You may have missed this but Anne Rice has quit Christianity. That's right - the famous author is supposedly done with the Church. What I found interesting in this article is not the title but what she said beyond the headline.

....said Wednesday that she refuses to be "anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science and anti-Democrat."

Politics aside, good for her. Welcome to humanism.

"For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian ... 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."

Amen to that sister. I don't quite get why you "tried" - that seems to imply that you thought that you would experiment with it but hey, you see it for what it is.

"My faith in Christ is central to my life. "

Ah, now I see where she's going with this. Its the 'ol "lets separate Jesus from the awful stuff" idea. Of course, there are many problems with this. First, the Old Testament foretold the coming Messiah. That's why the Jesus story (and all of its contradictions) was fashioned the way it was - it had to fit what the OT told us was going to happen. Worse, JC had to then turn around and validate the OT. You can't just forget that part of all of this because those are also part of his words. If you want to use him as a philosopher you can just skip the middle man and go right to the greeks. Cafeteria religion at its best.

"My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me,"

Whoa. I have many problems with this one.

Pessimistic atheist? First, one has nothing to do with the other. Being an atheist or a believer has nothing to do with being an optimist or a pessimist. There is just such a negative connotation when the two words are put together like that.

But what is more telling is the rest of the statement. She prefers to be an "optimistic believer". Let me translate this for you:

"I've shopped around and this is what was most appealing to me"

This article is a fantastic example of why people believe and how little they know of disbelievers. Even when she was a "pessimistic atheist", Rice was a searcher and her search wasn't for truth. It was for... something. This is why people that need to fill a void in their lives settle on religion. If truth isn't comforting enough you just go out there and make your own reality. I can't fathom how this makes people feel better - I can't lie to myself on this level.

What is unique about Rice is that she doesn't seem to be honest with herself about the evils of religion but not about how the story is derived. We seem to be seeing more and more people rejecting organized religion and pretending that the other part of the story doesn't exist. Once again, this is baffling.

Besides, it isn't like Jesus had this wisdom beyond what we are taught as a child. Worse, he tells you that if you follow him it will all be ok. How ironic - the same thing that we tell our children when they don't know better.

Link to the original article here.

Views: 37

Comment by Geektheist (Rocky Oliver) on August 4, 2010 at 4:24pm
She's on a "spiritual" (for lack of a better word) journey. She went from atheist back to the religion of her child, Catholicism, after she had many personal tragedies befall her (loss of a daughter, friends, and a husband). Some people can withstand such crushing blows; not all though. And now, once she's been on the "inside" of what being a "good Catholic" and a "good Christian" means today, she realizes that it isn't as comforting and consoling - nor as evolved - as I'm sure she had hoped.

I imagine this journey will continue, as many do, along a path of "just a spiritual Christian" to "personal relationship with god, not defined by Christianity or any other religion" to "spiritual humanist" to agnostic, and then maybe even back to atheist.

Disillusionment is hard; and as her senses come back to her, and she continues to heal and think, I imagine her beliefs will continue to evolve (or maybe "devolve" is a better word?).

This should be interesting.

SIDE NOTE: There is a blog entry by Michael Rowe at Huffington Post that may be interesting to some, although I do disagree with Mr. Rowe - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rowe/why-anne-rice-has-never-... . Just wanted to let people know, and to add it to the discussion.
Comment by Geektheist (Rocky Oliver) on August 4, 2010 at 4:27pm
BTW, Pesci, I see you're hosting your blog on Lotus Notes; I've been a Lotus professional for over 18 years, and even have worked for Lotus/IBM a couple of times - most recently on the Product Development team for Notes 7.0.x, Notes 8.0.1 and 8.5.1, and Domino 8.5.1. I just thought it was kewl to see the ".NSF" in your url, and wanted to mention it. :)

--LotusGeek, aka Rocky Oliver
Comment by Pesci on August 4, 2010 at 5:16pm
@Rocky, I agree 100% with what your comments (you said what I was thinking in a far more eloquent manner - that's what I get for blogging at lunch). And thanks for the link - the article and the comments are extremely interestings.

I've seen you speak several times at lotusphere and I meant to say hello to you here. I'm a former IBMer (started R3) and a long-time champion of Domino in my company. Your survey DB inspired us to write a pretty kick-ass ad hoc search/reporting utility. Not sure if you checked out my site but I'm (obviously) using oneui with some geekiness plugged in. P.S. is 8.5.2 coming out any time soon? We've been waiting to get our hands on the new dojo so that we can move forward with a project.
Comment by Pesci on August 4, 2010 at 5:21pm
Thanks Adriana, your comment is appreciated. I might add that it really gets me when people assume that I'm angry or that the church did me wrong. In a sense they project their mentality (holding a belief for a reason other than truth) onto me.

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