The Wild Goose Festival seeks to be a place where people of faith and people who struggle with faith (which might be all of us?) can wrestle together with what it means to be people who live at the intersection of justice, creativity, and spirituality in the 21st century. This is a conversation our larger culture is having, involving artists, authors, blue collar workers, ministers, and more.
Last week it spilled onto Facebook, as best-selling novelist Anne Rice recently announced that she was quitting Christianity:
“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.”
“I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or being a part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. 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.”
What Ms. Rice has shared has hit a nerve. Wild Goose friend Brian McLaren responded inMy Take: Why I Support Anne Rice but Am Still a Christian, and Festival team member Mike Morrell interviewed Rice directly for the Homebrewed Christianity podcast, where she acknowledges “I am still obsessed with Christ…[but] some of us don’t want to be thrown down the stairs by the followers of Christ”
In the wake of seismic religious change in the past century, coupled with increased awareness of the very real injustices perpetuated by institutionalized faith, there are no easy answers to the sea change indicated by voices like Rice. This is very much a conversation we’re interested in continuing as the Wild Goose Festival gathers steam for next year’s inauguration. We hope we’ll be in conversation with you, creating something beautiful together.