Monday, February 7, 2011

Anne Rice as an Example of Typical Spiritual Pride

Father Longenecker puts it this way,

"After she publicly announced her renunciation of the Christian religion I wrote her another email saying how sorry I was to hear of her decision and reminding her that not all Christians or Catholics were idiotic, fundamentalist, homophobic bigots. I encouraged her to re-consider and admitted that sticking with the church required huge amounts of humility, stamina and good humor. Anne fell into the trap of mistaking Catholics for Catholicism, and then ruled against Catholicism because of the Catholics. Good heavens, if we all judged Catholicism on the Catholics we'd all come unstuck!

The problem is that, for whatever reason, we feel that we can be the judge of the church and not the other way around. We want the church to live up to our expectations, when in fact, we should be asking how we can ever live up to the church's expectations.

Beneath this problem is good old fashioned spiritual pride. Anne spotted the hateful hypocrites, the lying loonies, the uncaring apologists and pompous prelates and thought she was better than them. What she (and all of us) need to do is see these folks and mutter in shame, "Geesh, they're awful, but they're my brothers and we're all in the same lifeboat, so we'd better pull together." Anne couldn't do that, and like so many of her sort, thought she rose above it all, only now to end up saying stuff that's just as judgmental and shallow and uncaring as the people she was blaming."

Carl Olson's commentary over at Ignatius Insight is also well stated:
"Rice has, in essence, taken up a sort of secularized, liberal Protestantism that attempts—almost Marcion-like—to extract a Jesus from the dust and difficulty and reality of history and turn him into a private guru who is "freed" from and separated from the humanity he embraced, the Church he founded, and the authority he granted to mere mortals. Rice claims her faith is in Christ, but it is a Christ made in her likeness and image: politically correct and socially trendy, anti-Church, disdainful of authority, with an open hostility toward traditional morality."
"Note that Rice never, as far as I've seen over the past five years, provided any reasoning or arguments for her stances on issues such as "same sex marriage," contraception, and women's ordination. She simply assumes her position is correct and she apparently believes that clichés and emotive sound bites are all that are needed to demonstrate the validity of her position. Meanwhile, the Church has formally issued all sorts of documents about those various matters and numerous Catholic authors—both at academic and popular levels—have written articles and books explaining and defending Church teaching on these and other issues. Yet, apparently, folks should simply accept by faith Rice's statements as infallible pronouncements of objective truth."



1 comment:

Lisa said...

Peggy, I just read Anne Rice's book "Called Out of Darkness" last weekend -- and didn't know about her renunciation, but I can't say I'm surprised. This woman comes from a very disfunctional background -- has issues with women's roles in genreal (largely due to her upbringing and alcoholic mother) and has a gay son. It's a real pity, because I believe Christ is calling her home to the Church of her childhood -- and she won't find peace anywhere else. She knows it, too. Unfortunately, though, there's definite a good measure of intellectual dishonesty -- and worldliness -- that creeps in to her writing when those hot-button issues (s-s marriage, women clergy, etc) come up. She wants to have her cake and eat it, too. And doesn't want anyone to disagree with her. Poor thing. I'm praying for her.

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