This tempest-tossed teacup event happened on Facebook while I was offline this past weekend. When I finally logged on, my emailbox was filled with notes from friends and posts delivered via RSS feeds. Today's Twitter stream has, bobbing through it, links to commentaries about Rice's declaration.
My favorite has been written by Evangelical Lutheran Church of America pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson whose trenchant observations about Christian community are well worth reading and re-reading. I especially love the Bonhoeffer quote, which I'm considering translating into gender-neutral language and rendering in needlepoint.
In the fight for primacy among multiple identities (mine) ─ sociologist, author, editor, blogger, 1st century Jew, abbess, Roman Catholic Christian, gadfly ─ editor is winning. As such, I'd like to suggest that in her haste to boost clicks (or book sales?), Anne Rice screwed up her categories.
Had I been her editor, I would've kicked the text back to Anne with this note, "Check your terminology. Given the narrative, I believe you wish to announce you're quitting the 'Roman Catholic church' rather than quitting 'being a Christian.' May I have your famous collection of crucifixes if you're finished with them?"
And it looks like I'm not the only one to zoom in on that denominational detail.
Our enterprising sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church, more specifically the wags at Episcopal Cafe, have set up a page, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes Anne Rice" on Facebook. Love this great market-share-grabbing description: "We broke up with the Catholic Church, too--in 1536 or so. In fact, many Episcopalians are former Catholics."
Meanwhile, I'm amusing myself by humming this hymn: