Anne Rice Leaves Christianity, Not Jesus.

Anne RiceAnne Rice was raised a Catholic and left the religion to do her own thing for many years. Much to the delight of Christians who like to name drop (and especially those who hate vampires), she reverted to Catholicism in 1998, dedicating her writing and life to Jesus.

“I Quit”

But twelve years later, the tide has turned once again. Rice recently spread this news  via her facebook page:

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.

–Anne Rice, author 2010

You can imagine all the  atheists eating this for lunch, can’t you? Can’t you smell the delight over  someone famous  leaving Christianity? Everyone likes having a public figure on their team. Free endorsements!

However…

Not Good Enough

Good for Rice that she finally recognized the mess of this religion. I understand not wanting to identify with much of Christianity—especially the fundamentalist branches that make a business out of being anti-everyone–but that’s not good enough!

Rice is clearly not abandoning her mythology and superstitious delusions. She’s leaving conservative, fundamentalist  Christianity behind and making a political stand out of it. But what about liberal Christianity that is still based on the same myths, but is dressed up in hipster clothing and a laissez faire attitude? When Rice realizes the whole shit n’ caboodle is based on a false premise, then perhaps she might leave for good.  Perhaps.

What do you think?

(hat tip goodreasonnews)
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July 30, 2010  |  christianity, god, Jesus, quotes, religion

34 Comments


  1. Her Idealisticness

    I think it’s no ones business to say “not good enough”. It’s her spirituality, her views, her beliefs and her life. Who are you to demand “better” of her in her own belief system. She already rejects human rights injustice, bigotry and ignorance, etc – the important parts… so she holds onto a belief in the super natural – that’s her right and prerogative.

  2. She hasn’t left Christianity, she has simply left the “Church” – though with her reasons for leaving (“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay….”) it’s hard to work out which Church she is quitting. She seems to have rolled “Christianity” up as absolutely everything that a homogeneous religious organisation made up of all organisations and decided that since they have differing wants and needs from her she should leave.

    It’s really a very “non-” announcement. I suspect that this will preclude her finding a new church that will believe what she wants t believe. And the cycle will continue.

    • I don’t doubt it. I would expect she’d find a good community of like-minded people in Unitarian or even Quaker congregations. It’s clear she’s only denouncing the parts of the religion she dislikes.

      • Indeed. I also feel that it is very suspect when a famous person either joins or leaves something – especially religion. It smacks of “look at me”. Anne Rice’s books are terrible, whatever her belief structure, the rest is just filler.

  3. I hope you understand my tone wasn’t against you – it’s just that when I was deconverting, especially at the beginning, when I would express disagreement with bigoted and ignorant beliefs of the faith I was told that it wasn’t good enough and I had to abandon the myth of God and I found it to be a horrible sentiment and one on par with fundi christians but on the exact flip side.

    If someones mythological or spiritual beliefs are not hurting anyone, especially if they REFUSE to take part in any kind of exclusion or bigotry, then it IS good enough, in my opinion, and whatever spiritual beliefs they have past that are strictly their own.

    • No one likes to be told they’re not doing enough. But if the things you are against are central to the religion you follow, well, then what? Anti-gay, anti-women etc are all set down in the unchanging Bible. Unless everyone gets together and sanctions a rewrite that updates it from the world of 2000 years ago, it will be a religion that is purely for men.

      Fine, if you feel that whittling Christianity down to “I like Jesus and he is God” and that you can cheerfully ignore the rest of it (including much of the New Testament) then great. But if 99% of your religion is irrelevant, at what point does that 1% become irrelevant too?

    • I hear what you’re saying, and I agree that her positive views about bigotry, equal rights, and the like are admirable qualities in any one of any faith.

      I suppose I left Christianity in sections, too. For a while I became simply more liberal in my theology (no hell, bible isn’t literal, etc.) but then I realized what Ray is talking about: if i can throw out much of the bible and the theology/doctrines of my religion, how do i know what *not* to throw out? How do we tell the difference between truth and myth? Story and history? God and imagination? etc…

      So yes, good for her for having the views I believe we should all have about humanity’s worth… but she has yet to make that final step of realizing god and jesus have nothing to do with it.

