Anne Rice ditches Christianity

Anne Rice ditches Christianity August 10, 2010

ANNE Rice, the author best known for her vampire novels, created a sensation last week when she declared on her Facebook page that she had “quit being a Christian“.
Twelve years after her return to Catholicism, Rice said she still believed in God, but that:

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.

Anne Rice surrounded by the trappings of a religion she can no longer tolerate

Asked in this interview about her decision, Rice said:

I’ve come to the conclusion from my experience with organized religion that I have to leave, that I have to, in the name of Christ, step away from this. It’s a matter of rejecting what I’ve discovered about the persecution of gays, the persecution and oppression of women and the actions of the churches on many different levels. I’ve also found that I can’t find a basis in Scripture for a lot of the positions that churches and denominations take today, and I can’t find any basis at all for an anointed, hierarchical priesthood. So all of this finally created a pressure in me, a kind of confusion, a toxic anger at times, and I felt I had to step aside. And that’s what I’ve done…

Commenting on Rice’s defection, William Lobdell, a former Los Angeles Times staff writer and author of Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America — and Found Unexpected Peace, said:

Rice is merely one of millions of Americans who have opted out of organized religion in recent years, making the unaffiliated category of faith the fastest-growing ‘religion’ in America, according to a 2008 study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
The Pew report found that 1 in 6 American adults were not affiliated with any particular faith. That number jumped to 25% for people ages 18 to 29. Moreover, most mainline Protestant denominations have for years experienced a net loss in members, and about 25% of cradle Catholics have left their childhood faith, the study showed …

He added:

American Christianity is not well, and there’s evidence to indicate that its condition is more critical than most realize — or at least want to admit.
Pollsters — most notably evangelical George Barna — have reported repeatedly that they can find little measurable difference between the moral behavior of churchgoers and the rest of American society. Barna has found that born-again Christians are more likely to divorce (an act strongly condemned by Jesus) than atheists and agnostics, and are more likely to be racist than other Americans.
And while evangelical adolescents overwhelmingly say they believe in abstaining from premarital sex, they are more likely to be sexually active — and at an earlier age — than peers who are mainline Protestants, Mormons or Jews, according to University of Texas researcher Mark Regnerusn …

Culturally, America is still a Christian nation. The majority of us still attend church at least occasionally, celebrate Christmas and Easter, and pepper our conversations with “God bless you” and “I’ll be praying for you.”
But judging by the behavior of most Christians, they’ve become secularists. And the sea of hypocrisy between Christian beliefs and actions is driving Americans away from the institutional church in record numbers.

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  • Marcus

    Good on yer, Anne. That’s one more of us and one less of them.

  • Broga

    After Ratzinger arrives in the UK, funded by dollops of what the Americans call “tax dollars”, extracted from us all maybe there will be even more questioning here. Having your pocket picked against your will does concentrate the mind. Add to that the plans to cut police numbers after the visits to pay for this ridiculous extravaganza and the real cost, after Ratzinger departs, starts to bite.
    This man preaches virulent anti-contraceptive, anti-gay, anti euthanasia, anti free speech and the rest of his misguided spiel and, our government and our cash strapped Local Authorities are forced to pay for him. How does this happen? How can this be? Let those who want him pay for him.

  • Well, she’s still technically a xtian, just doesn’t subscribe the the major, organised religions.

  • ZombieHunter

    everytime I hear that more and more people are ditching orginised religion the happier I become 😀
    Besides most bible bashers are against harry potter how the fuck are they going to be about Anne rice’s vampire chronicles 😛

  • XI

    umm what? Is Anne self-medicated or something? atheist for 30+ years, then catholic for 12 years. Now she quits because Christianity is anti-gay, anti-science, blah blah blah??? Shhhh, don’t tell her that they also molest kids. Her head might explode!

  • Arnold Lane

    She has not lost her religion, just her trust in the Church.
    Anyhow, Anne Rice is not known for her ability to think straight in these matters.

  • Janstince

    Seeing her in those “I Am Second” commercials over here was a bit of a shock for me. If she hasn’t rid herself of the monkey on her back completely, at least she’s ditching a huge chunk of the groupthink. Maybe she’ll come full circle eventually. But good job, nonetheless!

  • Harry

    I like that she acknowledges that she has the opportunity to shop around for a brand of christianity that believes only the bits she likes, but she seems to think that is a cop out and won’t do it.

  • Stonyground

    This part deconversion reminds me of a programme on radio 4 called ‘Devout Sceptics’ that features a one on one interview with someone who has ditched their religion. The religion in question is usually the one that they were indoctrinated to believe as a child and have now rejected. The problem is that the subjects are generally too stupid to have embraced a totally rational worldview and have instead latched onto a random selection of drivelly superstitions instead.

  • Mike

    Secular Catholicism, funny hats without the funny ideas.

  • I started by dumping organized religion and ended up losing my faith entirely. It’s possible Rice will follow the same path. Only time will tell.

  • MrGronk

    Janstince, she’s still got the monkey on her back but she’s shrugged off its accumulated droppings.

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  • Broga

    There are plenty of slippy not quite christians who slide into the cracks and posture and mouth what I suppose they regard as profundities. One of my detestations, although I haven’t listened for a long time now, is some casuistic junk called Something Understood. The first couple of times I thought they (BBC, of course) were offering something worthwhile. I soon discovered it was the usual stuff where the listener is led up the garden path where much is left unsaid, much implied, and you are supposed to end up thinking that you have encountered something transcendental.
    This greasy stuff is worse than a raging Fundie. At least they are offensive in your face but this approach slips the preaching stiletto in the ribs.