Thanks very much to Teddy, who passed the link below about Anne Rice on to me.
Anne Rice, the famous novelist, (‘Interview with the Vampire’ series), has renounced Christianity on her Facebook page, but states that she remains as committed to Christ as always. Rice posted:
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.”
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.
Journalist Michael Rowe, commenting in his own article on Rice’ announcement wrote:
Ironically, author Anne Rice may have been more of a Christian yesterday than she ever was, when she announced, on Facebook, that she was quitting Christianity and renouncing any claim to the title “Christian.”
Rowe’s article gives a brief biography of Rice’s life to date, including her passage from Catholicism to atheism, to finding faith again 10 years ago. He wonders at some of the things which may have contributed to her current choice, and broadens the issue to how it is possible to murder faith – not that Rice has lost hers.
Rowe says :
You murder faith same way you murder love: one bruise at a time, with small, daily cuts, with grinding contempt, with neglect. You murder faith by exposing it to bullets inscribed with Bible verses that kill Afghan and Iraqi children. You murder it by separating an elderly lesbian couple in a hospital because their union is considered “unnatural.” You murder it by linking it to greed, to the “God wants you to be rich” movement which marinates in loathing for the poor and needy, in defiance of Christ’s commission to care for them, then call it “good for America.” You murder it by exposing it to any number of atrocities wrapped up in an inviolate nationalism that claims divine authority as its basis, with no room for dissent, and no mercy for dissenters. You murder it with self-righteous, violent militarism, with intolerance, with lack of compassion, with lack of humility and, most importantly, with lack of humanity.
Is this sort of thing a wake up call for the institutional church, particularly in the US? Is it the case, that some of the causes now identified with Christianity are now in reality so extreme that the very term Christianity denotes something completely different from what Christ taught?
How do we deal with these issues?