March 16, 2005

Anne Lamott on Her Christian Faith

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 12:52 pm

Anne Lamott, author of Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith (here is a review from Salon) was interviewed on NPR’s Day-to-Day. Some excerpts (transcription, and errors therein, are mine.)

First, on her conversion to Christianity years ago:

I was so sick and so struggling, I was kind of at the end of my rope and there wasn’t even enough rope left to tie a knot, and so I went and I sat down and these people did not hassle me, I mean I think that’s the most important thing in a church, they didn’t try to get me to do bible study or to stay after and have rice krispy treats, or to try to learn about Jesus and who shot the holy ghost, they just welcomed me.

All I can say is I felt like I was home. I can’t imagine there’s a white church in America that would have been interested in this drunk, stoned bulimic on a bicycle, you know, who couldn’t stand up for the hymns and the joy was palpable and I thought ‘I want what they have’.

On the Christian right’s misrepresentation of her faith:

And so now when you say oh, they’re a Christian, you think right wing Christian, you think Tom Delay and Hammer of God. You think faith-based initiative where if your family needs help, or if you’re a drunk or an addict, which I am in recovery, or if you can’t pay for your kids to eat decently, that they’re willing to give you help, but you have to do the bible study too, right?

I think it would have just made [Jesus’] blood run backwards to hear what we’re threatened with in his name, how we’re shamed in his name, how its pointed out nicely in his name that a lot of us, people like me, are going to go to hell and rot for all eternity, which is a very loving sweet thing to share with someone.

On how we should welcome those that need what we have:

And when you begin to find a tribe of people who accept you as you are, whoever you love, whatever you look or smell like, or whatever you believe, who just say, oh my God, of course you’re welcome here, whoever you are. My experience is that there’s a warm chair with people who aren’t going to hassle you to death, who may have some really nice food if you’re hungry, and who may have some secret kinds of food to offer too.


  1. Oh, I loathe Anne Lamott and this interview didn’t make me like her any more. She speaks so offensively of white churches that I can’t help but wonder how many progressive churches she’s ever been in. Does she honestly believe there are no churches out there who welcome drug addicts?

    I know the landscape of Christianity is scary, but progressives slandering other progressive churches is not going to fix it.

    Comment by Chris T. — March 17, 2005 @ 9:51 am

  2. She first caught my eye because her book is on raising a teenager, an undertaking that, as I’m finding out firsthand, is a real test of faith! I didn’t know of her anti-white church views, but I guess it fits what I do know. Too bad.

    Comment by Bob — March 17, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

  3. My previous experience with her was one of her novels, All New People, which is terrible. Sounds like you had a better first experience with her. 😉

    Comment by Chris T. — March 17, 2005 @ 8:16 pm

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