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Friday, July 30, 2010

A Criticism of an Idiot Vampire Writer




Vampire genre author, Anne Rice is officially counting herself amongst the heathen again....





"Anne Rice has had a religious conversion: She's no longer a Christian.

The 68-year-old author wrote Wednesday on her Facebook page that she refuses to be "anti-gay ... anti-feminist," and "anti-artificial birth birth control."

She adds that "In the name of ... Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

Her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, confirmed Thursday that the posting was by Rice.

Rice is best known for "Interview With a Vampire" and other gothic novels. Raised as a Catholic, she had rejected the church early in her life, but renewed her faith in recent years and in 2008 released the memoir "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession."




I would imagine that her spiritual journey isn't terribly unlike those of some of the online skeptics out there that comment on this forum from time to time. Perhaps raised in a nominally Christian environment, some questions were raised at a later point in life that were not adequately addressed by the practicioners of their religion to their personal satisfaction leading to a quest to find answers from other sources. They might be questionable sources with questionable answers to their inquiries, and for all they know they sound good on the surface anyway and perhaps there is an initial feeling of "freedom" or otherwise hard-to-pin-down emotion with rejecting the belief system of their youth. The only problem is that there actually are legitimate answers out there and oftentimes that person spends the rest of their life trying to justify the decision they made as a young adult, never really seeking the "best possible answers" out there from people that are very learned on the subject they had doubts on. Ms. Rice cites three different topics that seem to bother her about Christianity so let's examine them, shall we?


#1. Christianity is "anti-gay"


This is true. According to THE foundational document of Judeo-Christian belief, homosexuality is a sin. One writer summed it up thusly. "There are loads of evidence that it is not sexual repression, but the absence of sexual repression that is dangerous. Abstinence never killed anyone, but AIDS certainly has. Male homosexuals are the least sexually repressed humans on the planet; they also happen to enjoy the shortest life expectancy."[1] I think that it is important here to differentiate between homosexual acts and the people who practice them. This link has more evidence than you could possibly ever dream of concerning the adverse affects of homosexual sex upon the human body. Don't even get me started on the psychological consequences of such a lifestyle. Lest anyone try to bring up the subject of the non-existant gay gene, even gay gene researcher Dr. Dean Hamer when asked if homosexuality was grounded purely in biological causation replied, "Absolutely not. From twin studies, we already know that half or more of the variability in sexual orientation is not inherited. Our studies try to pinpoint the genetic factors...not negate the psychosocial factors".


I wonder if Ms. Rice thinks that just not being 100% accepting of such a lifestyle choice constitutes simply being "anti-gay". We don't have the particulars so we are left to speculate. If anyone is interested, I came across an excellent defense of traditional marraige this week should anyone like to read up on it. Next up...

Christianity is "anti-feminist"

I can only shake my head and recall the words of Illinois College Professor of Sociology (retired) Alvin J. Schmidt who once said...


"In what countries have women lacked freedom?".... Where Christianity is not present, especially in the Middle East. Were it not for Christianity, Gloria Steinem would still be walking about in a veil." He continued, "Christ was never quoted as saying anything demeaning or derogatory to women. Women in Greek days could hardly leave their homes. When her husband had guests over, she was not even allowed to sit in the same room. Their status was extremely low among the Romans, where the father of the family had the power of life and death, even over his wife. "In [the Gospel of] John, Chapter Four, Jesus was asked what he was doing talking to a woman in public, as you only talked with prostitutes in public. When he taught Mary and Martha in Luke 10, that was a behavior you did not do with women. "Christianity also nullified polygamy, as Jesus made it clear a man has one wife. If a Greek man was walking about outside with a woman, that was his mistress, not his wife. Christianity also made it clear widows were to be taken care of."


Continuing along that same theme, Professor John Carlisle Kilgo of Duke University once wrote...



