Anne Rice: In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity

Interview With The Vampire author sets the record straight on why she chose to sever her ties with the Roman Catholic church.

Bestselling author Anne Rice – creator of the Vampire Chronicles series, which includes such titles as Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned – has elaborated upon her reasons for leaving the Catholic Church in an interview with CNN’s Joy Behar, after she revealed her decision to disassociate herself from the institution on her Facebook page on July 28.

In two status updates published on the social networking website, Rice declared that:

‘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.

In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.’

Rice, 68, was raised Catholic but abandoned the faith at age 18, only to return in 1998. A few years after her conversion, she published two novels in a proposed four-part series entitled ‘Life of Christ’, which depicts the growth of Jesus Christ as told from his own point of view.

In the interview with Behar, Rice did not mention any specific incidents or reasons that led to her decision to abandon the religion once again, claiming that “there were a lot of last straws” and that she had witnessed too many things done in the name of organised religion that had caused her “a lot of moral discomfort.”

However, Rice made it clear that she remains a follower of Christ, even if she has chosen to disassociate herself from “this group of His followers.”

Rice’s Vampire Chronicles remain bestsellers, and their impact has arguably set the cultural scene for properties such as the currently popular Twilight and True Blood. 

Her creations also graced the silver screen, most notably in 1994 with the star-studded Interview with the Vampire, a lush period piece directed by Neil Jordan which featured Tom Cruise as the mercurial vampire Lestat and Brad Pitt as his unwitting protégé Louis as well as, notably, a striking performance by a young Kirsten Dunst.

Its long-gestating sequel, Queen of the Damned – starring Stewart Townsend as Lestat and the late R&B singer Aaliyah as the titular Queen – was released in 2002 to lacklustre reviews.

Aside from her Vampire Chronicles stories, Rice has created several other fictional universes teeming with supernatural entities. Some of her early work, written under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure, re-invents the story of Sleeping Beauty as a sado-masochistic erotic tale.