Anne Rice: ‘I Quit Christianity’

Anne Rice is an amazing author. Her works are rich, detailed, and lush. She was writing about vampires nearly thirty years ago – and they’ve endured in the Lestat series. Several biographies have been written about her, which I devoured in a single sitting. Her life, her writing, her MIND is just unlike anything I’ve seen. And the funny thing is, she is a genuine intellectual. She came up in San Francisco at the height of the hippie movement, and seemed to have maintained both a free-minded whimsy but also a well-grounded sense of right and wrong. She didn’t buy into the hard-core feminist manifestos, or the radical SLA-type socialism. She was, in short, absolutely fascinating.

Several years ago, she declared she would write no more about vampires because she was “writing for the Lord.” I was curious about this. I wanted to see what she would do with it, though I dreaded the possibility her books would become, literally, “preachy.”

I was genuinely concerned. Her son, Christopher, also a novelist, is gay. And several reporters had asked her if she believed homosexuality was a sin. She wouldn’t say so; she said she believed the Bible, and she would pray for her son, and pray for the Church too. This bothered me. She, who had written some pretty great gay stuff in her career, was now not only saying – by default – that homosexuality was wrong, but that her son’s sexuality was somehow not a part of the infinite blessings of Jesus. I wanted her to say, “My son is gay and if that is not compatible with the Church, I choose my son.” Instead, she held the line. But I suppose that is what one does when one decides to join a religion.

For a few years, she stuck to her guns, writing about Jesus Christ. I never read any of those books because the subject, sorry to say, bores me, but I assume they were as beautiful as her vampire books, witch books, and even her erotica. She once said that she would write about the vampires if she could write them for Jesus. In the end, she decided that wasn’t possible. So she said she wouldn’t write them any more; she wouldn’t repudiate them, but she also wasn’t going to write them anymore.

Then today, on Facebook, Anne Rice wrote:

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. 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.

Well this is certainly a change. I am curious what changed for her. And I’m curious what church she was going to that was “anti-life”.

I’ve been very open about my ambivalence about God and Christianity. I do not go to church; I do not believe in an actual place called heaven or hell. I have no idea if there is a God. My astonishment, in other words, is not because I am disappointed she quit Christianity.

She spent most of this afternoon posting Bible passages. And then this:

My faith in Christ is central to my life. 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. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.

Color me fascinated. Anne Rice is one of those people who are just interesting to observe. I don’t have to agree with something she says to find it beautiful or fascinating; I just like to watch her. And right now, I am fascinated.

Her son is probably very glad to have her back. And so am I. I anticipate more vampire novels.

My New TV Boyfriend Is Now My New Movie Boyfriend

Old Spice Guy has been cast in a movie with Jennifer Aniston. The report there on CNN is just adorable; he seems so modest and sweet.

So now my TV Boyfriend is now my Movie Boyfriend. And if I were Angelina Jolie, I would be seriously jealous. Just saying.

A Theory Of Aging

A realization: as I bend down to tie my shoes, I ever so subtly bend my knee outward, thereby making the distance between my hands and my shoe a bit shorter. It seems I’ve had a stiff lower back for a few days, and I’m not sure why. Sleeping badly, I suppose. But because my back bothers me, I don’t want to bend way over to tie my shoes. As I lift myself I realize: I am getting older.

I realize that approximately a hundred times a day. It terrifies me. I hate it. I am in my thirties, and I feel like I’m ninety-eight. Not physically. Just in general. I want to be twenty-seven forever and ever. And I’m not, so it bothers me. Then something occurred to me. I am only two seconds old.

I was a baby thirty years ago. The baby is the old person. I don’t think I carry any of that life with me. I can’t remember being spoon-fed cinnamon apples and learning my ABC’s. I can not relate to that person at all. And every year, that “entity” gets older.

But I’ve only been my current age for a month. This new person surprises me every day. It seems to me that I am younger now than I was back then because I’ve only been the Me I recognize for a few years. I am this age now – recently – and I was a baby three decades ago.

I suppose I am saying maybe age isn’t cumulative. Maybe it’s more an attitude, being aware that you’ve only been the person you are for a second, a minute, or whatever length of time you’d care to measure.

Julia Stiles To Star In “The Bell Jar”

Various sources report that Julia Stiles is producing and starring in an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”. Anyone who knows me knows I have a massive girl-crush on Julia Stiles. But I just can not picture her as Esther Greenwood, the protagonist of Plath’s novel.

Still, I will see it if for no other reason than to see someone else’s interpretation of Sylvia’s work.

I think it would be interesting to make a movie of the Ariel poems.

Right Wing News Gets A Repeal Promise From GOP

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has an exclusive report on a promise by the GOP leadership to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Fascinating and welcome reading! Check it out.

How To Get What You Want

I learned something over the past few months. It is the greatest lesson I’ve ever learned, and I hope and pray that I remember it forever:

The way to get what you want is to want it a little less.

I’ve found this is uncannily true about any object of desire – whether its a person, a thing, a job, or a change you want to make in yourself.

