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.
And with that announcement, Anne Rice publicly renounced her identity as a Christian on Facebook.
I’m compelled to wonder, however — who is the more preferable and honest of the two?
- The “Anne Rice”‘s of the world — who recognize their open disagreement with traditional [Catholic / Orthodox] Christianity, and agree that they can no longer identify themselves as such because the moral positions they hold are fundamentally incompatible?
- The “Nancy Pelosi”‘s of the world, who publicly repudiate various traditional moral positions of [Catholic / Orthodox] Christianity, yet simultaneously proclaim themselves “practicing Catholics” (up and including the reception of the Eucharist), and yet relegate their disagreements as “differences of opinion”?
If you have followed Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord series, there is a possibility that it won’t continue.
I have received many inquiries by letter and on Facebook as to when the third Christ the Lord book will appear. I can tell you now that it will not be published in 2010, and perhaps not in 2011 either. I hope that the first two books can stand alone as an imaginative and reverent treatment of Our Lord’s private years. The third book will have to address Our Lord’s public life, the territory covered so richly in the Four Gospels. It presents a whole range of difficulties which I did not face with the earlier two books, and it requires much prayer, meditation, gospel reading and study. It may turn out that my particular fictional approach is not appropriate for the years of Our Lord’s public ministry. I must confront the difficulties and the challenges honestly. I thank you for your support of the first two novels, and for your very encouraging letters. I hope that before the end of 2010, I will have something to announce with regard to the continuation of the series. Anne Rice (From www.annerice.com).
In continuity with my love of Anne Rice’s earlier books, I’d like to continue that, but to move away from the Vampire Chronicles, the Mayfair witches, and the activity of other “supernatural” creatures, and into her works on the life of Jesus.
There is much to be said about the two first installments in the Christ the Lord series. However, I’ll refrain because I cannot and will not ruin these books for anyone. They are jewels. At first thought, the idea of someone writing a novel about the life of Jesus in the context of a fictional, but historically-probable 1st century world for a Jew sounds like quite the challenge. However, to write this from a first person perspective as if you were Jesus Himself, to enter into the psychology of the incarnate Logos and to imagine what it is like to be simultaneously God and man and try to ‘live’ it out, as it were, in a novel presents itself as an impossible task. The impossibility becomes exponentially more clear when Mrs. Rice decided that she would be entirely faithful to the biblical framework and the orthodox Catholic understanding of the person of Jesus — that is, she would contradict none of the christological pronouncements of Nicea (325), Constantinople (381), nor Chalcedon (451). What a task.
Anne Rice, author of 28 books, which have sold nearly 100 million worldwide is one of the most widely read novelists in modern history. I have read nearly every book she has published. My first inclination was to discuss the themes predominant throughout all of her writing; however, a second thought, has prompted me to focus instead rather on the book that influenced me the most – leading me to the Catholic Church for the first time as Rice herself journeyed home.
Memnoch the Devil describes the vampire Lestat’s encounter with the Devil, who calls himself “Memnoch.” He is taken on a journey through the ‘whirlwind’ into Heaven, Helll, and the main epochs in the evolution of the universe. It is a radical retelling of the entirety of biblical history from the devil’s perspective. The devil’s charge is that he is not evil; in fact, he despises it. Rather, what he opposes is God’s tolerance of the existence of evil and suffering that plagues mankind and that in the beginning God, allegedly, had no interest in inviting man into His company in heaven. Memnoch – in a long story short – becomes the servant of humanity (and God) working to usher lost souls into Heaven. He invites Lestat to join him in the fight against evil and to bring all human souls from the gloom of Sheol to the paradise of Heaven.