About a week and a half ago, celebrated novelist Anne Rice made waves – first on Facebook and Twitter, then in international media coverage — for quitting the Christianity that she had joined about a decade before. Quoth her Facebook page:
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.
Holy Explosive Declarations, Batman! This all sounded familiar, as she’d denounced atheism half a decade previous with similar passion and articulation.
I should know — I was there.
Five years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Anne for Relevant Magazine (PDF archive here) after her profession of Christian faith and the launch of her Christ the Lord novel series. She was in nearby Birmingham, Alabama, for an incredible night of conversation with a priest, a rabbi, and a Baptist pastor. (The feature article was never online at Relevant, but an audio excerpt lives here, and an unabridged version can be read at the Burnside Writers’ Collective site.)
So naturally, with the impact of her current declaration, I couldn’t resist catching up with Anne and asking her what’s changed since we last spoke — and what’s stayed the same. You can hear the results of this far-reaching conversation right here on Homebrewed Christianity.
Let me know what you think!
(Two details: Our interview starts at the 7:40 minute mark, though the witty introductory repartee between Chad Crawford and Ryan Parker is definitely worth listening to. Also, I committed a significant faux pas in my fast-talking introduction to Anne before our interview; I mistakenly identify her current Angel Time series as her “return to vampires.” This is not the case; it’s a metaphysical thriller involving angels, but not blood-suckers. Sorry.)
- Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
- Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana
- Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book One
- Of Love and Evil: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book Two
- Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession