Friday, July 30, 2010

Anne Rice and faith in Jesus Christ

A while ago I became a "fan" of Anne Rice on facebook.  Around that time I found that she was expressing thoughts, as well as questions, about faith in Jesus and how to reconcile ideas held by Christian churches and what she felt about these ideas.  On Wednesday (July 28), just in case you haven't yet read it elsewhere, she said this on facebook: 
Anne Rice 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.
There have been several of her posts that resonate with how I feel, but I cannot stop being a Christian.  In ways that she supports feminism, gay rights, and all the others in her list, I understand. 

In the last few years, I have found it hard to continue being a church-goer, when I know that others around me don't share my views.  I find it difficult to remain silent as I hear others bash Obama-voters, health-care for all, and who think all women should submit to all men. 

As far as where I identify with faith in Christ, I certainly believe that God has had an order in my life, the full scope of which I never expected.  I don't know what else will be unveiled, yet I believe that there has to be a plan, or like I said, an order, to all that I've lived.  I believe that Jesus died, rose again, and showed us immeasurable love through his sacrifice.  I want to share in that life of love, and I choose to be a follower of Christ. 

Anne Rice is a thoughtful writer, a talented individual, and I respect her statement to stand with Christ, while not standing with Christians.  I believe that she's a leader in this, and I know many who identify with her.  I know I do. 


Birdie said...

I found Anne's statement interesting and provocative and not a little like my own sentiments.

The more I read, the more I realize that every Christian who has thought about it has his own definition of what it means to be Christian. That's how we are made and wonderfully so. I'm finding lately that I'm being drawn to examine the Quaker church a little more closely, but inevitably it will be my own faith that I define.

Tavdy said...

Mohandas Gandhi said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." I think Anne Rice is simply the latest in a very long line of people, including me, who have come to the realisation that you cannot be both Christian and Christ-like.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Carol--I have just one thing to say...

The Episcopal Church welcomes you!!


Jon Trouten said...

Wormwood's Doxy: Numerous UCC leaders and bloggers already beat you to the punch with an open invitation to Anne Rice ( :P

Meanwhile, I've heard next to nothing from Catholic leaders seeking to smooth fences with Ms. Rice.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Jon--I love and honor the UCC for being so progressive and a leader on ordination for women and LGBTs, but I'm a sacramental kind of gal, so it's the Episcopal Church for me. :-)

(Plus, I'm married to an Episcopal priest, so there's that too... ;-)

The Episcopal Church hasn't been as quick to lead the march for equality as the UCC--but it appears we have finally gotten our house in order now. So I feel confident inviting those who reject exclusion and who want to be in a church that respects logic, reason, experience, and science--and, more importantly, pledges to respect "the dignity of every human being"--to join us.


B. John said...

I remain an active member of a United Methodist Church (in Florida, no less, where the Bishop is one of the biggest bigots I've yet to meet) because it's been my faith for most all my life. I've tried some others and just didn't feel at home.

I think Bridie has it right, that we each have our own definition of Christian. In my church, many of us disagree on many social issues, but I feel called to stay and work towards change.

All that said, what I hope Ms. Rice is giving up on is religion rather than Christianity. The two are markedly different things.

Jon Trouten said...

Good points, B. John.

I get the message from Anne Rice's comments that she's given up on institutional Christianity and the Church, but not Christ.

Sally Scutt said...

Seems all I can say is, WOW! I am with you Carol on not ever being able to say I quit being a Christian. Yet, I totally understand the feelings of frustration that Anne is expressing with her statement that she is done, that she quits, and is out (like-I'm outta here)! Some times I have wondered if I still want to be associated with such intolerance and judgmentalism. I have decided to stay, but in hopes to make a change, an impact in some small way or big way if God should want to use me to show the church and the world a love, acceptance and tolerance that would make Jesus smile in approval.

Shel said...

My UCC congregation is such an eclectic mix of black and white, gay and straight and every one a Christ-loving person. I'm so happy there and thank the Lord every day for leading me to this church. My ex is gay and was not as good to me as Ray was to you. He chose to whore around and cause many problems for himself. He couldn't help being gay, but he could help being a manwhore.

There ARE churches who are not anti-gay/feminist/artificial birth control/Democrat/secular humanism/scinece/life. They aren't on every corner but the world's a better place because of them.

Darlene said...

I resonate with Anne's comments, however I just don't want to disassociate with My Jesus. Carol, I love you very much and in the times you feel so alone, I hope you feel my arms around you across the miles. You are a strong woman, but sometimes I know a hug helps.

Carol said...

Thanks, Darlene. Yesterday was particularly tough and a hug is just what I need.
Thanks to Doxy, for the invite :)
I think we are getting the message, and I love hearing about the welcoming, open, thinking churches who honor Christ. There's HOPE!

Doorman-Priest said...

Well, I can't help but acknowledge that I know exactly where she's coming from! But there is light at the end of the tunnel: I attended the Leeds Gay Pride this weekend as an overt Christian witness and if anyone is interested in my observations do pop over and have a look.

sierra said...

Carol, I have posted here before as Black Sheep, but that account no longer exists.

You are such an inspiration. I too, can understand what Anne is trying to say, but I identify with what you are saying,too. As for me, I just want to rest in God's love, love all others, and keep talking to Him about anything and everything.

Anyway, as usual, you display so much grace and strength, and I so admire you.

About Nancy said...

Since anything we humans are a part of will inevitably become tainted, I'm with you and will remain a "Christian." We all travel the road of growth, hopefully more like Christ than not.

Blessings to you Carol.

Steve F. said...

I get Anne Rice totally.

Years ago, I would claim to be a small-C "christian," not one of those judgmental, big-C Christians. Then I became a follower of Christ, and joined up with the big-C folks...and have left them again, too.

My "More Light Presbyterian" congregation is a rabble-rousing, social-justice oriented church who has been welcoming and affirming since the 1970's. It is so not a big deal that it's almost impossible to describe. But I wandered for 4 years without a congregation that my partner and I could comfortably attend.

I hope Ms. Rice can find some believers with whom she can associate comfortably, as we have.