"The earliest Christian communities met in people's houses; they didn't have churches yet for quite some time, and throughout the New Testament, particularly Paul's letters in the Book of Acts, we find out that women owned the houses in which the early Christians met. This I think is significant because I don't think the women who owned the houses were simply providing coffee and cookies, in effect, for the Christian community. I think that this probably gave them some avenue to power... in the church."

I'm certain that we're not going to hear anything about that anytime soon from Ms. Rice. why confront FACTS when wallowing in your own bias is so completely comfortable? And lastly...

Christianity is "anti-artificial birth control"

Christians consider sex to be something that's best between a married man and woman. It's a bit more serious of a matter in that one should be careful with whom you have it. It's not something to be done whenever and wherever one wants to. The Rhythm Method is 99% effective and it doesnt cost a dime and doesnt come with bad side effects. Or as this writer puts it...

"I chose to revisit this topic after presenting an NFP (Natural Family Planning) class to a new couple last Thursday. When the wife mentioned that her doctor had warned her NFP was the Rhythm Method and a bad idea for women with irregular cycles, I couldn't roll my eyes enough. For the LOVE, how long will doctors keep saying this?? In a day & age where knowledge is pretty much accessible to everyone, how can some of the most educated people still be the most ignorant? I'm walking proof that NFP was made for irregular cycles.

It's time to ask all the right questions:
Why is the most scientifically proven method on the planet still labeled as the Rhythm Method?

Why aren't people being told about something that's 99% effective, 100% natural, and 0% damaging to their bodies & the environment?

Why aren't "green" advocates adding this to their list of favorite things?

What's behind this bizarre widespread ignorance?

Money. If anyone denies that money is the driving force behind everything in this country, sexual ignorance is the least of your problems. And NFP doesn't equal money. (There's your understatement of the year.) Imagine every woman choosing the healthy, free, simple method of NFP. She'd never have to fill another monthly pill or IUD prescription for the rest of her life. (Not to mention avoiding an increased risk for blood clots, stroke, weight gain, depression, and impaired fertility. But that's another blog altogether.) Losing millions of women to NFP would mean the serious crash and burn of pharmaceutical companies everywhere."


And let's not forget that employing the Rhythm Method requires that the participants actually know one another and thus monogamy is encouraged and it discourages anonymous, one night stands. And of course,we can't have that in this day and age now, can we?


[1]Day, Vox; The Irrational Atheist, pgs 173-174


34 comments:

Froggie said...

"Perhaps raised in a nominally Christian environment, some questions were raised at a later point in life that were not adequately addressed by the practicioners of their religion to their personal satisfaction leading to a quest to find answers from other sources."

As opposed to being raised and culturally conditioned to ancient myths so that they dare not question them? Your freudian slip is showing!

Yeah, brainwash them young enough and you will stunt them for life.......

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

Rice said:
"Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity".

She thinks the term Christian has been co-oped.
She was upset this week by the GOP-linked "Christian punk rock" band You Can Run But You Cannot Hide (supported by Michele Bachmann!) who believe that gays should be executed, and who deride America for not being "moral enough" to make homosexuality a capital crime.
And by a seven year old memeber of the Westboro Baptist Church (AKA the "GOD HATES FAGS" people).

She still seems to want to follow Christ.
I can relate.
For years I was a Christ Follower not a "Christian". I believed Jesus would have nothing to do with the "Christianity" of today and would probably have called them Pharisees. I spent hours, hours, using the internet handle "Christ Follower" writing Christian comments, posts and articles, I was learning Greek to understand the Gospels better, you name it I was doing it. I thought Christianity would stand up to examination... it was the truth after all, right? Well then I realized I could either believe in truth and reality OR I could believe in Christianity. Reality won.

Froggie said...

Props to you, CFnl. Critical thinking is lost to far too many religious folks.

JD Curtis said...

As opposed to being raised and culturally conditioned to ancient myths so that they dare not question them?

I don't disagree that all that some people lead lives unexamined in this area.

You cannot, however prove them to be "myths" as you so elegantly put it. You can chose to reject religion, but you cannot say for certainty that it is a "myth" anymore than you can say that little green men from outer space do not exist anywhere in the universe. Can't be done.

