Sunday, August 19, 2007

Anne Rice, Catholic, Endorses Hillary Clinton

As some of you may know, Anne Rice--author of the notorious Vampire Chronicles novels--converted to Catholicism and has dedicated herself to "write books for the Lord." The first, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, I reviewed when it came out back in November of 2005. She recently published this letter on her website:
I repeat: I am a Christian; I am a Democrat. I support Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.
I recall mentioning before that once upon a time, when I identified myself as a "card-carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy" that I expressed befuddlement that anyone could be both a sincere Christian and a Democrat. I think that in this essay Anne Rice makes as good a case as any but it seems to boil down to this:
Though I deeply respect those who disagree with me, I believe, for a variety of reasons, that the Democratic Party best reflects the values I hold based on the Gospels. Those values are most intensely expressed for me in the Gospel of Matthew, but they are expressed in all the gospels. Those values involve feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, and above all, loving one’s neighbors and loving one’s enemies. A great deal more could be said on this subject, but I feel that this is enough.
I certainly can't and won't argue with the sentiment except to say that I'm not convinced that expecting government to express the principles of the gospel is what's expected of us as believers, but I'll leave that for another day.

As an interesting aside, given her public conversion a lot of readers have been asking her why she has not (or believing that she had, why she did so) renounce the Vampire Chronicles novels. The entire posting is worth reading, but here's what I believe is the most important point she makes:

For me, the entire body of my earlier work, reflects a movement towards Jesus Christ. In 2002, I consecrated my work to Jesus Christ. This did not involve a denunciation of works that reflected the journey. It was rather a statement that from then on I would write directly for Jesus Christ. I would write works about salvation, as opposed to alienation; I would write books about reconciliation in Christ, rather than books about the struggle for answers in a post World War II seemingly atheistic world.

My books reflect now, as they always have, what I see and feel and struggle to understand.

Viscerally fearful and ignorant evangelicals will no doubt continue to look at her work as a spawn of Satan. Be that as it may, literate and thoughtful men and women such as Anne Rice hold out hope that belief in Christ in America will in the future look less and less like today's angry, reflexively right-wing evangelicalism.


7 Comments:

At 10:52 AM, Blogger ninjanun said...

I'm not convinced that expecting government to express the principles of the gospel is what's expected of us as believers, but I'll leave that for another day.


For me, I don't think it's that government should be expected to express Christian principles so much as it should be expected to uphold universal principles of justice, autonomy, equality, and equity. The main reason I think the democratic party gets closer to this is because it seems more concerned with fixing/addressing those areas that government CAN control, rather than individual behaviors they really can't.

For instance, I see the Republican platform, at least in the last 20 years, more concerned with trying to police the individual behaviors of a few (gay marriage and abortion), whereas the Democratic platform seems more concerned with addressing corporate behavior that affects just about everyone (health care and environment). It's not that both sides don't address ALL these issues, but I see the democrats being more realistic about "live and let live" where individual decisions don't encroach on other's freedoms, and more concerned when a big corporation or segment of society is doing something that oppresses others or endangers their health (toxic dumping or outsourcing).

But that's just me. ;)

 
At 2:25 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I would write books about reconciliation in Christ, rather than books about the struggle for answers in a post World War II seemingly atheistic world.

I don't see these two as mutually exclusive... interesting though that she does. I will have to think about that.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger ninjanun said...

Hey Steve,

I think it's typical for new believers to go a little "fundy" in black and white, even things that can't or shouldn't . At least, I know I did, and I've observed others acting the same way. Maybe it has to do with that "weaker brother" thing. Kind of like a new-born christian syndrome, similar to cradle cap or baby acne. Some people grow out of it, and unfortunately, some do not (dandruff and persistent adult acne).

And both are about as attractive, too. ;)

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger ninjanun said...

oops. That first line should read, "I think it's typical for new believers to go a little "fundy" and start seeing everything in black and white..." (bad cut-and-paste job).

I wonder if this can be attributed to the experience new believers have of "having their eyes opened to the truth..." and that extends, then, to thinking they have all the answers to life's problems. That would maybe explain Rice's comment that you quoted. (No more need to search, thanks, we got all the truth we need!)

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Recovering said...

Regardless of whether or not Democrats represent Christian viewpoints - let's not forget that Anne Rice is totally nuts! Most Catholics even think so!

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger Locust-Eater said...

I thought one of the points of her pre-conversion novels was to inspire some 'visceral fear'. ;)

 
At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Luthsem/Rich said...

Anne Rice is great but I'm hoping for
Obama to win.

 

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