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Anne Rice quits church, blaming Bradlee Dean, among others [UPDATED]

Updated: "You'd like the UCC, Anne Rice" launches on Facebook. Details after the jump.

Anne Rice, arguably the modern-day mother of America's obsession with all things vampire, made big news a decade ago when she converted to Christianity. Now she's given up on the church in part, she says because of the venal rants of an anti-gay Minnesota preacher. She declared, "I quit," after reading a story about You Can Run But You Cannot Hide founder Bradlee Dean.

"Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America," Dean said in a story posted by the Minnesota Independent. "This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination."

The "Interview With A Vampire" author was directed to the story by a commenter on her Facebook page. And she was appalled.

"No wonder people despise us, Christians, and think we are an ignorant and violent lot," she wrote on her Facebook wall on Tuesday. "I don't blame them. This kind of thing makes me weep. Maybe commitment to Christ means not being a Christian."

A day later, she made the leap.

"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," she said. "For ten ...years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

And then she elaborated.

"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."

Updated: A new page on Facebook has launched, urging Rice to take a look at the United Church of Christ (Rice is/was Catholic):

On July 30, 2010, famed novelist Anne Rice renounced Christianity because she refuses to be anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science, anti-birth control. We share Anne's faith in a loving, inclusive, reasonable God. You'd like the UCC!

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