"In The Name of Christ...I Quit Christianity and Being Christian" - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-29-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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"In The Name of Christ...I Quit Christianity and Being Christian"

Anne Rice is still committed to Jesus, just not Christianity the religion:


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“For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out,” Rice wrote. “I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. “

Rice wrote that for 10 years she’s tried and “failed” to fit in with followers of "this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.”

“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life,” wrote Rice, whose son Christopher is an openly gay author. “In the name of ...Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”
Author Anne Rice Quits “Being a Christian” | NBC Los Angeles


Sometimes I feel this way: committed to Christ and not the institution.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:59 PM   #2
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At least she can tell the difference between Christ and Christians.

Some can't.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Some people can't tell the difference between fairy tales and the real world
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #4
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Some people can't tell the difference between fairy tales and the real world
For some people, those '"fairy tales" are real to them. You gotta learn to accept that someday.

Oh yeah, and read my sigs. I made them just for you.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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I didn't read the entire article but based on the part quoted, I had pretty much the same experience and feel the same.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #6
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I applaud her. I feel exactly the same way she does. There's too much beauty, love, joy, and creation still in this world for me not to believe there's a God. It might sound weird to those who don't believe, but I've felt His presence in my life since I was a child. I believe in Jesus and who He said He was. However I refuse to believe that people of other religions or none at all are "wrong" or "going to hell". I refuse to believe that because of someone's gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, etc. that they're less of a human being or undeserving of the same exact rights as anyone else. There are very few Christians in the public eye that I will ever align myself with, Bono, Edge, Larry, and possibly Adam, Jay Bakker, Rob Bell, Brennan Manning, and Phillip Yancey being among the few. I'm over the religion and the institution. Jesus said to love God and love people. That's it. Anything else is bullshit, and I'm over it.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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So those Jesus books weren't selling so well, eh?
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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So those Jesus books weren't selling so well, eh?

My thought too.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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So those Jesus books weren't selling so well, eh?
Christianity Today Entertainment Blog: 'Your lies and tactics are odious to me'

A grand studio dream runs headlong into reality - The Boston Globe
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:44 PM   #10
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The comments on this one kind of support Rice's comments about organized Christianity.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:29 PM   #11
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The comments on this one kind of support Rice's comments about organized Christianity.
So does the way she was treated.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:11 PM   #12
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Yeah.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:38 PM   #13
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Christians should be more like the person in this link:

Hallelujah! Jesus Saves Cashier From Gunman | NBC Miami

And what I mean by that is by being compassionate even when there's a gun in your face.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:34 PM   #14
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Christians should be more like the person in this link:

Hallelujah! Jesus Saves Cashier From Gunman | NBC Miami

And what I mean by that is by being compassionate even when there's a gun in your face.
Actually, a lot of them are. But for the most part, there's little interest. "Christians serve long-term in Haiti!" "Christian forgives rapist!" Doesn't exactly get you to tune in at 11...
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:45 PM   #15
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A religion which encourages followers to forgive a rapist makes my blood run cold and illustrates much of what I find wrong with Christianity. It's matched by the notion that the rapist can escape moral culpability by accepting a blood sacrifice.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:53 PM   #16
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A religion which encourages followers to forgive a rapist makes my blood run cold and illustrates much of what I find wrong with Christianity. It's matched by the notion that the rapist can escape moral culpability by accepting a blood sacrifice.
I don't think you understand Christianity or what it teaches about forgiveness. Even worse, you're pretty sure you do.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:02 PM   #17
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Could you briefly illustrate where I'm wrong.

I take the Christian position to be that we are born with sin and continue to accrue it by doing actions that go against God but we can have that wiped away if we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humanity and take him as our saviour.

Perhaps the issue is the nature of sin. I take it as a persons responsibility for the harm they cause. I have trouble with the concept that a vicarious sacrifice can remove that. Most people have done things they strongly regret but I don't think that is properly negated by accepting the intense sacrifice by a better being. Is my idea of sin where I don't "get" the Christian position. Is sin different from responsibility? Could a person be absolved of their sin by becoming a good Christian but still be responsible for their past actions.

