Michael Hamar

Catholic Know Nothings Freak Out Over Anne Rice Interview

Filed By Michael Hamar | February 09, 2011 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Anne Rice, anti-gay churches, ignorant by choice, religion as an evil, Roman Catholic Church

Over the weekend I wrote on my personal blog about and posted video clips of Christopher Rice's interview with his mother, author Anne Rice. Personally, I thought the interview was well done and directly on point in terms of citing the deficiencies - and in my view, down right evil aspects of - of the Roman Catholic Church.

True to form, the predictable elements in the Church who prefer to act as mindless sheep and grovel to the morally bankrupt hierarchy have their noses out of joint over Anne Rice's all too true indictments of the Church. God forbid that one engage in independent thought or question the writings of uneducated nomadic tribesman and/or a self-hating Jewish Pharisee (i.e., St. Paul) that some suspect was sexually attracted to other males himself.

Symptomatic of this phenomenon is a post on the Ignatius Inside Scoop where Rice gets roundly attacked.

Here's a sampling of the hissy fit whining of the Catholic Church apologists:

Since announcing to great fanfare last summer that she was ditching the Church, Rice has revealed that she possesses a wealth of emotional baggage and a poverty of knowledge about Church history, practice, and theology.

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.

It is increasingly obvious that Rice's hatred (and it does appear to be hatred) of the Catholic Church flows from her conviction that her son's homosexuality is not only perfectly fine, it should be celebrated and proclaimed good by the Church. Like so many others, she makes it personal, as if the Church has pinpointed her son; yet the Church has consistently, from the start (Romans 1, anyone?), understood homosexual acts to be sinful.

Given the Catholic Church's nearly endless record of being wrong on everything - e.g., the Church insisted that the earth was flat, maintained that the sun revolved around the Earth, denied the laws of gravity, supported slavery, and has of course long subordinated women - if anyone needs an education, it's this snarky writer. Meanwhile, Rice is among brilliant company.

Here is a brief passage on Thomas Jefferson's views on religion which are not far different than those of Rice (Jefferson believed that St. Paul, author of Romans I had ruined the message of Christ):

He considered Jesus the teacher of a sublime and flawless ethic. Writing in 1803 to the Universalist physician Benjamin Rush, Jefferson wrote, "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."

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Tempting to see Saul of Tarsus as a closet case, but same-sex desire was so far off the radar in his time, he wouldn't have recognized it had he been fighting it. Like straight people, he seems to have assumed that HIS experience was normative, and anyone who differed was just being contrary, or antisocial. (He was wrong about Nature revealing God's purposes, and his infamous illustration of that assumption was wrong, too.)

Leviticus is another story. What we have wasn't written by "uneducated nomadic tribesmen" -- it was part of an identity-building exercise by Canaanite scribes in sixth-century Babylonia. They assembled some tribal legends (or made them up) and Presto! a glorious history going back to Creation. Great job, encompassing some worthy literature (Song of Solomon, the David saga, the Joseph story), but unattested by history or archeology. (And as far as the prophets calling Israel to be true to its God, it doesn't seem to have mattered how faithful the people were -- they lived between competing empires and regularly got stomped on regardless.)

To be fair, the flat Earth thing is pure myth.

It was known in Ancient Greece that the Earth is a sphere. It's radius was even calculated with a reasonable amount of accuracy, given the means available.

In the middle ages, it was widely accepted as fact. That's evident from books about mathematics and nautical navigation (the curvature of the Earth is pretty obvious at sea).

I completely agree with most of this article, but quoting Thomas Jefferson and citing him as an example of the "brilliant company" Anne Rice finds herself in is more than a little fucked up. His "genius" included declaring that "blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distant by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind" in Notes on the State of Virginia, drawing "scientific" comparisions between African Americans and apes.

If we are to have a truely inclusive LGBTQ movement, you can't go quoting racists and talking about their brilliance. There are so many brilliant, facinating atheists to choose from - why choose a racist slave owner who made his fortune off the backs and brows of others whom he saw himself as inherantly superior to.

Rev. Donna Tara Lee | February 10, 2011 10:53 AM

I believe that the Catholic church as it became after the council of Nicea in 325 AD and it's evolution as a temporal, not a spiritual, power throughout the middle ages and up to present times, is a very corrupt evil entity. This organization has allowed torture, imprisonment and death to those who opposed or even questioned the church's motives or teachings.

It is true that throughout it's history the church has been anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-women and worst of all anti-democracy and against individual freedom. This is it's history. Words and lies in it's defense will not change it's evil history.

For those who are Catholic, i challenge you to accept the church's evils, as in todays child abuse scandals, and change to be a force for good. Stop your persecution of GLBTQ persons wherever they are and accept all persons for who they are, not who you think they are. Finally stop your centuries old denigration of woman. Join the 21th century.

Don't forget the Church was, until quite recently, very wrong about left-handedness as well. My mother was smacked across the hand with the metal edge of a ruler, which cut up the skin on her knuckles, and forced to do penance as a child in Catholic school in the late 50s and early 60s simply for being left-handed.

I'm actually surprised Rice stayed in the Church as long as she did, what with the vampires and all.