The church, with all its rules about sex, the modern world, and books and matters of dogma, had become absolute proof to me that God didn’t exist. The idea of God belonged to the utter falsity of Catholicism. If an edifice like that was a pack of lies – and it had to be a lie that one could burn in Hell for all eternity for masturbating or kissing a boy, or reading a novel by Alexandre Dumas, or an essay by Sartre – then there was no God.
-from Called Out of Darkness (A Spiritual Confession) by Anne Rice
As I’m sure a thousands of masturbators in the planet would agree, a God that damns you to Hell for all eternity for masturbating a boy OR kissing a boy (that’s how it reads to me), is surely one that couldn’t deserve all the praise and devotion, and not entirely because those thousands put boy masturbation or boy kissing above anything else in the world, but because such belief is definitely a pack of lies, even if Anne Rice doesn’t say so herself. Without going into detail about how nowhere in the Bible does it imply that masturbation is sin, the only thought to ponder is: how could one possibly live a life, Catholic or not, without masturbation or kissing?
We are now thankfully in an age that’s grown quite indifferent to Catholic dogma such that people who make spectacular displays of filibusterism against the church get their very own Facebook pages where a million likers can profess an innocent-seeming thumbs up, although this habit of support giving is a no-brainer as everyone knows too well that these online things serve almost exclusively our time’s devil incarnates: Zuckerberg, et al. So, liking a church protester’s well executed Holy mass disruption, out of nowhere, unprovoked, is seen as totally acceptable behaviour and what better platform to show support for that than through FB.
Anne Rice is a strong woman-type like Oprah, Madonna and Kathy Griffin. She gets away with saying things like the above, whether in fiction or non-, just as other strong women types get away with being preachy, bitchy and strong. They are admired by the meek, by those who struggle with aggression because SWT not only do things their way, they get praised and paid for it. Anne Rice, who in her thirty years of being an atheist has conveniently said Fuck you to the church through Lestat, has returned to her faith, has been called out of the creative darkness she got so well off of, writing now only for Jesus Christ.
It’s probably the least exciting thing in the world to vigil for the most recent developments in someone’s love-hate relationship with religion, but not if it concerns a much admired and considerably widely read novelist who made mind-blowing literature off of it such as Anne Rice. Judging from the length and apparent devotion it took to create these two types of literature (the pro and anti-church), the non-Christian books with the faith-challenged anti-heroes by far seem more likable than all the ones with Jesus as main inspiration, and that’s not necessarily a knock on Jesus’ popularity. It simply doesn’t take a scholar to realize that for example, Blackwood Farm had much more thought and heart put into it than Out of Egypt, and not just because BF is thicker than the two Christ the Lord books combined, but because Tarquinn Blackwood, Mona Mayfair and to some extent Lestat, seemed more alive than the young Yeshua. Again, not an attempt to diss Jesus in any way, just saying in the context of Anne Rice’s writing. And yes, any of the Vampire Chronicles except maybe Blood Canticle, rule out the Jesus novels.
I’m not in general averse to spirituality or God or Jesus but if I were to measure my fondness for spirituality in relation with my fondness for Anne Rice, I’ll have no trouble admitting I would have much preferred the Anne Rice who would write a memoir with sharpness and traces of rage (see above) than the one who now is at peace with her faith.
Anne Rice bailed out of the Catholic Church again, just recently, resulting to chills (or shrugs) running up and down the collective spine. Whether that will lead to a more ‘edgy’ new series remains a mystery, sort of. Maybe she can make angels appear as interesting as her living deads but it’s best not to hold thy breath.