Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

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Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by Sakhaiva on Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:13 pm

Ok... this might fall into the 'why should we even care' category; however it's the best topic I have for discussion right now:

Anne Rice has given up on Christianity; CS Monitor write up, found here: Anne Rice-she-s-done


Apparently it is not the faith/spirituality that has her on the outs, but the nature of the religion; in an excerpt from the write up, she said:

"I remain committed to Christ as always," she explained further on Facebook,
"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."


I like Michael Rowe's POV:

"On The Huffington Post,
however, Michael Rowe writes that, in his estimate, "in leaving
Christianity and rejecting its contemporary manifestation as codified
ignorance, bigotry, and intolerance, Rice has paradoxically moved
herself closer to the essence of Christ's teachings than perhaps at any
other time in her life."Rowe quotes John 13:35: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

"The title 'Christian,' in short," he writes, "is meaningless in and of itself – especially without love."


I've had an 'on again/off again' relationship with different aspects of Christianity - for the same/similar reasons as every other 'on/off'er ( it's not the teachings of Christ, but the fruitless lines drawn in the sand and/or monetary issues that tan my hide) So, since changing one's mind is a virtue, I relate with her hoppity ways.

Thoughts about Ms. Rice's public revelation?
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:13 pm

I understand. I've never felt that Christians by the large were very Christlike. I did the same thing.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:23 am

If I recall correctly, Rice's return to Catholicism occurred not long after the death of her husband. Since I've had grief-related fits of religious fervor, I wonder if that had anything to do with her "getting religion" again. Some things she said after returning along with those over-the-top Jesus novels she wrote suggested to me that some emotional state might be fueling her religious re-conviction.

I, too, think Christianity has long since outlived its usefulness. I relate its current state to when we'd decide to elaborate upon the standard spoked wheel with hub base when playing that old snow game Fox and Geese. You know, the one where the fox chases everybody else and tries to tag them. Only one person can be in the safety of the base at a time, so we'd usually get the bright idea to add more paths and farflung bases to make it a challenge for the fox to catch everyone.

It was never as much fun when we did.

Same thing with religions that add a bunch of must-believes and rules.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:55 am

So. Someone want to explain to me why everyone was saying that since she was now a Christian, she couldn't write her vampire books anymore.

That one had me scratching my head, and thinking the whole idea was asinine.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by AutumnalTone on Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:46 pm

"Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

Seems to be a recurrent sentiment amongst pretty sharp people.

As for not being able to write about vampires due to Christianity...well, there's a lot of stupidity floating around in the wild. Do your best to dodge when it comes flying at you. Then point and laugh as it flies on by.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:32 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:So. Someone want to explain to me why everyone was saying that since she was now a Christian, she couldn't write her vampire books anymore.

That one had me scratching my head, and thinking the whole idea was asinine.

Actually, I think Rice herself issued a statement back then that she no longer considered the topic appropriate and thus would begin a series of novels on events in the life of Jesus.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:24 pm

Well, I heard that she was the one who said it, but I still had the Big Old Why in my head. I mean, it was like the woman couldn't tell the difference between religious belief, and outright fiction.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:46 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Well, I heard that she was the one who said it, but I still had the Big Old Why in my head. I mean, it was like the woman couldn't tell the difference between religious belief, and outright fiction.

Makes sense you'd think this, SG, since yours is a very non-Catholic way of looking at the issue.

Rice would have grown up steeped in the Catholic mindset of not reading books or seeing movies containing objectionable material. She's also as am I of the era of the Legion of Decency, the body that pronounced which movies were acceptable, proceeding through various degrees of "morally objectionable" to just plain condemned. (Guess which ones I REALLY wanted to see even though young as I was then I'm sure I'd not have understood what was going on.)

Catholics are probably still taught as we were that it's your obligation and responsibility to keep yourself from any media containing sinfulness as well as not to provide an "occasion of sin" for others.

Thus, I can understand Rice's conviction that she ought not write any more vampire books. Wholesome fantasy is one thing--Disney movies, fairy tales, legends and such--but Rice's vampire stuff could scarcely be considered that.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:30 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Well, I heard that she was the one who said it, but I still had the Big Old Why in my head. I mean, it was like the woman couldn't tell the difference between religious belief, and outright fiction.

