AP reports that Anne Rice, famed writer of disturbing vampire stories, has left the Roman Catholic Christian faith that she famously took up a few years ago.
Reportedly her reasons are that she was disturbed by the church's sex scandals and in disagreement about its views on (wait for it . . .) abortion, birth control and homosexuality.
Rice's statement announces this move as forsaking Christianity and Christian faith for the sake of Christ. We figure that like many Catholics and non-Christians, for Rice Christian faith and Roman Catholic faith are identical. At any rate, she "continues to read theology and post Biblical passages on her Facebook page," per the news item.
Of course, we expect that denizens of liberal Protestantism might seek to recruit Rice, though many might be put off by her ongoing preoccupation with the Bible. Some might prefer that she remain solitary as an individualistic post-Christian spirituality-seeker, thereby further enabling the long, slow decline of liberal Protestant Christianity seemingly so dearly sought by its remaining adherents.
Be that as it may, we are dismayed by this event on two fronts. On the wide front, we are dismayed again that too-intimate acquaintance with a deeply flawed expression of Christianity seems to have alienated yet another individual. What might have happened with Rice had the Bishop of Rome offered that birth control was fine for responsible married folk, that priests could marry, and that pedophiles would never be tolerated? In other words, what might have happened in a world in which a major voice in Christianity was not beset with medieval neo-Platonist dualism? Might the other issues giving her offense had the opportunity to give her pause instead?
On the narrow front, we are dismayed that Rice, clearly an accomplished person of letters if not of refined tastes, could not understand and embrace what drives the broader, historic (as opposed to modern liberal) Christian moral agenda on life and sex. If she reads good theology--especially some of the best contemporary Roman Catholic theology of the body--we hope she does so with an open mind.