      • Oh I totally agree with you and Ray and it was the same for me, leaving in increments – finally realizing there was no point in holding onto the faith at all, and now eventually being quite against it. I just buck against demanding anything from someone who is figuring out their spiritual journey (as long as they are not being bigoted cunts lol).

        I guess I have a lot of respect for the personal processes that go with losing ones faith and rushing/demanding do nothing to benefit anyone imho.

  4. I’m going to say to you exactly what I said to Hemant:

    I despise Anne Rice on an incredibly visceral level. She’s self-important, arrogant, and a terrible writer.

    All these things aside, however:
    I remember Greta Christina asking the question: “If your softball league or your children’s school did what the Catholic Church is doing, you’d quit in outrage. So why are you still Catholic?”

    This doesn’t necessarily suggest “The Church is evil, ergo, there is no god.” But…merely that we shouldn’t be supporting organizations that base their existence upon the subjugation of others.

    Of course, regardless of who you are, you have the right to support whomever you want. Whether or not it means anything that she has decided to eschew church while still “being a Christian,” her statement is exactly what the people outside of the RCC have been saying for years.

    I’m gagging as I type this, but I think we should *gick* support Anne *gag* Rice in her decision.

    Ugh. It feels so dirty having a common ground with her. It’s almost as bad as when Sean Hannity was admonishing people from WBC.

    • I support her in the fact that I support anyone who stands more for the rights and respect of all people over the teachings of an ancient, crippled religion. I just hope for more from these people: that they will find their paths are just fine and their lives just as full without faith and spirituality.

  5. What do I think? I think you’re being obnoxious, just as Hemant was being obnoxious when he posted this exact same rant yesterday.

    A very prominent person publicly denounced practically all of the bigoted behavior inspired by this religion and decided to leave the church. But that’s not good enough because she still believes in the fairy tale creature the religion is based upon?

    What do I think? I think your priorities are extremely screwed up. It is nobody’s business but her own what Anne Rice thinks of the supernatural. She should be commended for rejecting bigotry and a bigoted institution. Instead, she gets atheists telling her it’s not good enough. Unbelievable.

    • “It is nobody’s business but her own what Anne Rice thinks of the supernatural.”

      Then why did she go public with this? If it’s nobody’s business then she should have kept it to herself. If she goes public with it, then people like us will pick over it.

  6. I think she’s very brave for standing up for what she believes is right. 10, 20 years ago a public statement like hers would have been career suicide. Last year Jimmy Carter publicly severed his 60 year relationship with the Southern Baptist Church because of the church’s 2nd class citizen view of women. He still retains his spiritual beliefs. I don’t care what he believes. I do, however, care that he is out there challenging this unfair and cruel view of women all over the world. Isn’t that what matters? I’m not insinuating that Anne Rice can be compared to Jimmy Carter, but the more public figures we see challenging what is wrong with religion, the greater the chance there is of someday having heinous religious practices eradicated from this world. And the more people start to question their superstitious beliefs without fear of repercussion, the closer we’ll get to that point.

  7. Good for Anne Rice. I think she’s made a huge step in the right direction in abandoning the empire of Pope Palpatine.

    I heard a quote from her earlier today, and she essentially justified her supernatural worldview on the grounds that it made her feel less depressed. From what I have heard, she doesn’t really understand that reality isn’t what we want it to be. Like so many other thinking Christians out there, she’s guilty of wishful thinking.

    Personally, I think it’s awful when people have it the wrong way round, i.e., when they rationalize their desires for what ought to be with the reality of what is. At the same time, I suppose we shouldn’t complain too much if people are irrationally nice!

  8. What can I say, I was disappointed when after the death of her husband Anne Rice, who had always been one of my favourite authors, decided to find solace in returning to the Christian mythology of her childhood, especially when it meant she was no longer going to be writing about my favourite homo erotic vampires ;)
    However I see this as an extremely positive development, the more famous people who speak out against the bigoted views of the church the better, if she needs to cling to her beliefs in the supernatural to make her life better, then so be it, but at least she is fighting against the belief that religion means you can be bigoted and get away with it.

