Sunday, August 01, 2010

Selected Questions from Anne Rice's Facebook page

Anne Rice fan page on Facebook. I've selected questions below (and appended the date to each one), culminating in the first notice of quitting Christianity.
  1. Regardless of your own personal beliefs, what would you say is the most important message of Christianity? (11 July 2010)
  2. What, to you, is the single most important teaching about God? For me, it is that God is all powerful, all merciful, and all loving. But what is it to you, if you believe in God at all? (22 July 2010)
  3. What do you think about the concept or Purgatory? Is it something in which you believe, or does it make sense to you on any level? (22 July 2010)
  4. Gandhi famously said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” When does a word (Christian)become unusable? When does it become so burdened with history and horror that it cannot be evoked without destructive controversy? (27 July 2010)
  5. This shocking link was provided by a poster below. No wonder people despise us, Christians, and think we are an ignorant and violent lot. I don't blame them. This kind of thing makes me weep. Maybe commitment to Christ means not being a Christian. (27 July 2010)
  6. For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. 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. (28 July 2010)
This is a selection from Rice's Facebook page, which also publishes to Twitter, so I saw several of these as they came out. They're provocative questions worth considering. I have a few responses below...

  1. God became man. What is Christianity?
  2. "the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf" (Benedict at Regensburg)
  3. Purgatory is the ultimate cleansing from sin that has been decisively forgiven by the merits of Christ
  4. When? At the moment of the crucifixion. At the moment the disciples betrayed and abandoned Jesus. But then, "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction" (Deus Caritas Est).
  5. See #4
  6. See #4
Jesus said take up your cross and follow me... to Calvary. To be Christian means to belong to Christ, who never shrugs off the shame of history, who remains faithful even to those who deny and betray him daily. 
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