Behar Join Media Chorus Praising Author for Leaving Christianity

Anne Rice has renounced Christianity – again. Although it's the second time she's publicly done so, Rice's comments about gay rights and Thursday's California court ruling against Proposition 8 resulted in Joy Behar, along with many others in the media, eagerly covering her story.

The bestselling novelist appeared on HLN's “The Joy Behar Show”  August 4 to discuss her decision to “quit being a Christian,” as she posted on her Facebook page on July 28. In the post, Rice wrote, “I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.”

Rice clarified her Facebook post moments later with a new post:

“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. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen"

Rice told Behar that she left the “entire fray” of Christianity because several public actions made by organized religion caused her “considerable moral discomfort.” “My anger was building up, my confusion was building up, and I wanted to exonerate myself, say, I'm not complicit in all of the different things that Christians are doing publicly.

The different things that Rice referred to included hot topics such as abortion, birth control, same-sex marriage and feminism. Rice told Behar that although she is personally against abortion, she wouldn't vote for abortion to be outlawed. “I don't think it's an enforceable law,” she said.

Behar visibly agreed and interrupted to insert her own opinion about birth control. “With the RU-486 coming out, the morning after pill and all that, it's going to be impossible to enforce, so they should give it up,” Behar said.

But Rice's comments on same-sex marriage brought her even more attention than her anti-abortion stance. Rice mentioned on the August 2 broadcast of NPR's “All Things Considered” that the “final straw” for her was the church's attempts to prevent same-sex marriage. "I didn't anticipate at the beginning that the U.S. bishops were going to come out against same-sex marriage," Rice told NPR.

Although Rice's son, Christopher, is openly gay, and although several readers have noted homosexual allegories running through her novels, Rice adamantly denied either of these two facts as the reason for her repudiation of religion. “I've always been for complete equal rights for gay people,” Rice told CNN's “NewsRoom” on Thursday.

Ultimately, Rice pointed at the church as the reason she left Christianity. Rice told CNN's Don Lemon that “it'd be easier” for her if “churches hadn't been so strident” and “so outspoken on political matters in this country.”

That Behar and others who have interviewed Rice didn't ask any tough questions should come as no surprise. Behar in particular has shown a tendency to ridicule Christians in the past and has been known for her ardent support of abortion. Meanwhile, CNN's Lemon refrained from tough questions during his July 25 interview with a discharged homosexual soldier.


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