I believed Jesus would have nothing to do with the "Christianity" of today and would probably have called them Pharisees

Perhaps some Christian leaders of today might fit this description.

Well then I realized I could either believe in truth and reality OR I could believe in Christianity. Reality won.

If you had to point toward one concept from the Bible that you really doubted at this time, what one would you pick? Just curious.

JD Curtis said...

Critical thinking is lost to far too many religious folks

Right. Like these people who pioneered their respective disciplines...

"Antiseptic surgery, Joseph Lister

Bacteriology, Louis Pastuer

Calculus, Dynamics, Isaac Newton

Celestial Mechanics, Johannes Kepler

Chemistry, Gas Dynamics, Robert Boyle

Comparative Anatomy, Georges Cuvier

Computer Science, Charles Babbage

Dimensional Analysis, Model Analysis, Lord Rayleigh

Electronics, John Ambrose Fleming

Electrodynamics, James Clark Maxwell

Electromagnetics, Field Theory, Michael Faraday

Energetics, Lord Kelvin

Entomology of Living Insects, Henri Fabre

Field Mechanics, George Stokes

Galactic Astronomy, Sir William Herschel

Genetics, Gregor Mendel

Glacial Geology, Ichthyology, Louis Agassiz

Gynecology, James Simpson

Hydrography, Oceanography, Matthew Maury

Hydrostatics, Blaise Pascal

Isotropic Chemistry, William Ramsey

Natural History, John Ray

Non-Euclidean Geometry, Bernard Riemann

Optical Mineralogy, David Brewster

And on it goes. All of these founders were Bible believers...." And Creationists to boot.

Kennedy, D. James and Jerry Newcombe: WHAT IF JESUS HAD NEVER BEEN BORN?, pg 101, Thomas Nelson Publishers

Froggie said...

No, Like this person:

http://www.drdino.com/the-big-bang-theory/

Ignorance personified. And they want to teach this tripe in public schools?



Most of the people on Kennedy's list were "religious" by default of the custom of the day. Nobody can say if they were Christians by your definition.

Jquip said...

CNfl: "Well then I realized I could either believe in truth and reality OR I could believe in Christianity. Reality won."

The funny thing is I went the other way around exactly and would tell you the same thing about it.

Froggie: "Ignorance personified. And they want to teach this tripe in public schools?"

I agree, it's shameless that they want to stuff kids heads full of this stuff. Why, it was only in the last few days that a scientist -- rightly making all these same objections -- tinkered the math and accounted for the spin of matter entering a black hole to resolve most or all of the points listed on that page.

Seriously Froggie, you can't tell me that the symmetry violation is not a well known problem with the Canon of the Big Bang.

Jquip said...

JD: I agree with your points but do quibble over the "anti-gay" bit. Christianity is as much anti-gay as it is anti-pedophile. It is always the act that is in question here. A gay man married to a gay woman is just dandy.

An interesting note about the biology of it all: During gestation there are all sorts of hormonal tinkers that result in boy/girl, etc. One such leads to wiring us, via our nose, to an addictive preference for testosterone or estrogen. A screw up in this regards happens in roughly 10% of all mammals birthed. This has been known since 1976 (Sorry, don't have the study name anymore) and this is what leads to the search for the "gay gene."

There ain't one. But such folks are born with an addictive predilection to their own gender.

Froggie said...

Jq,
You are speaking of CP symmetry.
Theories on this are not wrong, they are merely incomplete, just as Newton's law's were incomplete, yet explained the observations well, they were superceeded by Eintstein's theories, which explains the laws of gravity much better, but are yet incomplete.

Froggie said...

Jq,
You didn't do too bad with the cause of gay, but:
"There ain't one. But such folks are born with an addictive predilection to their own gender."

It is not an addiction. It is part of the psyche- Identity. Gender Identity is not what is between your legs, it's what's between your ears.
There are also kids born every day with both sets of sexual organs. That puts the identity issue in perspective.

