Here are some interesting reactions to Anne Rice quitting Christianity this week:
Anne Rice, via Facebook: "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.
"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."
Rev. Geoffrey A. Black: "Too often we have confused following Christ with defending the institutional church, and we have unnecessarily insisted that we must be of one mind, instead of one heart... Hopefully, declarations such as Anne's will challenge and alter our definitions of Christian discipleship and, in the process, change the church itself. I, along with many in the UCC, share Anne Rice's commitment to a personal relationship with Christ that affirms life in its fullness and diversity, not denies its beautiful and sometimes complex realities."
You'd Like the UCC, Anne Rice" Facebook page in a recruiting moment: "On July 29, 2010, famed novelist Anne Rice renounced Christianity because she refuses to be anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science, anti-birth control. We share Anne's faith in a loving, inclusive, reasonable God. You'd like the UCC!" 1,330 people have joined that page. Anne Rice does not appear to be one of them (yet?).
Tim Tutt: "I'm the pastor of a church, and my blog is public, so I hesitate to say this, but it's true -- our congregation is full of losers, maybe not as outlandish as Miss O'Connor's characters, but full of people with questions about their faith, full of people who maybe didn't fit in other places, full of folks with troubles, pains and problems.
"On the outside, we may look fairly well put together. But on the inside, I get the sense that some of our souls are as mysterious and shadowy as the characters in your books.
"A lot of people in the church I serve would understand your leaving Christianity. What's so impressive about them is that they're always inviting others back in. Not so we can fill up the place (church growth is not always our best thing) and not so we can prove by numbers that we're right (we're no mega-church, and our doctrines may be a little squishy). No, I think the reason is that the best losers, the best quitters, the best failures care about other people in their losing, quitting and failing. Seems to me that's what Jesus was about.
"So, Ms Rice, if you ever want to wander back into Christianity -- or at least into some little corner of it, try this congregation here at the corner of Parmer and MoPac in Austin, Texas. It's a long way to make it every Sunday from your home in New Orleans, but we'd be glad to have a quitter like you. Amen?"
Matt C. Abbott of The Catholic Caucus reacts: "On one hand, it's a sad development, but on the other hand, I respect Rice for publicly apostatizing instead of continuing to masquerade as a Christian. I wish others of like mind would follow suit. It seems Rice still suffers from 'vampire logic.' Pray for her. And for me."
Jon Trouten, concludes*: I've bopped around a little bit, but haven't really found any reaction from any Catholic leaders. Maybe that response will come given enough time. I just find it interesting that there seems to be mainly responses from two types of people: entertainment/religious news types and UCC leaders. Maybe there's more and I didn't dig enough for it, but I would hope that I could get more of a Catholic response besides one Catholic writer accusing Ms. Rice of being an apostate. But that's just me, I guess.
I wish Ms. Rice well in her new faith journey.
*This is what happens when I blog at 11:30 at night. I'm such a dork...