Author Ann Rice Leaves “Christianity”
This is quite timely, since I had just discussed Christianity with my DGMEDIA class yesterday. A few of my students have come up with innovative Christian-themed concepts for their Game Design theses and much as I usually refuse to discuss my spirituality in class, it couldn’t be helped. I did tell them that my spiritual convictions should not be something that they should follow just because I said so. I wanted them to think for themselves and love within the realms of their beliefs, the way I sometimes question many atheists and Christians alike while marveling at the differences brought about by human nature.
Anyway, our panelist, Jerome Assuncion, calls himself a progressive Catholic. I told him that I am a Christian but I do not wish to belong to a sect. Ann Rice’s decision actually reflect the same line of thinking. I don’t think she actually left Christianity; she has a profound relationship with Jesus Christ. I think what she left is the hypocrisy of it all: the constant hatred of things that people don’t understand (anti-gay, anti-feminist etc.). When you reflect about the life of Christ, you would notice that he was a trailblazer who tried to obliterate the oppressive religious conditions of his time. He sat with the outcasts and the “sinners” without trying to change them. Instead, he inspired them with his wisdom — wisdom that brought about real healing. As a former student, Jeiel Aranal, quoted from Philosophy Bites: “Jesus Christ was a radical secular humanist.”
Those oppressive religious conditions are back with a vengeance and I have no doubt that if Christ were to live during this time, the churches that have declared him God would be the very first ones to cast stones. The world is filled with judgment. But I guess that is the nature of human beings, really. (Why do you think we’re the only species that seem to have hastened the world’s death? We are inherently destructive.)
We are trapped in a vicious cycle. People organize structures that will be destroyed by trailblazers then the trailblazers themselves will inadvertently organize new structures that will be debunked by future trailblazers. (LOL. My boss Robert and I actually discussed this in one of our art theory sessions at his office.) It’s our nature. We evolve. We are constantly moving. When we cease to question, we lose the ability to intellectualize and we turn into drones agreeing to everything that religious leaders say. Obviously, Jesus Christ was no drone. He questioned, evolved and constantly moved.
But I suppose, only those who have the passion for deeper learning will understand this. Comparative Literature and Comparative Religion majors have already written so many essays on this: Many (not all) teachings of Christianity are actually against the teachings of Christ.
Going back to Ann Rice, I said, “Good luck!” when she first announced that she was denouncing her vampire stories. I thought that if she lived a great deal longer, her decision will begin to eat at her insides. I understand that her decade-long foray into “Christianity” was an intellectual move. Her vampire stories are backed by heavy research. She found Christ in that research. She thought that she could have a deeper connection to him if she joined “his flock”. (I’m putting quotation marks there because I remember historical documents that spoke of false prophets leading the church. I’m thinking, those false prophets have been sitting there since Peter died and their followers are now the anti-gay, anti-women etc.) Her Catholic novels are beautifully written because these are just as well-researched as her previous publications.
But of course, I knew she wouldn’t last because no well-researched scholar could bear living in a world of sweeping statements and hasty generalizations.