JD Curtis said...

I did mention that "I think that it is important here to differentiate between homosexual acts and the people who practice them" but in hindsight I probably should have led off with that statement.

There ain't one. But such folks are born with an addictive predilection to their own gender

And yet what percentage of these folks actually become homosexuals and how many wind up completely straight? I've read that some people are genetically more pedisposed to alcoholism, and yet not anywhere near everyone with the anomaly is an alcoholic. I lean toward other factors for causation personally but I'm certainly no expert.

Most of the people on Kennedy's list were "religious" by default of the custom of the day. Nobody can say if they were Christians by your definition

This doesn't matter in the slightest. They were probably more religious than self-identified Christians of today unless you would like to argue otherwise. I don't see how you could though.

Blaise Pascal for instance, made the first working barometer and was a member of the Jansenites and wrote a defense of the Christian faith as well so it wasnt like the guy was a Christmas and Easter Catholic or anything.

Can you cite a comparable list anywhere like the one above of adherents of another religion besides Christianity that had so many innovators? Just wondering. I'm not aware of any myself.

Jquip said...

"You are speaking of CP symmetry."

I'm glad you already know of it. This is a problem with the Canon no matter the color of lipstick you put on it. And if it is ignorance to acknowledge such issues with the Canon then your knowledge of such is exhibition of your own ignorance and the distance at which we should keep you from school children. Savvy?

"Gender Identity is not what is between your legs, it's what's between your ears."

You are aware that psychology is not biology? And that gender identity is not sexual orientation; even in psychology?

Froggie said...

Jq,

"This is a problem with the Canon ....."

I find it quite curious and even more, amusing, that you use the word that describes your holy scripture to define something that you mistrust so much....

Jquip said...

"I find it quite curious and even more, amusing, that you use the word that describes your holy scripture to define something that you mistrust so much...."

I find it curious that you dodged argument in preference for a knock on religion when I had the Marvel Universe in mind.

ATVLC said...

I had the Marvel Universe in mind.

Odin is God - Read The Mighty Thor #5 (Bottom right corner)

Jquip said...

Hehe

Froggie said...

JD,

I said,
"As opposed to being raised and culturally conditioned to ancient myths so that they dare not question them?"

You said,

"I don't disagree that all that some people lead lives unexamined in this area.

You cannot, however prove them to be "myths" as you so elegantly put it."

I certainly can show that the prepoderance of the evidence shows many of the bible stories to be myths. No problem at all.

zilch said...

Fwiw, I don't think Anne Rice is a good author either, Christian or not. And since beer is mentioned at the top, I'll just say that I like Innstadt Dunkel beer, and many Austrian beers, but I'm also partial to Black Sheep Ale and a few of the American beers from microbreweries, such as Fat Tire Ale.

If any of you are ever out this way, drop me a line, and lunch, with the beer of your choice, is on me.

Cheers from cloudy Vienna, zilch

Debunkey Monkey said...

"Can you cite a comparable list anywhere like the one above of adherents of another religion besides Christianity that had so many innovators? Just wondering. I'm not aware of any myself."

Muslims have contributed greatly to mathematics and science in the past. Here's a wikipedia article explaining more than I could in a single post: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_medieval_Islam

Have a good day, everyone.

Gregg said...

As I have sat here reading and re-reading this post and trying to formulate a comment - only one seems to be forth coming. Since it is both foolish and incongruent to think that biblical Christianity can be separated from Christ.

I keep coming back to the advice Christ gave in Matthew 7:6 about not throwing pearls...

zilch said...

...before swine? So you're saying we're swine, Gregg? Come here to Vienna, and say that to my face when I treat you to lunch.

Froggie said...

Gregg,

If you don't want to contribute to the dicussion, why would you choose to try to insult those that do?

And just who is trying to separate Christianity from Christ?

Personally, I hold not a scintilla of animosity toward Christianity as such.

