Culture At Large

Anne Rice: "Today I quit being a Christian."

Michael Geertsma

Best-selling author Anne Rice, who most famously penned Interview with a Vampire, announced yesterday on her Facebook page that she is no longer a Christian. She wrote:
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.
Then, a few minutes later, she added:
...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, who has often been at odds with the church over social issues, grew up in a devout Catholic household, but left the church when she was 18. In 1998, she returned to the Christian faith, and has since written many books influenced by Christianity (including the Christ the Lord series).

My initial reaction to this was a positive one--I share many of Rice's frustrations with what the American church has come to represent. Then a co-worker wisely pointed out that this frustration requires a very narrow view of what being a Christian means, and expressing it in this way may simply add fuel to the "culture wars," rather than transcending them.

So, agree with Anne Rice or not, what's your take?  Can an announcement like this from such a public figure lead to anything positive? Or is it just another divisive voice in an arena that needs peacemakers?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Faith