Author Anne Rice made waves across the Internet when she posted a short message on her Facebook page:

For those who care, and I understand if you don't: 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. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

Rice returned to the Roman Catholic Church in 1998, a decision she began openly speaking about in 2005. She spoke with Christianity Today about her recent decision, the enormous response, and how she plans to follow Jesus outside the church.

It's been a few weeks since you made an announcement on Facebook. How have you felt since your decision?

I feel good and relieved about my decision, and I've felt a new spirit of energy creatively for my writing. I was so conflicted and disillusioned about organized religion that I couldn't write.

Do you think your decision will explicitly affect your writing?

I think my writings will go on being the writings of a believer in Christ. I think I'll be less frustrated and freer to write about the full dimension of what that means. But I write metaphysical thrillers, and how this works out in fiction is always mysterious: characters confront dilemmas. The worldview of the novel is certainly optimistic and that of a believer. What character will say what, I don't know until I start writing.

What did you hope to accomplish by announcing this? Were you hoping people would join you?

Not at all. Because I had written Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, I had become a ...

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Q & A: Anne Rice on Following Christ Without Christianity
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