Jquip said...

Debunkey: The claims to Islam are a bit dicey at best. Better to go with Vedic maths and that lot. Less contention, far more output, presaged a great deal of western maths independently.

Froggie: Rice is trying to separate Christianity from Christ. But I can't for the life of me understand how Gregg insulted you. What's that about?

Froggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Froggie said...

Sorry, I thought Gregg was referring to me.

Gregg said...

First of all, I was not referring to anyone who commented on this post. I do not engage in name calling or insults to make or refute a point. I meant no disprespect toward froggie or zilch.

Second, my comment was more clear in my head than obviously what ended up on "paper."

Thirdly, I meant that how does one respond to Rice's idea that Christianity can be separated from Christ. It can't. The issue is that she doesn't understand biblical truths.

It isn't a system, theology, or mechanics that redeems, transforms, or renews a person - it is a person, Jesus Christ. Those who develop such outlandish and ludicrous systems and call it Christianity were whom I was referring to.

No wonder no one can define biblical Christianity - there are so many "versions" developed from anyone and everyone including the fringe giving one the idea that one take can take or leave a "System" or theology rather than understanding it is all a person, the God-man Christ Jesus.

Forgive me for being unclear and unarticulate.

Jquip said...

Froggie: No worries, mate.

Froggie said...

Gregg,
Thanks and acknowledged.

JD Curtis said...

I certainly can show that the prepoderance of the evidence shows many of the bible stories to be myths

A much better statement would be...

"I certainly can show that the prepoderance of the evidence that I have examined shows many of the bible stories would appear to be myths IMO."

it is both foolish and incongruent to think that biblical Christianity can be separated from Christ

It would appear that Ms. Rice is subscribing to the "Cafeteria Christian" variety of belief. Picking and choosing what to adhere to when there isn't any indication that a Christian is free to do so.

who is trying to separate Christianity from Christ?

Anne Rice. Duh.

The claims to Islam are a bit dicey at best. Better to go with Vedic maths and that lot. Less contention, far more output, presaged a great deal of western maths independently.


DM, without even going to the Wiki entry, are any of the accomplishments cited within the last 900 years? Just curious.

JD Curtis said...

Theories on this are not wrong, they are merely incomplete

BONUS POINTS: Who can be the first to spot what other *ahem*.. "theory" the above statement seems to describe?

JD Curtis said...

I like a good flavorful beer Zilch, especially with a good steak or tangy chicken wings.

I'm kicking back with a glass of Pinot Grigio w/the Mrs. tonight at home.

Might JQP be imbibing a bit of sangria?

JQP, it's not THAT important, but if in the near future you could find the study you cited earlier re: predilection to homosexuality, I'd like to examine it. If you can that is. No Biggie.

Jquip said...

JD: L'see, last night I had coffee. But! I splurged and had non-dairy creamer. Dangit.

Yeh, I need to look that thing back up. I'll consider this proper motivation to do so. For all the greatness of Google and the internet it's wiped the slate of human knowledge clean and we have to re-type or scan everything all over again.

zilch said...

Yes, I forgot: Gregg, don't worry, I'm not offended either. I was taking mock exception to your metaphor- I've been called much worse than "swine" by Christians. As you probably know, you can't interact productively with people who don't believe as you do, especially in the internet, without having a sense of humor about it.

zilch said...

Okay, it's a slow summer afternoon here, so I'll add a postscript, if no one minds. Froggie said:

Theories on this are not wrong, they are merely incomplete

JD asks:

BONUS POINTS: Who can be the first to spot what other *ahem*.. "theory" the above statement seems to describe?

I can answer that: the theory of evolution. The germ theory of disease. The theory of gravitation. The theory of relativity. The Unified Field theory. Quantum theory. String theory. In fact, there is no theory in science that is "complete": scientific theories are all explanations that try to explain the observed facts, and since we cannot know everything, they are all necessarily incomplete. All we can do is try to make the explanations as good a fit to the real world as we can.

cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch