Here's a bit of her statement from, apparently, the world's most reliable news source: Facebook
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.
What I'm about to write may offend some. . . it might come across a bit in-sensitive. . . .if that's you, and I know you. . please take the opportunity to talk to me about this. If you don't know me, then please be confirmed if you think I'm a terrible, judgmental, sinner. Because, I am.
I was born in Alabama. I toured throughout the South as a young man, singing in many smaller, fundamentalist churches. Also, I grew up in Nebraska, that harbinger of political equality, and started in vocational ministry working at a church that could only be described as Right-leaning.
However, never once did I feel as though anyone in any pulpit was conflating the quality of my Christianty or depth of my commitment with which political party I was voting for. Never, even in the midst of many inappropriate youth group "gay" jokes from leadership, did I feel like we, as Christians, were "anti-gay". Never did I feel like the church was "anti-science" even though I was exposed to some things that I would say, looking back, were pretty bad science.
I think that this reaction against the Church by many, to leave because "they're all Republicans" or "they don't leave room for science", "they all hate gay people" or "they won't let me vote for whom I want to vote" are over-reactions. That's right, I think Anne Rice over-reacted.
Are there butthead Christians who do look down on folks for the very reasons stated above (and in Mrs. Rice's post). Yes. Are there people who identify proper Christianity with voting for a certain political party? Yes.
Are those people indicative of the larger church in America? No. Should these people cause one to reject the church as a whole; or to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater? No.
See, I heard it when pastors would clarify, "we're not going to tell you who to vote for". I listened when folks talked about loving all people regardless of their struggles, while still rejecting certain behaviors as sinful. Every time a pastor talked about abortion, or standing up for life, I did not understand that as a political play/ploy. I listened, I asked questions, and I gave folks the freedom to get a bit emotional and take a side on an issue, even if I took a different side.
The worst example was at a church in Nebraska where I served; During a service the pastor recognized a local politician, campaigning, who was in attendance that day. He stood up, some folks clapped. . .the service continued.
Today that kind of behavior could get someone thrown in jail :) But, did I huff off in anger? Did I judge the pastor as a kingdom conflating, right wing nut job, commie hater? Did I leave the church? No. Though inappropriate, it really wasn't that big of a deal. Life, and worship, went on. I guess such is the emotional level that our political discourse is taking place these days.
This all goes for the Left-leaning church as well who would reject folks if they ever supported war, or judged any "private" behavior as sinful.
But, I must say, I've found many of my left-leaning friends to be taking a bit of a martyr's attitude in the evangelical church. Some behaviors have seemed a bit "quick trigger" to me.
Like, once the pastor says "abortion is wrong" the judgment "oh, that means all of these people are voting this way, and if I don't you think I'm a sinner" is what is heard by those who are feeling a bit mis-understood.
So, what I would say is this. . . . let's talk. If you feel as though your church is doing any of the things Mrs. Rice alleges for "Christianity", why don't you set up a meeting with your pastor? Perhaps you are wrong and mis-heard him. Perhaps he needs to be more nuanced and could clarify some things for you. Perhaps you are taking a forwarded email from a church member or off-hand comment as representing the church as a whole. Perhaps we all need to give each other some latitude in our speech, and love each other enough to forgive some over-statements and ill-timed humor.
Christians have made many mistakes, as have churches, (since they, after all, are led by Christians). I have been hurt by churches, I have disagreed with things that have been said.
However, let's all have enough humility to understand that none of us are un-baised observers. We come to these issues and situations with our pain, wrong thinking, and opposite extremes. Know that about yourself. . Know that. Seek to understand others with enough humility to see your own passions and "dogs in the fight".
And, please, on the political party issue. . . .let's become an issue-by-issue, nuanced, skeptical people as the church. And, let's stop believing in a party, man, or any form of government to do what only God can do.