Blog Post

Vampire Novelist Quits Christianity

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Anne Rice, controversial author of vampire thrillers such as Interview with a Vampire, and a recent revert to Catholicism, has announced on her Facebook page that she has decided to quit Christianity. "I quit being a Christian. I’m out," Rice said in a July 29 posting on her Facebook page. "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." Hours later she came back to the page and posted this: "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 big announcement was precipitated by an episode the day before when she posted a news article that included a comment from the head of a Christian youth ministry who said Muslims who call for the execution of homosexuals are "more moral than even the American Christians." In response, Rice posted on the page: “This kind of thing makes me weep. Maybe commitment to Christ means not being a Christian.” The next day, she decided to quit the faith. The 68 year-old Rice was raised Catholic in New Orleans but left the faith at the age of 18. She became a best-selling author of vampire novels until 1998 when she returned to the Church and devoted herself to writing books about God instead. Some of her Christian book titles, which were not known for their theological accuracy, include Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, and Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim. In 2008, Rice released a memoir titled Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. In an interview the the Associated Press after making her startling announcement, she admitted that she had been having doubts about the Church for the past few years. The sex abuse scandal in the Church was troubling her, as well as the recent ex-communication of Sister Margaret McBride, a nun and hospital administrator who approved an abortion for a woman whose life was in danger. “I believed for a long time that the differences, the quarrels among Christians didn’t matter a lot for the individual, that you live your life and stay out of it. But then I began to realize that it wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Rice said, speaking from her home near Palm Springs, Calif. “I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t make this declaration, I was going to lose my mind.” Rice claims to be a Democrat who supports ObamaCare and believes gay marriage is inevitable. "As a relatively new member of the Catholic Church, one of the things I’m learning, thanks in large part to my Parish Priest, is that an important pillar of anyone’s faith is the ongoing moral debate you have with yourself over what is wrong and what is right. Though I have many political differences with my Church and even more with my Priest (one of the finest men I know), the Church recognizes that a sincere inner-struggle regarding political and social issues, a struggle to come to a truly Christian decision, is something that should last a lifetime." John Nolte, editor of Breitbart's Big Hollywood, says Rice appears to have ended that "inner debate" by coming to her own conclusions. "Among them, that same-sex marriage and voting for Democrats is what Christ would want," Nolte writes. "If she’s made a sincere effort to work her conscience through to that conclusion, that’s fine. What’s not Christian, however, is her lashing out at those who disagree, and judging them from a moral authority she doesn’t possess as betrayers of what she obviously has decided is a kind of true Christianity.  There’s another word for this: Intolerance." He adds: "From where I sit, it looks as though Rice has 'elevated' herself from a Christian to a narcissist." First Things blogger Elizabeth Scalia believes what Rice is rejecting is not Church teaching but the distorted view of Church teaching taught by the secular world. "I do not know how anyone could read the USCCB’s pastoral letter, Always Our Children and then make a credible argument that the church is 'anti-gay,'” Scalia writes. "But then, I do not know how anyone can read Humanae Vitae and credibly call the church anti-feminist or anti-humanist. I do not know how anyone can read Pope John Paul II’s exhaustive teachings on the Theology of the Body and credibly declare the church to be reactionary on issues of sexuality or womanhood. I do not know how anyone can read Gaudium et Spes and credibly argue that the church is out of touch with the Human Person or Society." She concludes that "Anne Rice wants to do the Life-in-Christ on her own, while saying 'Yes' to the worldly world and its values. She seems not to realize that far from being an Institution of ' No,' the Church is a giant and eternal urging toward 'Yes.'" But this is a "yes" toward God, Scalia writes, rather than a "yes" toward  ourselves. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®