For the article, follow this link: http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/30/anne-rice-leaves-christianity/?hpt=T2
In related news, Anne Rice’s “leaving” of “Christianity” didn’t cause any earthquakes, mountains to crumble, oceans to drain, stars to fall, or souls in Heaven to renounce their citizenship and empty their mansions there and take up residence in Berkeley, California. The sun will rise tomorrow.
But, in a celebrity-saturated world, people actually cite stuff like this as proof that “Christianity” (as Rice calls it) seems to be in a process of deep decline and erosion.
Thank goodness, there’s some good news in this. Like she states of herself, my faith is also in Jesus more than the religious brand, Christianity. Like her, following HIM is “central to my life.” But, as she cynically points out, “following Christ doesn’t mean following His followers.”
In no uncertain terms, I agree:
If you follow Jesus, please do not follow her.
Her religious-profiling of all of us being “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous” adding that we are all “anti-gay, anti-feminist (someone tell her we’re not in 1968 anymore), anti-science, and anti-Democrat” is nothing less than obnoxious. She’s talking for shock value, political shots at a few right-wingers she’s no doubt seen on some religious TV channel late at night, or just to incite interest in something else (probably her celebrity).
So, why do you care, John? If you are cynical of her motivations and cynical of her cynicism, why bother even paying attention?
Because CHRISTIANS DON’T FIT HER DESCRIPTION. They’re not perfect, by any means. (I’ve met some pretty crummy ones. On second thought, I’ve been a pretty crummy one from time to time.) But, her broad brush doesn’t jive with an everyday person who doesn’t need to use shock sound bytes to sell books.
Christians are good. Let me tweak that. Jesus-followers are good. “Christians” make up about 88% of America currently. You’re going to find some real hum-dingers in 88% of our nation. 9 out of 10 is plum near all of us. So, it may be more accurate to say she despises “Americans” for being anti-everything she said and cantankerous-on-all-counts instead of people who identify with the term “Christian.” For the most part, I agree with her that the term “Christianity” and “Christendom” have probably out-lived their usefulness. In the West, the terms “Christian” and “Christianity” have become attached (because of no small effort on the part of the cultural deluge of media, movies, books, magazines, talk boxes and people like Rice who regurgitate the same stereotype) with right-wing politics and fire-breathing dragons. Now, depending on the region of the country or the particular Christian tribe you’re talking about, it’s down-right doltish to lump one loony fundamentalist in a desert compound in his Wranglers waving his trusty 12-gauge in the air with the whole lot of us. If we associated people in that kind of sloppy and irresponsibly broad-swath way (the way cultural portrayal of us seems to happen as a, now, cliche and well-telegraphed punch-line on Awards Show stages, on talk shows, and in TV programs), what would happen to us if we used the same tactics in our characterization of all people of the Islamic faith, NFL players, or NASCAR fans?
(Well, OK. You’re right. All stereotypes of NASCAR fans are true.) But, I am making a larger point here, people.
Does it matter that Anne Rice decides to broadcast a press release that she’s leaving the entirety of ornery, bigoted, two-headed, hypocritical, pointy-nosed, Pharisaical, Republican, Fox News-watching, gun-toting “Christianity”… for or to whatever else? Maybe it matters to the three of them who are like that.
Anne Rice, for the rest of us who love to be named with the wonderful name of Jesus, paint us with that brush. This is my press release.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an appointment to go be cantankerously hostile and anti-science somewhere else.