Anne Rice and God

On the way home this evening, I chanced upon an interview of Anne Rice on NPR. You will all know her as the famous author of “Interview with a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles.” It’s the famous film that got rave reviews in 1994, with a heavy-duty star-studded cast–Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, Thandie Newton, to name a few. Ring a bell?

It turns out that Anne Rice had always had a love-hate relationship with her religion, having been brought up a strict Catholic. She went from Catholic to Atheist to Catholic again (strangely around the time Vampire Chronicles came out). And now, in her interview, she has publicly declared that she is done with Christianity. In July, she announced on her Facebook page:

“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.”

The decision, she said, was a very painful one. But she no longer wants to be a part of a group, a church, a congregation, that is this extremist and does not allow any questioning or debate as part of the journey to clarity and enlightenment. The last straw for her was the recent actions of the church to block the passage of the law to allow same-sex marriage. She knew that the Catholic bishops would not allow marriage in church by gays. But she was not prepared for the Catholic Church to actually donate money to defeat the civil rights of gays to marry in a secular setting (Prop 8). It was over the bounds of the Catholic Church to actively intervene in a civil proceeding.

She said that the vampires in her stories were always living in the dark. They lived in a world without God. And this somehow melded with her stage of atheism that was accompanied by pessimism. But Anne says she has found God and her faith is strong. But it does not mean that worshiping God means being part of an organized religion that is very very flawed.

Same sex marriages are just one issue. For me, I have found problems with the Church’s stand on issues of women’s reproductive rights, the obscene wealth of the Catholic Church in contrast to the restof the world where people are dying of starvation, or the history of the Crusades where whole tribes were totally annihilated or lands were conquered and pillaged—all in the name of Christianity. And there is the recent history of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that many members of the Church have either ignored, trivialized, shoved under the rug, denied, etc. Certainly the membership of Christianity has been under siege for several years now, more than ever. But most of this is also the Church’s own doing. As they say, these powers-that-be have dug themselves into a hole. Now they must lie in it.

For those of you who are interested in the Interview of Anne Rice with NPR, just click this link.

This entry was posted in Culture, God, Moral Issues, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anne Rice and God

  1. Pingback: So what does Anne Rice think of "Twilight"? « The Twilight Fun Blog

  2. auntyuta says:

    This post opens up an interesting discussion. I am surprised if no-one commented on it yet . . .

    I would really like to comment on it, only I don’t know where to start and where to stop. It seems to me one could discuss the different issues for a very long time. It is hard to put it in a very few words because to me it’s a vast and complicated subject. I don’t agree with everything how church administrators handle things, but basically I am still a Catholic. Tragic things happen in public life too, things we may feel very sad about. You find corrupt people in every walk of life. So why should it be different in a church? How many people are imprisoned in the United States? How many prisons can there be to punish people? Does punishment work at all? What would work better? Sorry, I don’t know the answer to that. My only hope is that in the end good will conquer evil.

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    • MOL says:

      Yes, this is a loaded issue. My relationship with God (no, I’m no an atheist although there are many things people jave done with religion in the United States that makes one wonder why there are not more people driven to atheism these days) has evolved wherein I no longer let it be affected by the terrible decisions and actions by those who claim to be instruments of God. A lot of the rules made by the church are that, man-made, fallible, inept, pathetic even. Our understanding of God is very limited. After all, how can a bunch of finite beings with finite minds begin to comprehend what is infinite? Like you, I do hope that in the end, good will triumph over evil. I believe it is the fervent wish of most people. That’s why we have popular culture hits like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the like. People want to continue to believe this is possible, in the face of a self-serving, egocentric world.

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