Famed vampire novelist Anne Rice made some news when she noted on Facebook no less that she was leaving 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.
In a lot of ways, that’s an odd little screed there. If Rice was bothered by the conservative politics of the church she was going to, why didn’t she just change churches? You are allowed to do that, you know =D. I’ve certainly done it more than a few times.
Also, what is “anti-life” even supposed to mean? And anti-Science? Although I’ve run across a few Christians who believe the world is a few thousand years old or who don’t know much about science, I don’t personally know any Christians who are anti-science. In fact, as a general rule, I find that people who claim Christians are “anti-science” tend to be atheists who’ve come to the errant conclusion that you can’t be Christian and pro-science or who falsely believe evolution and Christianity are incompatible. So, that makes me wonder a bit about who has been getting in Rice’s ear.
Then there’s “In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian,” which makes no sense whatsoever. It kind of reminds me of people who say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” In other words, despite the fact that’s just something they made up in their heads, they’re hoping God grades on a pass/fail curve and they’re doing just enough to squeak by.
Moving past what Rice wrote, it’s not easy to be a Christian. It sets up a tough standard to live by that conflicts with your own wants and desires. Christianity also conflicts with the secular world. If your values are largely in tune with the non-Christians around you, honestly you’re probably not a very good Christian. Most people aren’t, by the way — myself included.
EVERY Christian fails to live up to his values, ends up being a hypocrite at times, and just plain old falls short of being how he should be as a human being. Then you mix in the people who are using Christianity for their own ends, the people who are caged by dogma to such an extent that they can’t see humanity, people with more zeal than compassion, and all the stupidity, rudeness, and foolishness that marks all large scale human endeavors, and things can really get messy.
But, that makes me think of quotations from my two favorite Christian writers, Rick Warren & C.S. Lewis:
The church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints. — Rick Warren
If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention? — C.S. Lewis
There was only one perfect man who walked the earth. The rest of us have to just muddle along, knowing we’re doomed to come up short of His standard. I hope this is just a bump in the road for Anne Rice and she’ll keep on doing that. The same goes for anyone else having a crisis of faith or who even wants to become a Christian. Get on the path, start walking, and expect lots of twists, turns, and frustrations. But, also expect to be a better person at the end, when you go on to your reward, than you were when you started.