Why did Anne Rice leave Christianity? Gothic fiction writer calls his decision “painful”


Gothic fiction author Anne Rice, famous for her novel “Interview with the Vampire”, died of a stroke at the age of 80 on Saturday, December 11. Rice had a complicated, intermittent relationship with Christianity before publicly leaving the religion. for good in 2010.

“This is Anne Christopher’s son and it breaks my heart to bring you this sad news. Earlier this evening, Anne passed away from a stroke,” Rice’s son wrote on Facebook and Twitter about her mother’s death. Born in New Orleans, Rice spent much of her youth there before moving to Texas and then to San Francisco. She was the second of four daughters to parents of Irish Catholic descent, Howard O’Brien and Katherine “Kay” Allen O’Brien. But became an agnostic as a young adult. As a young child, Rice studied at St Alphonsus School, a Catholic institution previously attended by her father. Rice was confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of twelve. Other authors who died this year include Gary Paulsen and Lauren Berlant.

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Anne Rice’s relationship with Christianity

Songwriter Elton John and writer Anne Rice kiss during the encore opening night of “Lestat” at the Palace Theater on April 25, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images)

Since Rice was a strong supporter of gay and lesbian equality, including marriage rights, as well as abortion rights and birth control, and her writings reflected these issues, Rice turned to towards atheism at the age of 18. Catholic Church in 1998 after decades of atheism after she fell into a coma and nearly died, which was later determined to be caused by diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). However, she continued to advocate for the LGBT community and abortion rights.

In October 2005, while promoting her book “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt”, she declared that she wanted to use her life and her writings to glorify her belief in God. The author’s note to “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt” reads: “I had lived an old-fashioned and strict Roman Catholic childhood in the 1940s and 1950s… we attended mass and to daily communion in a huge and beautifully decorated church … Stained glass windows, mass in Latin, detailed answers to complex questions about good and evil, these things were etched in my soul forever … I left this church at 18 … I wanted to know what was going on, why so many seemingly good people did not believe in any organized religion but cared passionately about their behavior and the value of their lives … I broke with the church … I wrote many novels which, without my knowing it, reflected my search for meaning in a world without God. “

Why did Anne Rice leave Christianity?

Rice publicly announced her exit from Christianity on July 28, 2010. On her Facebook page, she wrote: “Today I quit being a Christian … I remain attached to Christ as always, but not to be. “Christian” or to be part of Christianity. It is simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputed and rightly infamous group. For ten years, I tried. I have failed. I am a stranger. My conscience does not allow anything else. . “

Anne Rice signs copies of her new book “Blood Canticle” at Barnes and Noble at Astor Place on October 30, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Henry / Getty Images)

Soon after, she clarified her statement by saying, “My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I did not understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a love of God is crucial for me. But following Christ does not mean following his disciples. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.

On her decision to give up her religion, she said NPR in August of the same year it was a “painful” decision. Although there was “the final knockout,” it was not a single event that prompted her to reject organized religion. “This is something that has really been going on since I started my conversion in 1998,” she said. “From the start there were signs that the public face of Catholicism and the public face of Christianity were things that I found very, very difficult to come to terms with.”

One of the last drops was when she realized everything the church would do to prevent same-sex marriage. “I didn’t anticipate at first that the American bishops were going to speak out against same-sex marriage,” she said. “That they were actually going to donate money to defeat gay civil rights in secular society… When it hit the headlines, I felt a lot of pressure. And I’m a person who has. grew up with the saying that all of this is necessary for evil to prevail is that good people do nothing, and I believe that statement. “

Rice added that since this decision, she has a “new freedom to confess my fears, my doubts, my pain, my conflicts, my alienation”, and she says she intends to take advantage of this freedom. “You know, I don’t like disappointing all my Catholic friends too much,” she said. “I hate to disappoint all of my Christian friends and contacts. I really don’t like it. It’s painful. But I did what I felt I had to do.”

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