Saturday, 21 January 2012

"Today I quit being a Christian"

I have just read Mick Brown's (Telegraph magazine 21/01.12) interesting and thought provoking interview with Anna Rice 'the atheist high priestess of vampire lit.' For thirty years she was an atheist, having been brought up as a Catholic. He writes that she then returned to Catholicism and  focussed her  writing on Christ. Last year, she placed this comment on 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 being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to " belong" to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.'

'I quit. 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. Amen.'

And ... a bit of me wants to say 'Amen' - but I can't. Can you quit Christianity just like that? Can you jump in and out at will. You can stop going to church. You can stop praying - but do you stop praying? Don't you just refuse to accept that you are praying? Or do you live at surface level and make yourself so busy that there is no time to allow God in?
Perhaps it is not Christianity that Anna Rice rejects but 'The Church', organised religion and being told what 'We' must believe. And perhaps I might say 'Amen' to that .


  1. That's a very challenging statement Anne Rice put out, Harriet. Like you part of me could easily find myself saying Amen to what she says, as I too hate being identified against my will with some so-called Christian attitudes.

    I think you are right that much of what she has left is the church, especially as she was a Catholic with so much laid down for her to adhere to. But I also think she hates the stridently negative Christian views which can be so prominent in the US where she lives.

    I can't follow her. Much as I wince when I hear these views being expressed I know they are distortions and not true of the faith I hold.

  2. I fear that 'The Church' has never been the same thing as being a Christian.
    I suspect being a curate's wife is much tougher than being a curate, and answering the questions - even from yourself - is probably tougher still! My mother - a vicar's daughter - hated that if she was good it was 'because she was the vicar's daughter', and, if she were not, it was somehow more shocking because she was the vicar's daughter...

  3. Your posting comes two days after receiving a 'strident' letter from a cousin. She has always held her own views on religion and politics [unfortunatly at odds with my own]. Instantly I hit the keyboard with a scathing reply ... haven't posted it, and now wont as there are some people who hold views that are unable to be comprehended, and who are happy to be at odds with others.
    However your posting reminded me of a quote by John Cleese, "I'm quite interested in what religion could be if the churches hadn't screwed it up."
    Sadly the one thing mankind has never taken on board is the fact that strident negativity [an excellent phrase used by Perpetua:)] just does not go down.

  4. I must admit to being against organized religion; I feel too much evil has been done in the name of "protecting" and "promoting" various faiths. It truly is most unfortunate that the original ideals and philosophies have been so bastardized for power and greed.

  5. I definitely think she only quit 'the church.' Nobody who ends a 'quit being a Christian' prayer with... "in the name of Christ" has quit. She has just started a new journey and let us pray she meets 'Mercy.'