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News This Week: Intersections Between Christians and the Fantastic

Two items recently came to my attention that originate from the same source, that is, the interaction of Christians with elements of the fantastic. In this case the contexts are those of a former writer of vampire fiction, and comic fans.

Anne Rice made news this week with an announcement that she had left Christianity. At least that’s how it was originally reported. Rice was raised as a Roman Catholic, but embraced atheism for much of her life, but eventually returned to Roman Catholicism, even as she gave up writing vampire fiction in favor of fiction that resonated with her Catholicism. Rice’s recent announcement of a departure from Christianity caught the attention of the media in general, and the atheist subculture in particular:

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. 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.

But the most recent reporting from examiner.com clarifies Rice’s views from Facebook comments where she has issues with the political and social stances of Catholicism but still embraces Christ:

My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.

Moving from Rice’s issues with institutional Catholicism to the troubling reactions of a Protestant fundamentalist church, the Westborough Church, infamous for its picketing of soldiers’ funerals with signs like “God hates fags,” also has issues with comic fans and culture. According to The Celebrity Cafe.com, at the recent Comic-Con in San Diego members of the church picketed and accused attendees of idolatry. A video of the protest can be seen below.

These incidents are interesting as they illustrate some of the reactions of those intersecting the worlds of both Christianity and the fantastic.

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There are 1 Comments to "News This Week: Intersections Between Christians and the Fantastic"

  • Carl Rosenberg says:

    Speaking of Christianity and the fantastic, I recently picked up (but haven’t read yet) an anthology edited by Michael Bishop (appropriate surname)–A CROSS OF CENTURIES; TWENTY-FIVE IMAGINATIVE TALES ABOUT THE CHRIST. I have already read a few of the stories–”Behold the Man,” by Michael Moorcock, “The Gospel According to Mark,” by Jorge Luis Borges, “The Selfish Giant,” by Oscar Wilde.

    There is also another anthology, VISIONS OF WONDER: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CHRISTIAN FANTASY, ed. Robert H. Boyer and Kenneth J. Zahorski. (It has a very unusual and well-nigh unclassifiable story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, “Jachid and Jechedia.”)

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