By Kevin Eckstrom
c. 2010 Religion News Service
(RNS) Vampire novelist Anne Rice says she’s leaving Christianity — again — because she no longer wants to be identified with such a “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.”
Born and raised a Catholic, Rice left the church but returned after a 30-year absence in 1998. Best known for “Interview With the Vampire” and other vampire fiction, she later turned to spiritual writing, including a “Christ the Lord” series on Jesus’ life and a well-received spiritual memoir, “Called Out of Darkness.”
On Thursday (July 29), Rice said she has “quit being a Christian,” although she remains “committed to Christ.”
“I quit being a Christian. I’m out,” she wrote on her Facebook page, in sections that were confirmed by her publisher. “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.”
Rice, 68, wrote that she has “tried” and “failed” to remain a Christian but her conscience won’t allow her to remain in good faith.
“My conversion from a pessimistic atheist … 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,” she said.
In a 2008 interview, Rice said she experienced “grief on the edge of despair” when she first lost her faith, and described her vampire novels as “a journey through atheism back to God.”
After reconnecting with her faith, she said she was moved by God to write the “Christ the Lord” novels. In 2002, she said she “consecrated her writing entirely to Christ, vowing to write for him or about him.”
“When my faith was given back to me by God, redemption became a part of the world in which I lived,” she said in a 2005 interview. “And I wasn’t going to write any more books where that wasn’t the case.”
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