Anne Rice gave a great interview on NPR last week. Quoting Rice, NPR called it "Today I Quit Being a Christian," but they both should have said "Today I Quit Being a Catholic." Rice, who was raised Catholic, left the church when she was 16 and then re-joined the church in 1998. Rice made some general comments about the quarrelsome nature of Christianity, but it was the Catholic Church's role in public policy that provided the final straw that convinced her to leave organized religion while retaining her faith in God. Specifically, she complained,
"I didn't anticipate at the beginning that the U.S. bishops were going to come out against same-sex marriage," she says. "That they were actually going to donate money to defeat the civil rights of homosexuals in the secular society.
"... When that broke in the news, I felt an intense pressure. And I am a person who grew up with the saying that all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing, and I believe that statement."
Rice's interview occurred just two days before Judge Vaughn Walker invalidated California's ban on gay marriage as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. The opinion is cause for celebration because it extends constitutional rights to gay Americans that other Americans have long enjoyed, which is what the Fourteenth Amendment is supposed to do. The California Catholic Conference promptly announced its opposition to the decision and pledged to continue the fight against gay marriage.
"You know, I don't really like disappointing all my Catholic friends," [Rice] says. "I don't really like disappointing all my Christian friends and contacts. I really don't like it. It's painful. But I did what I felt I had to do."