    gays, foreigners, immigrants, the poor,
    the rejected, the downtrodden, the rich,
    men, old, young, happy, sad, and so on).

    The “evangelicals” (not to be mistaken
    for TRUE FOLLOWERS of Christ) and
    other “church” types have essentially
    hijacked the Christian ‘Faith’ in order to
    turn it into a mammon-worshipping,
    power-mongering, “Religion” of hate.

    These people are more akin to a system of
    ANTI-CHRIST (i.e. “against”-Christ) than
    to anything tied into WHO CHRIST IS.

    Their evil has reached such profound levels
    that even people who know and love Christ
    are turned off from them and their words
    (again proving these “church” types are
    really nothing more than anti-Christ,
    self-righteous Pharisees and are not
    even remotely related to Jesus Christ).

    Never again will I waste my time stepping
    into the psuedo-religious social-club that
    is known as “church” or associate myself
    with the political-clique that is known as
    ‘christianity’ — because FROM NOW ON
    – I realize that I do NOT “need” either
    in order to have a relationship with MY
    LORD JESUS CHRIST (in fact, those
    two entities were actually ‘interfering’
    with my relationship with God)

    THROUGH CHRIST — GOD HAS OPENLY
    EXPRESSED HIS LOVE TO ‘EVERYONE’
    (no matter if rich, poor, gay, straight, male,
    female, sickly, healthy and so on) — AND
    CHRIST (not the so-called”church”) IS
    ‘THE DOOR’ and ‘WAY’ TO GOD!!

    ALL ARE WELCOME TO APPROACH AND
    TO ENTER THROUGH ‘THE DOOR’ TO GOD!!

    NO ONE IS REJECTED BY CHRIST !!!

    JESUS LOVED AND LOVES EVERYONE !!!

    LET’S ALL TRY TO REMEMBER
    THE BIBLE VERSE OF ‘JOHN 3:17’:

    “For God did NOT send His Son
    into the world – to condemn
    the world, BUT that the world,
    THROUGH HIM, might be SAVED !!!!”

    JESUS CHIST – and *not* the institution known
    as “the church” or the religion called “christianity”
    — IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE!!!

    LIKE MANY OTHER PEOPLE – I AM DONE
    WITH THE CHURCH & WITH CHRISTIANITY
    – AND FROM HERE ON OUT – MY FOCUS IS
    ON (AND FAITH IN GOD RELYS IN) JESUS
    CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE !!!

    .

  • Rob March

    Just seen the link to this from the thruway christians facebook group and that last paragraph… phenomenal! If there was ever a paragraph of writing to summarise the whole of TC then i think that’s it


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X