Anne Rice, author of the Vampire Chronicles, including Interview with a Vampire, announced this week on her Facebook account:
I quit being a Christian. I’m out. 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.
This is a sad chapter in what I considered to be a marvelous story. Rice used to be an atheist (is it any wonder she was desperately searching for some kind of eternal life in her attempts to make vampires into heroes — more on that later). She found herself, became a Christian and vowed never to write another vampire book. Thank you God; however, in this one statement, she has shown that she has lost herself again. She has succumbed to a series of myths about Christianity propped up by modern secularism. Her complaints against Christianity are nothing more than propaganda talking points hammered over and over again upon us until we assume that they are true. In fact, when examined closely, Christianity does much better than secularism at all of these: homosexuality, feminism, birth-control, politics, humanism, science and life.
Over the next several days, I plan to tackle each of these myths — as enumerated by Anne Rice in her complaint against Christianity — and demonstrate how Christianity handles them. Hopefully, it will become obvious that secularists are projecting — that the very thing they accuse Christianity of being, they actually are.
Firstly, though, I wish to cover ground that Anne Rice has already successfully moved across — our modern fascination with Vampires.
Anne Rice is part of a modern literary phenomenon — the attempt to rehabilitate monsters by making them into sympathetic heroes. Rice’s monster of choice was the vampire. I have long found this trend to be disheartening, because it fails utterly to understand the purpose of the monster.
The Greek word for monster is τεράς from which English gets the words terror, terrified, etc. There are two definitions for this word:
- a sign, wonder, marvel
- in a concrete sense, a monster
This sense of signs, wonders and marvels are all related to revelation — how we, as human beings, encounter and understand the divine and our relationship to it.
In this sense, monsters reveal to us our sins — how we become separated from God. Monsters are sins personified — they are a reflection of what we become when we allow sin to master us. Thus, vampires reveal the sin of trying to become eternal sans God. The result is a monster. They are dependent upon that which they despise — fragile and finite humanity — for that which sustains there immortality. In feeding upon the blood of humans, they risk killing the very thing that they once were and are dependent upon. Thus, they find themselves in an extremely lonely and maddening situation — their own fear of death and their immortality prevent them from ever becoming close to that which they long for but can never be — human. In the end, they are monsters and are entirely alone in their monstrosity.
I believe it is this very reality that Anne Rice finally saw within her own work. The monstrosity of reaching for immortality without Christ finally revealed itself to her through her own attempts to make that very monstrosity palatable. When I learned of her decision to abandon this work and embrace Christ, I rejoiced. I only now pray that God continues to reveal Himself to Her so that she comes to terms with the myths about Christianity that she is now helping to propagate.