CNN's Marquee Blog reports:
Anne Rice leaves ChristianityHer words are so true, and her convictions so close to my own. “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist," “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.” I don't want to be those, either. Rice's additional statement provides clarification that a LOT of us can relate to. And I agree that following Christ does not mean following his followers.
Legendary author Anne Rice has announced that she’s quitting Christianity.
The “Interview with a Vampire” author, who wrote a book about her spirituality titled "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession" in 2008, said Wednesday that she refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist," “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.”
Rice wrote, “For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian ... It's simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
Rice then added another post explaining her decision on Thursday:
“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me," Rice wrote. "But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”
For me, I'm not entirely sure it's any easier, or any better, outside of organized religion. There are fundamentalists everywhere: atheist fundamentalists, liberal fundamentalists, green fundamentalists, home-schooling fundamentalists, patriot fundamentalists, and there are all sorts of conservative fundmentalists that don't need religion to justify their worldview.
My greatest disappointment (and honestly, my greatest confusion) in life is that Christianity is not something better than it has been. If Jesus was who I believe he was - if God is who I believe God is (you can find posts on these questions elsewhere on this site) - then Christianity should be so much further along after 2,000 years... shouldn't it? I mean, we're all human, so there's nothing that should be surprising about the sad state of Christianity. But don't we believe that our faith is fueled by more than human efforts? There is a lot I am unsure of, but I at least believe God is active in the universe.
Well, at the very least, I don't believe constructs and institutions can be changed from the outside without violence. So some of us have to keep praying and striving from within, in solidarity and relationship with the folks who frustrate us most (often ourselves).
I'm not ready to follow Anne Rice out the door, but I sure understand where she's coming from.