Almost three decades before the Twilight phenomenon, author Anne Rice brought millions into the underground of the damned with Interview With a Vampire, the first of nearly 25 related (and best-selling) novels. And then, five years ago, to the surprise of many, she changed direction, committing herself to writing only about Jesus Christ.
Last Wednesday, Rice quit Christianity, announcing it 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.
She followed it up with a second status update:
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.
This comment was "liked" by over 3,300 of her Facebook followers. But the conversation didn't end there. On Thursday she posted:
My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.
The topic is being followed by believers and non-believers. She's receiving many kudos on her Facebook page — including an invitation from the United Church of Christ to join them, and the development of a Facebook campaign: "You'd Like the UCC, Anne Rice" — but she's also been the focus of various negative posts and YouTube videos making such claims as "Anne Rice Rejects Christ Goes to HELL."
Rice was quite gracious to the poster of this video, stating on Facebook:
And here is some more response on Youtube to my rejection of Christianity, in the name of Christ, and I thank these people too.
But as ParlezMoiPress commented on Saturday in the first note below the video on YouTube:
I think the version of "Christianity" being promoted in this video is EXACTLY what Anne Rice decided to leave.
Though Rice hasn't given any indication as to whether or not "leaving Christianity" will affect her choice of future writings, she does have a recent video posted on her YouTube page, from May (see below), in which she talks about the modern vampire ... and gives those of us who loved her former works a little faith that maybe, just maybe, someday she'll return to the genre.