When you give attention to something, it gets bigger in your mind. It becomes the only thing you can see – which is great for focus, but also terrible for seeing other things. It blinds you to other opportunities. It keeps you pinned to a single outcome, and it allows the situation to destroy you if it doesn’t happen the way you want it to.

But by staying a little busy, by having lots of things happening, you allow other possibilities to creep in, and your world to broaden.

I realized it yesterday, when I got something I really wanted, that the only way I’ve ever gotten anything I ever wanted was by keeping it in my peripheral vision, not front and center. This goes against every piece of sports advice, every life coach, self-help book and guru that I’ve ever encountered, but it’s absolutely true for me.

Curious.

My New TV Boyfriend Talks About Libraries

I swear to GOD this man can not be any sexier. But I said that last time and now he busted out with a monologue on libraries. Seriously, Isiah, my feeble lady heart can not take any more. Please stop being so damn awesome. Best line, “Books are often composed of words. Many, many words.” Yes, Isiah, yes they sure are. Second best line: “Stop throwing pigeons.”

My New TV Boyfriend

Well, as soon as I saw it, my ovaries twitched:

Then Tracey and I spent no less than four hours talking about it. This is our conversation – unedited and raw.

Cara: OmG have you seen the new old spice ad? where he ends up in a hot tub??? [Note: this is what I love about my conversations with Tracey. No preamble. No “hey, what’s up.” Just right to the important stuff.]

Tracey: I heart him. Please marry him. Hunt him down, stalk him. If he’s gay, hold a gun to his head and make him marry you. I don’t care what it takes. I NEED to say that one of my friends is married to that guy, okay??? That’s my purpose in life. That you marry the Old Spice guy.

Please write a sexy novella involving me and Mr. Old Spice. Thank you.

Tracey (again, before I could respond): Okay. That’s a brilliant idea, actually. Women LOVE that commercial. He needs to be in your next story.

I HAVE to stop being so brilliant. But I CAN’T!!!!!

Cara: I LOVE IT! I seriously need to hunt him down, OMG, FOR AN INTERVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!!! Help me hunt him down! We must find his name, his agent, and get that hunky old spice wearing hottie to talk to me!!

Tracey: //OMG, FOR AN INTERVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!!!//

Ohhhhhhhh, yes. Then I can die fulfilled.

Cara: http://tvwatch.people.com/2010/06/30/old-spice-ad-isaiah-mustafa/

Tracey: Isaiah Mustafa? Isn’t Mustafa a character from The Lion King??

Track him down!!!!

So I did. On Twitter. I’m just watching and waiting for my moment.

UPDATE: The very newest, like 10 minutes old apparently:

Queen Elizabeth To Visit Manhattan On Tuesday

NYT reports that Queen Elizabeth will visit Ground Zero on Tuesday and visit a garden created to pay respect to the 67 Britons killed in the attacks.

I am recently fascinated by Queen Elizabeth. From her youth, she has been an unusually sensible monarch. She actually had no expectation that she’d one day be Queen. Her father was young, and so was her uncle, Prince Edward of Wales who was to succeed her father. In 1936, her uncle abdicated to marry “the woman I love”, Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American, and she became second in line to the throne. When her father passed away while she was in Nairobi, the twenty-eight year old Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth.

My favorite fact about her comes from Wikipedia:

In 1943, 16-year-old Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed Colonel-in-Chief the previous year. In February 1945, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, as an honorary Second Subaltern with the service number of 230873. She trained as a driver and mechanic, drove a military truck, and was promoted to honorary Junior Commander five months later. She is the last surviving head of state who served in uniform during the Second World War.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of feminism, but wow, she is one tough old broad.

Second favorite fact: Married sixty-four years, hers has been the longest marriage of any British monarch.

I guess I’m just a fan in general. I wish I were in New York so I could, perhaps, catch a glimpse.

Jaycee Duggard To Receive $20 Million From California

Jaycee Duggard, kidnapped at age eleven, filed a lawsuit claiming that California corrections officials failed to do their jobs when they failed to follow up on her kidnapper’s parole violations. The claim sought psychological, physical and emotional damages.

Today the California Assembly voted to compensate Jaycee Duggard to the tune of $20 million.

This seems fair to me, considering she will never be able to work or live a normal life. Her education stopped at age eleven. She’s been a mother since age fourteen, and traumatized by living in a tent in her kidnapper’s back yard. So I do sympathize and agree with the settlement.

That being said, California is broke. Where will this money come from? I actually prefer that Jaycee get the money rather than the general public, but – again – the question must be asked: how did the state of California get this money? I assume it was some sort of reserve litigation fund, but if that’s the case, why are they always complaining they have no money? The city of Maywood just closed; they literally fired all their city employees and entered into a contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for police services. Oakland is bankrupt. Jerry Brown said in no uncertain terms that “you could say that California is bankrupt.”

I wonder if the Duggard settlement will appear to be a “punishment” to the authorities in California the way punitive damages are supposed to levied against civil and criminal offenders. Somehow, I doubt they will try to be more careful about their parole requirements. To them, it’s just another chit on the billion dollar deficit, no more or less meaningful than highway landscaping or trash removal.

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