  9. At least it’s a step in the right direction. We can only hope.

    Kriss

  10. I don’t get everyone’s fuss about this. It’s not excatly like Anne Rice promotes christianity, or broadcasts her beliefs to everyone.
    Why not just let her get on with her own delusion if that’s what she wants?

  11. If one follows Jesus of Naz. as their deity and/ or Messiah they are in fact a “Christian” Rice still accepts the teachings of the NT, written by the church in 325 at the council of Nicea. She is indeed still a “Christian”.

  12. The trip to Atheism may be a long one. Many people’s journey start out with, “I’m not with the Church, but Jesus is OK,” and end up some time later realizing it’s all bunk.

  13. I just heard about this on NPR (All Things Considered); I can’t say I’m a huge Anne Rice fan, but I do like some of her work. I think what got me most about the NPR interview, though, was her insinuation that to be an atheist one must have a dark, cynical, and ultimately joyless outlook on life and the world. Perhaps that was true for her, but it is most definitely not true for all atheists.

  14. But wait – there’s more to this shocking story of the slight change in Anne Rice’s religious views! Did you see this?

    http://daisybrain.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/woman-not-as-famous-as-anne-rice-changes-her-religious-views/

    • ANONYMOUS324454543

      Maybe if it was the pope or some politician who justified their policies with their religion I’d give a shit.

  15. She is on her way out of the dogma. 12 years was the same span of time I was a Christian as well. I left by dropping bits and pieces at a time. I predict she will finally drop the whole thing and get back to life. Maybe she will find blogs like this one, or read some Sam Harris books, or find exchristian.net. It is comforting to know that there are others who have the same inner struggles that you have with confronting the faith you either chose or had chosen for you.

  16. What she is saying is that she dislikes the judgmental and narrow mindness outline that the words “Christian” and “Christianity” has earned for itself. The people who have torn down the understanding of this community are the ignorant people who provided this cloud of negativity over themselves. I too do not want to be put in the category of the hypocritical, judegmental people who call themselves christians, I prefer to be called a Christ follower for that very reason. Anne Rice is simply stating that she doesn’t want to be categorized with all those other people who are ignorant to their own faith that they claim to follow.

  17. Ms. Rice sounds like a precocious child on a rant. If one desires to truly know Him, then one must be truly willing to submit to Him and the rest falls into place beautifully. Rice sounds like she is stuck in the lost world of self.

    • Yeah, it does seem like a bit of a rant (though I support her in the issues she takes offense to).
      And to be honest, your reply sounds like it was rehearsed and written for the ears of other believers who use the same in-club vocabulary. “Lost world of self,” “submit to him” … As an ex-Christian I know what you’re talking about, but it amuses me to hear religious, empty buzzwords in a forum like this.

  18. 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 ‘THE WAY’ TO GOD!!

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

    NO ONE IS REJECTED BY JESUS 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 RELIES IN) JESUS
    CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE !!!

    .

  19. You all have a lot of good points. I liked reading through your responses.

    Just out of curiosity, how many have read the Bible, cover to cover?

    Sorry, I know this was posted a while ago; I found it in a search.

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  23. Ok I know its an old post. The early jesus followers and the gnostics etc were very different from christianity. There are lots of texts that are not in the NT. The NT is a totally warped version of what it appears jesus was and meant if you look at the stuff like the gospel of mary, gospel of judas, the wisdom of jesus christ, the reality of the rulers, the first revelation of james and many others.
    Jesus almost seems like he is an alien – he says he is like a sort of offshoot of a nameless universal god – in these texts and that we are in some kind of fake universe controlled by other aliens including Yahweh that think they are gods. Jesus says that we reincarnate and that Yahweh is a jealous god therefore not a god. Is believing we are in an alien simulation type thing and that jesus may have been an alien an atheist? I used to be atheist but now, I think the lines ae blurring of what atheist means. If you recognise that physics says that things dont become real until we look at them and all that kind of stuff, what is this, really?

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