Faith of a vampire queen
The Los Angeles Times has a long profile on Anne Rice and her new novel on the young Jesus Christ.
WHEN bestselling novelist Anne Rice was a good Catholic girl growing up in New Orleans, she dreamed of becoming a leader of the church. Instead, she abandoned Catholicism at 18 and stopped believing in God. She joined the Haight-Ashbury hippie milieu and evolved into the bestselling author who elevated the sexually ambiguous vampire Lestat to cult status. She wrote pornography under one pen name and erotica under another. Now, she has come full circle — and in a weird way, may finally be getting her childhood wish. Rice has written a novel on the boyhood of Jesus called "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt." It is a bestseller. It has given her a high profile in the religious press and a platform for her ardently reformist views on the future of Christianity. Her views will not please all of the devout. Rice favors gay marriage. She believes the church position regarding birth control is a grievous error that is not supported by Scripture. She repudiates what she sees as intolerant, "sex-obsessed" church leaders, and says she does not find support in the message of Jesus for their focus on sexual orientation or abortion. She argues for a more inclusive church. snip In some ways, Rice's criticisms of religious fundamentalism are part of a wider backlash coming from such unlikely quarters as former President Carter, who, in his new book, criticizes religious fundamentalists' involvement in national politics and takes issue with the Catholic Church's exclusion of women from the priesthood. Rice believes that conservative Christian politicians are distorting Christ's message by politicizing such issues as abortion. While abortion is "tragic," Rice said, "Millions of women are having abortions. They have control of their reproductive powers, and they do not want to relinquish that control. Abortion is at the heart of that, because it's at the core of women having control of who they are. I think it's killing. But I think it's a woman's choice." Gay marriage, she said, "is another classic example. It can only strengthen our society to have gay people in committed relationships rather than going to bars." snip "People are always going to misuse things. And some Christians are going to misuse Christianity. They are going to use Christianity to hit someone over the head because they frighten them or threaten them," she said. "We Christians have to get back to our roots as a people of love. Now we're associated with a religion of intolerance and hate. We have to come forward and speak about love."Rice and I share similar beliefs about vampires and Christianity. Pastor Dan should recruit Rice to be a front pager at Street Prophets.