Author Anne Rice says she’s “quit being a Christian,” as she continues her struggle to carve out a personal religious identity not in lockstep with mainstream organized doctrine of what many believe Christianity is. Rice says on Facebook that she remains committed to Christ, but indicates she can’t in good conscience continue to call herself a Christian in light of the actions of some groups calling themselves Christian.
A quick scroll through her recent Facebook postings show the extent to which she’s been struggling with the issue. Over the past week, Rice has posted a series of links to news stories dealing with science and faith and her concerns over gay rights. She expresses her disapproval of the anti-gay groups You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, Inc., which uses punk rock to spread its anti-gay message, and the Westboro Baptist Church, whose members use their children to carry anti-gay signage near the funerals of dead U.S. military service members. Both of those groups call themselves Christian, as do many other groups of different belief systems.
Rice’s recent series of posts culminate in her statements on Facebook regarding her views regarding Christ and Christianity.
“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,”
Rice writes in one Facebook post. In a later post, she writes about what Christ means to her.
“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. 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,”
The 68-year-old author has wrestled with her Roman Catholic Church upbringing. She left the church as a young adult and came back later in life, though not agreeing with the church on a number of key social issues.
Over her career, Rice has written books on gothic and erotic subjects, as well as books with religious themes. Having spent most of her early life in New Orleans, Louisiana, she incorporated Southern Gothic imagery and historical motifs into her books. She’s most famous for her vampire novels, including her 1973 novel, “Interview With The Vampire,” which was later made into a film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Her books, many of which use vampire characters to deal with philosophical issues surrounding immortality and human nature, have sold almost 100 million copies and have had a strong influence on the modern vampire genre that encompasses everything from Stephenie Myers “Twilight Saga” to HBO’s “True Blood.”