Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Rice and "Quitting" Christianity

Aside from a few tweets, I've tried to stay away from commenting on Anne Rice's recent announcement that she was "quitting Christianity" - mainly because I haven't had the time to sit down and make a succinct statement myself, but also because I wanted to spend a bit more time on the semantics of the statement (rather than on Anne's person).

Regarding the former, Brian McLaren has come along in the meantime and sums my sentiment up succinctly when he shares his following reasons for not "quitting" Christianity:

"I hang in there for several reasons. First, if I want to be affiliated with any group of human beings, sooner or later I will be associated with bigotry, intolerance, violence, stupidity, and pride. In fact, even if I stand alone, distancing myself from every other group, I know that within me there are the seeds of all these things."

I couldn't have said it any better myself and am quite thankful Brian shoots straight to the heart on this one.

Regarding the whole semantic side of the conversation...

Is it just me or does "quitting" Christianity while maintaining adherence to the Man/God it was named after seem to ignore Christ's own admonitions to work toward peace with each other as both sibling and friend?

You don't "quit" a family so much as you "leave" one, and to my mind you're walking a very self-righteous line to say you can pick your parents on the one hand and reject your siblings' parentage on the other.

I don't mean to call Anne out on this point in particular as I realize that placing so much weight on the written word ignores the person writing those words, but I do feel there's some good mirror-looking to be done by those of us left kicking about trying to keep this family from devouring itself.


Related:
-  Bill Shakespeare's take on the matter
Paul on "biting and devouring" one another
Read the rest of McLaren's response here (c/o @NathanPederson)

3 comments:

The Renegade Librarian said...

Jimmy, extremely extremely well put. I love it when you write this stuff!

James Kingsley said...

Glad you enjoyed it...I've found this discussion a hard one to enter as being critical of Anne's statement is dangerously close to the kind of hair-splitting that drove me to make the post in the first place.

Richard Dew said...

Sorry Friend, I'm with Anne on this one. I'm in love with Christ but in no way wish to be associated w/ the group calling themselves Christians. How much better the day when that was an insult bestowed by others rather than a badge of pride worn mostly by the pious and hypocritical. Yes, Christ preached peace... don't forget that He also routinely called out the religious right for their failure to Love. Perhaps those of us distancing ourselves are merely calling out the religious for their failure to be Christ to the world... that in itself would be very Christ-like.