Friday, July 30, 2010

The Vampires Have Their Mistress Back ...

And We'll Embrace Humanity More

The infamous author of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice, has tried Christianity and found it wanting.
"...following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”
Indeed, Many of Rice's followers wondered when - or if - she would eventually come to reason. 
It is a testament of true spirituality that Anne Rice, the woman who almost singlehandedly rescued the occult/horror genre from the clutches of the Moral Majority, has decided that today's form of American Christianity is not for her. As the above quote points out, placement of Christ and His teachings ABOVE today's  Perkins-Warren-Engle version of Christianity is what really matters.
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.”
It's obvious that the recent gay-bashing and Obama-hating by the Christian Right helped Rice in her decision, but it's also interesting that the tipping point may have come with the ex-communication of Sister Margaret McBride, a nun and hospital administrator who had approved an abortion for a woman whose life was in danger. Within the last several years, the "anti's" kept piling up: anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science,even anti-Democrat. And while the Christian Right constantly commits to being "pro-life," their real stance - devoid of compassion regarding a woman's life - was beyond the pale. 

I met Anne Rice just after The Vampire Lestat came out (and before her S&M fantasies - The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, etc. - were known). Back then she and her husband, the poet Stan Rice, lived in San Francisco's gay Castro District and  she frequented Walt Whitman Books. Once, we had the LONGEST telephone conversation about gay S&M versus straight S&M. I thought that hers was  the most voracious intellect about the physical as well as the metaphysical. The death of her first child (6-year-old Michelle) led to a deep depression that was quelled by writing her own version of the vampire saga, transmogrifying the conventional (hence, very immoral) evil of Dracula into the anti-hero Lestat.

The Christian Right never forgave her. 

Rice's concepts of good and evil transcended the black and white versions from the pulpit. Her characters paved the way for the series, Twilight, which  Ralph Reed's Christian Coalition is now trying to ban:

Right Wing Watch:
"We can let our voices be heard, and anytime you do that you have an effect one way or another," [Roberta] Combs says. "These Twilight books are very disturbing books for family values. Teen marriage is not the standard, but the part that is more troubling is the vampire. It's just not normal for young people to idolize a vampire."
This coming from a minion of Ralph Reed who once said: 
I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag.
No doubt people on the CR side are calling Rice an evil apostate who never really was a "Christian". Her remarks attacked the core of today's political Christianity, their frankness and lucidity telling American youth that whatever they hear from the pulpit may not be truly "Christian"  or even "humane." And she will be again relegated to the "evil" left.

Good to see you back in the battle, Anne. We need you. What you unleashed over 34 years ago will continue to bite Christianists not in the neck, but somewhere lower down.