Just recently best selling author - Anne Rice announced that she is quiting Christianity. This is what she had to say on her facebook page
"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."
Needless to say there have been editorials and reactions from a number of quarters. Here is the concluding paragraph of a very poignant essay by Michael Rowe at the Huffington Post:
"...Whatever backlash Anne Rice might eventually receive from her Christian readers, or from the Evangelical establishment itself, the undeniable fact is that the decision of this sensitive, passionate, and devout woman to leave Christianity is one that Christ himself would likely understand, even applaud, even as He would likely weep at the holocaust of hatred, bigotry, and collateral carnage that has devolved from the grimy, shopworn religion to which His glorious name has been affixed."
Over at the LA Times Tim Rutten had this to say:
"Only sleepwalkers and fanatics slide through life without reconsidering their values and philosophical outlook. Still, I never expected to be challenged quite so fundamentally by a writer of vampire stories and bisexual erotica.
Enter Anne Rice, the 68-year-old author of bestselling novels about the sexy undead and, pseudonymously, of various sadomasochistic-inflected tales. Since returning to her girlhood Catholicism more than a decade ago, she's also written a string of devotional volumes and "a spiritual confession" that might best be characterized as rhapsodic. ...(Cont.)...
Over at The Washington Post Arun Gandhi had this to say:
"Can you leave Christianity and keep Christ? Can you be spiritual without being religious?
According to my grandfather, M. K. Gandhi, religion and spiritualism are distinctly apart -- that is, it is possible to practice one without believing in the other. Religion, as it is commonly understood, is the practice of a set of rituals based on the interpretation made by human beings. Since we humans are imperfect, our interpretation too is imperfect. On the other hand Spiritualism, according to him, is achieved when one comes to one's own understanding of the Power that we call God. When we truly accept all religions as simply different roads to the same destination and respect them all equally." ...(Cont.)...
Here is a link to an NPR - All Thighs Considered interview with Anne Rice on the subject.
I believe that many of us in the greater Pagan community can very much sympathise with many of her feelings and perspectives on these matters.