The literary world is abuzz with news that author Anne Rice has abandoned Christianity. In the name of Christ. Or something like that.
I’m not going to take a position for or against the religion or the political and moral issues Rice cites as her reasons. However, I would like to take a stab at the logic of her controversial revelation to see if another, more professional motive might explain it better than the stated one.
“If I didn’t make this statement,
I was going to lose my mind.”
By declaring her disallegiance with Christianity (a religion typically defined by belief in a person in whom Rice still claims belief) the Vampire Chronicles author does little more than insult the millions of Christians who belong to churches that support all of the things she accuses “Christianity” of opposing — artificial contraception, women’s rights, gay rights — the very people with whom she should be showing solidarity, if she were being sincere as a Christian Christ-follower and a political liberal.
Even more damaging to the stated logic behind Rice’s declaration is the fact that relinquishing the powerful ideological banner of Christianity to the “anti-gay … anti-feminist … anti-artificial birth control” forces she claims to oppose only strengthens their assertions that these positions are essential to belief in Jesus.
That’s the Jesus Rice still believes in.
So, whether you’re for or against Christianity (or ambivalent), whether you support or oppose the political ideals Rice claims to champion, it must be recognized that the reasoning behind her controversial declaration is nonsensical, even if it taps into a certain kewl trend among self-styled intellectuals on both sides of the political divide who generalize in the most intellectually dishonest fashion when it comes to speaking truthiness to power.
In the end, all this buzz has nothing to do with taking a moral stance, and really nothing to do with Christianity, feminism, gays, or birth control. It does, however, accomplish the goal of putting Anne Rice’s name back in the headlines even as every vampire under the sun (so to speak) has more pop culture currency than Lestat de Lioncourt.