Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

You're Leaving? But You Just Got Here!

Long before Stephanie Meyer was convincing the world that vampires are sexy, Anne Rice was doing it.  I wasn't a big fan of hers.  Didn't think much of Interview With A Vampire and such.  No, it has nothing to do with the whole dark arts thing, I'm just not that into overly gothic things, as my creative output will readily attest (cynicism, sure, but not gothic).  I can enjoy them when done well (for example, Shadow Of The Vampire was a damn good movie, and the first Warlock was great), but I just don't casually gravitate towards them.

I was aware that Rice had been raised Catholic and had abandoned the church.  Can't say I blame her there.  After that, I was really only familiar with my casual attempt at reading her stuff and her world class hissy fit on Amazon about people who didn't like her book that escalated into a flame war (unfortunately, Amazon drama evaporates quickly, so screencap that shit as soon as you see it).  Her eagerness to insult anyone who does not understand her artistic genius, making her come across like Howard Rourke's twin sister, has been immortalized in the pejorative phrase "rice out", which basically means "fucking lose your shit if someone writes a bad review of your work" (you people who hang out on DeviatART and know what I'm talking about).  Say what you will about Stephanie Meyer (God knows I do), but when people were returning Breaking Dawn, she expressed (or feigned) puzzlement, but didn't go ape shit like Rice did.

Unbeknownst to me, Rice went back to the Catholic church.  You know, Catholics looooooooove to point out how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were Atheists who saw the light, but they aren't so keen to trumpet Rice.  Maybe it's because of all the hawt secks in her books.  I mean, you can point general audiences to Narnia and Lord Of The Rings.  Can't do that with Exit To Eden.  Anyway, in 2008, she wrote a memoir called "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession," where she paints her Lestat books as exploring and coming to terms with her faith and God.  Okay.  I only found out about the book about a month ago when I stumbled across a stack of them in the bargain bin.  Didn't bother, but thought maybe I'd get to it one day, see what her spiritual journey was like.

Well, it was short.

Yesterday, Rice posted to her FAILbook page that she was quitting the Catholic church.  She's quitting because the Catholic church is "anti-gay ... anti-feminist," and "anti-artificial birth birth control."  Uh, they were all that (AND MORE!) when she quit originally!  Is she really surprised by this?  "In the name of ... Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

Now, here's the part I don't get.  Rice seems to be confusing the Catholic church with Christianity.  Assuming she truly wanted to be Christian again (I mean, why go through the trouble of repatriating otherwise), there are plenty of other routes she can go.  The Episcopalians, for example.  If she sticks with the "official" sect, not the one that broke off over the ordaining of the gay bishop, they will be pretty close to her values.  Or she can simply ignore the Catholic church in her personal life.  I know lots of people who, say, use birth control or love and support their gay kids or make movies that piss off the Establishment (Martin Scorsese, Kevin Smith, etc.) or whatever.  They go to church to worship God, not to be told how to live their lives.  There's a disconnect between the church's values and their own.  The unrepentant anarchy is actually quite touching and beautiful.  The only reason I don't advise her to just follow her own Christian path like I do is because the spiritual journey I've undertaken is DEFINITELY not for everyone.  There's a lot of work involved.  For me, it's the only way to make sense of things and feel fulfilled, but most people don't need to go to such extremes.  But it's not like Catholicism is the only game in town.

(The only ones I would suggest she avoid other than the Southern Baptists are the Christian Mystics.  I attended one service, and the arrogance of them, "No one can understand the depth of our relationship with God", would turn Jesus into an Atheist.  When you make the Catholics look humble, you're doing it wrong.)

I don't fault Rice for quitting Christianity.  I just want to know is she quitting Christianity or the church?  There is a difference.  Or maybe it's just another overreaction on her part, and she's ricing out on the church now.
Tags: important life lessons, religion
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