The paradox of course being that one of the best selling teen series of all time, focused on the one girls struggle to choose between necrophilia and bestiality, is herself a fairly devout Mormon. I realize of course that many Christians do not consider Mormonism Christian, but Mormons do, so...

Mind you I have read a few decent essays on the threads of Mormonism which permeate the series, but that's another topic...

I did find it odd that this was also coming from a Catholic, I mean it would have been more understandable if she had joined an Evangelical Church, shunning "the world" and all that.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by tmarie64 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:47 pm

Big deal, Christianity didn't bend over and kiss her ass and fit exactly what SHE wanted.
Newsflash, sweetheart...You cannot "follow Christ" and NOT be Christian.
That "don't read "evil" books" mindset must be British or European because in 46 years, with a mother who came from a devout Porutgese Catholic family and a father who was a convert to Catholicism (and as such knew more about it than any cradle Catholic layperson), I was NEVER EVER told not to read something about vampires, monsters, or things that go bump in the night. I read "The Fires of Spring" by James Michener when I was in the 4th grade. I started reading Stephen King and all his colleagues/peers when I was about 10. My mom was housekeeper for our parish priest and he recommended books, and read books that I recommended. All horror.
My mom was born in 1925, her mom was born in 1900 in Portugal. My grandmother was CATHOLIC, very devout. I've never seen the mindset about "objectionable" material...except porn. And the porn mindset was that it's just gross, LOL, not very interesting.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by tmarie64 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:49 pm

She can cut herself off from churches, and denominations. But, as long as she follows Christ, she is Christian. So, she's just being an attention whore and trying to make what some would see as "outrageous" claims when it's really just so much hot air.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:24 am

tmarie64 wrote: That "don't read "evil" books" mindset must be British or European because in 46 years, with a mother who came from a devout Porutgese Catholic family and a father who was a convert to Catholicism (and as such knew more about it than any cradle Catholic layperson), I was NEVER EVER told not to read something about vampires, monsters, or things that go bump in the night.

So, you were born right about the time of Vatican II.

A LOT of things got more liberal after that.

My mother was fairly liberal about what we could read when I got into high school in 1963. However, before then, she monitored my reading pretty carefully.

Before 1960, my parents were really quite strict about our not seeing any movies that weren't rated morally acceptable for all by the Legion of Decency.

Every year, taking the vow to uphold and observe the restrictions set by the Legion was part of one Sunday's Mass. And, I sure remember the nuns haranguing us during the two week summer school about appropriate reading material and movies.

My mom was the convert and something of a zealot. However, my dad's family was pretty strict to the point that it wasn't unusual to see Grandpa reading his missal of a Sunday afternoon when we visited them.

Your family experience obviously wasn't mine, and I think you'd agree that neither of our experiences can reasonably be said to represent any standard for Catholic families.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:46 pm

Thanks for all the great posts guys Smile

SG, I've always thought that she simply exhausted her vampire material, and exhausted her witching material (I always loved reading about that Mayfair family) and so the Jesus thing simply gave her something new to write about. (I think she does a great job researching for her stories.)

BTW, Anne Rice has some interviews on her website if anyone want's to hear more: http://www.annerice.com/
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:07 am

Personally, I'm hoping that her recent "unconversion" will lead her to write more softcore porn. I thought her titles initially published under a pseudonym were pretty good stuff. Twisted Evil
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:04 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:Thanks for all the great posts guys Smile

SG, I've always thought that she simply exhausted her vampire material, and exhausted her witching material (I always loved reading about that Mayfair family) and so the Jesus thing simply gave her something new to write about. (I think she does a great job researching for her stories.)

BTW, Anne Rice has some interviews on her website if anyone want's to hear more: http://www.annerice.com/

Quite possibly, but I heard, forget who through, that it was "Cannot write this stuff because I am now a Christian." Now if she was moving on to other topics, fine, but the excuse was bizarre.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:10 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Quite possibly, but I heard, forget who through, that it was "Cannot write this stuff because I am now a Christian." Now if she was moving on to other topics, fine, but the excuse was bizarre.

To a Pagan, it understandably makes no sense at all.

However, a good many Christians consider themselves obliged to behave in a christlike manner. As they perceive that, they ought not read such racy stuff nor, in Rice's case, be writing morally questionable books.