And then there is the issue of forgiveness which was alluded to. I don't think that rape survivors should be burdened with the expectation that they should eventually forgive people that harm them. I'm not saying that forgiveness is always wrong or that it cannot bring some people psychological peace but putting forgiveness as the ideal action strikes me as wrong. There are sadists and psychopaths who inflict terrific suffering and the thought that their victims ought to give them forgiveness disgusts me. I don't see forgiveness as a virtue and I think that makes me unchristian.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Could you briefly illustrate where I'm wrong.

I take the Christian position to be that we are born with sin and continue to accrue it by doing actions that go against God but we can have that wiped away if we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humanity and take him as our saviour.

Perhaps the issue is the nature of sin. I take it as a persons responsibility for the harm they cause. I have trouble with the concept that a vicarious sacrifice can remove that. Most people have done things they strongly regret but I don't think that is properly negated by accepting the intense sacrifice by a better being. Is my idea of sin where I don't "get" the Christian position. Is sin different from responsibility? Could a person be absolved of their sin by becoming a good Christian but still be responsible for their past actions.

And then there is the issue of forgiveness which was alluded to. I don't think that rape survivors should be burdened with the expectation that they should eventually forgive people that harm them. I'm not saying that forgiveness is always wrong or that it cannot bring some people psychological peace but putting forgiveness as the ideal action strikes me as wrong. There are sadists and psychopaths who inflict terrific suffering and the thought that their victims ought to give them forgiveness disgusts me. I don't see forgiveness as a virtue and I think that makes me unchristian.
Hmmm. You've edited extensively since I first read your post, so I'll have to revise what I intended to say in my response to address the issues you've elaborated on.

I understand your objection to a sacrifice "magically" absolving one of sin. I'm not going to pretend to understand exactly how Jesus' death on the cross "works." I'm not a theologian and throughout the history of Christianity the great theologians of the faith have never come to a consensus on exactly how that works. For our purposes, I will simply say that something about Christ's sacrifice sets right the broken relationship between God and human beings. I think most Christians would agree to that at least though the how is subject to much debate. Of course, I imagine the finer points of theology would be of little interest to you. You're probably more interested in what Christians take from this belief when it comes to how it applies to how we relate to others. What I would say in that regard is that a Christian does not believe that the absolution offered by Christ somehow absolves the Christian of any responsibility or accountability for their actions. Most Christians will insist that a person should still receive the consequences for their actions even if Jesus has forgiven them.

Your definition of sin is not the same as most Christians, I think. You'll hear a lot of definitions from Christians of various stripes ranging from "breaking God's law" to "seperation from God" to "anything that hurts someone else." At any rate I don't think any Christian is going to argue that forgiveness from God or another person excuses wrong behavior or means that you are no longer responsible for your actions. A person can absolutely be "absolved of their sin by becoming a good Christian but still be responsible for their past actions." I should further add that many Christians assert that it is the acceptance of Jesus death on their behalf that leads to a transformed life--where the old wrong actions are let go of and the person leads a more moral life. They do not believe that accepting Jesus is "get out of jail free" card that allows them to do whatever they like without consequences either here or in eternity.

As for the issue of forgiveness, Christianity is certainly not the only religion that teaches forgiveness, and indeed I'm sure there are many non-religious people who espouse it's value a;sp. Again, if you assume the forgiveness equals excusing wrong behavior, then I don't think you correctly understand what forgiveness is. Correctly understood, forgiveness can not be a burdensome expectation placed on a victim. It'd be interesting to hear you make the argument that holding on for a lifetime to the hurt, bitterness, rage etc is to the victims benefit and will help them heal. Forgiveness is about freedom for ones self, not making the perpertrator feel good.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Could you briefly illustrate where I'm wrong.

I take the Christian position to be that we are born with sin and continue to accrue it by doing actions that go against God but we can have that wiped away if we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humanity and take him as our saviour.

