Anne Rice, who Bill McGarvey interviewed extensively for® awhile back abruptly “quit Christianity. Yesterday, on her facebook page she wrote:

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 to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

Sounds like a preference for the “vertical” relationship between God and self without the “horizontal” relationship where one also relates to God in relationship with others.

Which is understandable, after all, lots of people have this preference and Ms. Rice exhibits a clear dissatisfaction with organized religion–however, I think the real misgiving here is to assume that we can horde our relationship with God for ourselves. There’s an assumption that religion and relationships with God and others aren’t messy and that we don’t have to talk and be in dialogue with those who we disagree with.

And that’s not easy. Not by a longshot. But I believe that to do otherwise is simply a cop-out. I wrote about my own reasons for staying Catholic awhile back. To add to that post I’ll offer this bit:

To give up entirely on Christianity is to give up on one another, in my opinion. It’s to give up on peace and justice for all. It’s to say that we know better than everyone else and perhaps that we know better than God–that we can’t be led to God by someone else and that God won’t send those people to us (and us to others) in the hope that our hearts might be changed.

We have that choice. That choice to get off the bench and get in the game. The choice to live for others and not just for ourselves. The choice to refuse to let those who we think are unjust go unchecked. The choice to bring Jesus to others and to let others bring Christ into our lives, even when we think we have it all figured out. I know I’m grateful to be in dialogue with people who might not agree with me all of the time, even if it might be frustrating at times.

I am sorry that Ms. Rice, who I really like, has decided to stay home. I wonder what the straw that broke the Catholic’s back was?

She adds a bit more on Facebook here:

As I said below, 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.

Anne, know that you are always welcome in any church I belong to. I hope you reconsider. We need you and will miss you and all those who decide to “go it alone.”

But for now, I hope you can “go in peace.”

Thanks to Thom at Ad Dominum for pointing me here.