Now, whether or not they actually do what they profess they ought to do is another issue obviously.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:15 pm

*shrugs* To me, behaving "christlike" would be donating proceeds from said racy book to help the homeless or something.



But clearly I am going to hell, so I know nothing.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:58 pm

Yar, what Dot said.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:33 pm

SG - I agree that not writing Vampire books because she's christian is nonsensical. In fact, I bet Christian vampire books would sell big at Christian bookstores. (I sense opportunity!)

On another note, I got to thinking about this thread and it seems to me that the idea of quitting Christianity because one is 'too committed to Christ' is strange notion. I mean to be a follower of the teachings of Yeshua as Christ is supposed to, first and foremost, mean that one understands the concept of grace, right? The example we're given is that Yeshua, even as he were being murdered in a very nasty way, said a prayer of forgiveness for the Romans who slaughtered him (which is a pretty tough example).

So in this light, not being christian because christians are flawed is a bit nonsensical (though it's common; I've done it myself... a few times.)

Now I can relate with not wanting to be a member of a big church because, lets face it, they are all flawed. But In know, first hand, that there are many homosexual-friendly denominations.

But switching denominations isn't really Facebook-worthy.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like book sale fodder. Which is cool; the gal needs to earn a living.

DOT, did you ever read Cry To Heaven? It's not really one of her 'soft porn' books... but it's got some juicy parts.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:39 am

Naw, I've only read the Mayfair books and her Sleeping Beauty trilogy, the latter being the aforementioned porn.

I just didn't like the vampire books for some reason even though I slogged through two or three to give them a fair shot. Too many years ago...don't recall why.

At the risk of beating the dead horse some more, if Rice was thinking old school Catholic-style when she got all virtuous and announced she could no longer write the vampire stuff due to having re-embraced Christianity, the point is that she couldn't simply donate the profits. She'd be doing the wrong thing by making money off morally unsound writings. Donating the profits would be a feeble attempt to whitewash something essentially wrong and thus would compound the wrongness.

As has been hinted above, I suspect there was at least a measure of publicizing in her announcing that she no longer could justify writing the vampire books. Too coincidental that said statement was made as she prepared to publish a series on the life of Christ.

As for her writing Christian vampire books, perhaps. She apparently didn't see that as an avenue she could pursue. Andrew Greeley has plenty of sex in his books, but it's a wholesome Irish hetero romp-in-the-hay sort. Hell, I don't know how he justifies being a priest who writes semi-sexy novels whereas Rice thought she had to write oh-so-virtuous ones. For all I know, my theory is completely off base.
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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by gillyflower on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:47 am

Um, in the fan fiction world there are plenty of stories (and screen caps) about her over the top responses to fan fiction and her fans so I'm not so sure that Rice was thinking it through rather than having an emotional and dramatic response.

If you are interested, here is an interview with Anne Rice from The Times in 2009:

The Conversation: Anne Rice

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/article6905136.ece

As you can read, she has no intention of giving up the revenue from all those books that are still making her money and doesn't see any harm in them from a Catholic point of view.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by tmarie64 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:12 am

Like I said, Sak, you cannot follow Christ and not be Christian. Just as you cannot follow Buddha and not be Buddhist.

This was just a media whore's ploy to get the attention that has waned.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:34 pm

tmarie64 wrote:Like I said, Sak, you cannot follow Christ and not be Christian. Just as you cannot follow Buddha and not be Buddhist.

Depends on your perspective, IMO. Unitarian Universalists may do either or both and consider themselves neither a Christian nor a Buddhist but a Unitarian Universalist.

Now, you may well consider a person who does something of this type insincere or a dabbler.

To Gilly: Okay, good point about Rice's still raking in tons of royalties on her "morally deficient" vampire books.

What do I know? I'm just speculating. For all we know, we've not even come close to what her motives were when she decided she was returning to Catholicism.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by tmarie64 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:22 pm

If you say you are Following Christ, then you are Christian. Doesn't matter if you like it or not. If you follow His teachings and live your life by his standards..if you FOLLOW Him, you are Christian.
The way she worded her story, she is Christian.

Christian is the religion, not the denomination. One does not have to belong to a church/denomination to be Christian.

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Re: Anne Rice - Changing One's Mind

Post by Sakhaiva on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:03 pm

Christian is the religion, not the denomination. One does not have to belong to a church/denomination to be Christian.

Good point Tmarie64!
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