Perhaps the issue is the nature of sin. I take it as a persons responsibility for the harm they cause. I have trouble with the concept that a vicarious sacrifice can remove that. Most people have done things they strongly regret but I don't think that is properly negated by accepting the intense sacrifice by a better being. Is my idea of sin where I don't "get" the Christian position. Is sin different from responsibility? Could a person be absolved of their sin by becoming a good Christian but still be responsible for their past actions.

And then there is the issue of forgiveness which was alluded to. I don't think that rape survivors should be burdened with the expectation that they should eventually forgive people that harm them. I'm not saying that forgiveness is always wrong or that it cannot bring some people psychological peace but putting forgiveness as the ideal action strikes me as wrong. There are sadists and psychopaths who inflict terrific suffering and the thought that their victims ought to give them forgiveness disgusts me. I don't see forgiveness as a virtue and I think that makes me unchristian.
I wrote out a long post, but then found that Ayn Rand said it better:

“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.” - Ayn Rand

I wouldn't care to define sin, personally. It's a Christian concept that I don't necessarily recognise. If I had to define it, I'd probably say that sin is not fulfilling your potential. Maybe I am one of those psychopath types.

Edit: I do think, though, that for us atheists, there's a job of work to be done in redefining concepts of 'sin' and 'guilt'. For a non-believer, is a sin only a sin just because you might feel bad after committing it, or because there might be legal consequences for some sins? Hopefully not. Hopefully, we can come up with better definitions. If I'm reduced to quoting Ayn Rand in outlining what I define as 'sin', then that's piss poor on my part (I do not subscribe to her philosophy, because, inter alia, it tells me that my mildly intellectually disabled aunt is an inferior human just by virtue of being born disabled, and I'm not having that.)
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:33 AM   #20
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Hmmm. You've edited extensively since I first read your post, so I'll have to revise what I intended to say in my response to address the issues you've elaborated on.

I understand your objection to a sacrifice "magically" absolving one of sin. I'm not going to pretend to understand exactly how Jesus' death on the cross "works." I'm not a theologian and throughout the history of Christianity the great theologians of the faith have never come to a consensus on exactly how that works. For our purposes, I will simply say that something about Christ's sacrifice sets right the broken relationship between God and human beings. I think most Christians would agree to that at least though the how is subject to much debate. Of course, I imagine the finer points of theology would be of little interest to you. You're probably more interested in what Christians take from this belief when it comes to how it applies to how we relate to others. What I would say in that regard is that a Christian does not believe that the absolution offered by Christ somehow absolves the Christian of any responsibility or accountability for their actions. Most Christians will insist that a person should still receive the consequences for their actions even if Jesus has forgiven them.

Your definition of sin is not the same as most Christians, I think. You'll hear a lot of definitions from Christians of various stripes ranging from "breaking God's law" to "seperation from God" to "anything that hurts someone else." At any rate I don't think any Christian is going to argue that forgiveness from God or another person excuses wrong behavior or means that you are no longer responsible for your actions. A person can absolutely be "absolved of their sin by becoming a good Christian but still be responsible for their past actions." I should further add that many Christians assert that it is the acceptance of Jesus death on their behalf that leads to a transformed life--where the old wrong actions are let go of and the person leads a more moral life. They do not believe that accepting Jesus is "get out of jail free" card that allows them to do whatever they like without consequences either here or in eternity.

As for the issue of forgiveness, Christianity is certainly not the only religion that teaches forgiveness, and indeed I'm sure there are many non-religious people who espouse it's value a;sp. Again, if you assume the forgiveness equals excusing wrong behavior, then I don't think you correctly understand what forgiveness is. Correctly understood, forgiveness can not be a burdensome expectation placed on a victim. It'd be interesting to hear you make the argument that holding on for a lifetime to the hurt, bitterness, rage etc is to the victims benefit and will help them heal. Forgiveness is about freedom for ones self, not making the perpertrator feel good.
Very eloquent, Sean, as usual. Thank you.
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