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Author Topic: Anne Rice's Rejection of Christianity  (Read 4287 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2010, 08:24:06 PM »

I caught this interview on the radio this afternoon:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128930526
be forwarned she does discuss a topic not allowed on this forum
Ah, OK. Now it's really official: she has left the Catholic Church -- no Eucharist, no nuttin'. In the facebook page, she wrote things in such a way that it seemed like she was rejecting the label "Christian", while still possibly attending Mass and what not. Now I see she has rejected the whole communal aspect of being a Christ-follower.

I don't see her reversion and a-reversion as cynically as some. I certainly understand her frustrations with institutional religion and her attractions to faith.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 08:24:57 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2010, 11:57:31 AM »

Rice never mention Christianity being "pro-racist".

Also, it seems that she tried to be a "cafetaria Catholic", but found it that it didn't work for her, so she renounced the whole restaurant. Shocked
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 11:57:51 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2010, 02:03:47 PM »

I listened to the interview, and as to be expected I heard an awful lot about Anne Rice and her feelings, her ideas and her decisions.

It just seems to me that as one moves closer to Christ, they are supposed to move further and further away from this sort of ego stroking.

Once I had an interview with a Russian journal. The interviewer was very interested in my path to Orthodoxy, what I thought was important, and my impressions about America.

(I talked about how the priest's and parishioners' tolerance of me as protestant and view of me as a friend helped me alot)
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« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2010, 05:11:13 PM »

Rakovsky,

I liked your post. It seems to me that the New Testament advocates some kind of anarcho-communism where the faithful voluntarily follow moralistic family values in a caring spirit.
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« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2010, 05:48:34 PM »

Quick note.  We're getting close to crossing the line into Politics.  That's fine, but start a thread over there or see this one moved.

Thank you.

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« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2010, 12:23:26 PM »

UPDATE: Anne Rice: "I am in a bit of a state of shock. When I publicly walked away from Christianity in the name of Christ, I had no idea so many people would find this gesture worthy of a response. I am still not entirely certain why the story "has traction." But indeed it does. Here is an editorial from today's LA TIMES."


The LATimes editorial concludes:

Quote
So why not join in the conclusion to Rice's well-reasoned criticisms, particularly if — as I do — you also believe in marriage equality and abortion rights and think the church would be better off if it ordained women and its clergy could marry? Some of us are drawn to the late Pope John Paul II's view that the only way to understand the institutional church is as "a sign of contradiction." That's a term in Catholic theology for a person or situation in which both goodness and its extreme opposition are manifest. Had humanity not been imperfect, there would have been no use for a young Galilean rabbi's radically transformative teaching. If that teaching's mere existence had perfected humanity, its adherents never would have required an institutional church, whose human composition makes it imperfect.

Some of our most profound challenges are resolved in the acceptance of contradiction — or so it seems to me.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 12:26:51 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2010, 12:37:14 PM »

Here's an interview where Rice expands upon her brief comments on facebook. Excerpt:


Maryann:....Are you saying you don’t want to be associated with “any” Christians—or just the part of the church with which you are fed up?

Anne:  I'm saying that I no longer represent any organized religion.  I'm not Catholic. I'm not Christian.  I'm saying this because I have to be an outsider for Christ.  There is a long story to this decision.  Let me say briefly  that I was disappointing my fellow Catholics and Christians.  Some were insisting I was "no Christian."  Some were telling me in so many words to leave the Roman Catholic Church.  But my decision was not a response to any one group.  Since becoming a Christian writer, I have been in communion with many many believers from all over the world, from many churches, and from many walks of life.  I've been interviewed on their radio and television shows.  I've met them in many different circumstances.  I had many wonderful experiences, received beautiful letters, and my Christian books received substantive and thoughtful reviews.  But there was always argument, dispute, questions as to what I "really" believed, lectures from here and there on "the real truth," etc.  Then there was the clergy scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.  Then so many political issues.  When I came out in support of Hillary Clinton for President, I received some of the most hate filled mail I'd ever read.  I have had to walk away from all this to protect my dedication to Christ.
....
Maryann:  Do you reject “organized” religion, or just organized religion which conflicts with Jesus’ message of grace and forgiveness? 

Anne:  There is no consensus anywhere in the Body of Christ as to what Jesus' message of grace and forgiveness really is.  Catholics don't agree with Baptists.  Anglicans are criticized by Catholics.  Evangelicals tell me Catholics are going to Hell.  Many Christians believe that the vast majority of those created by God will burn in Hell for All Eternity.  Many Christians not only believe the world will end soon, but are looking forward to it.  I MUST WALK AWAY FROM IT ALL.  IN JESUS' NAME.  I love the world the Lord has created; I love the mountains, the rivers, the valleys, the skies.  I love the forests, the fields, the flowers.  I love the mysteries of evolution and dna and the big bang.  I want to know the majesties of the Lord's Creation.  I cannot close my eyes to all this.  I cannot turn away from science and scientific exploration.  I cannot condemn the mystic experience of people who have Near Death Experiences as "demonic" simply because I don't know what they are.  I can't believe the world was created in six days.  I do not take Genesis or Revelation literally.  I AM OUT.  I am alone.  I am an outsider for Christ.  I will study my Bible, and pray to God in private and alone.   I have no other choice.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 12:40:55 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2010, 12:48:37 PM »

It sounds like she wants Christ on her own terms, not on His terms, which means that she does not want the real Christ, but her own comfortable construction of Him, a sort of fluffy Christ who makes no demands on us, does not give commandments, and does punish sin.
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« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2010, 11:25:36 PM »

Joy Behar interviewing Anne Rice, tonight.

She does say that she is anti-abortion, that abortion is the killing of a human being.
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« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2010, 12:21:16 AM »

Joy Behar interviewing Anne Rice, tonight.

She does say that she is anti-abortion, that abortion is the killing of a human being.
That's good news. Hopefully she will come home.
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« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2010, 12:42:11 PM »

-How often are there people who leave any sort of church due to the behaviors of others?

Do you mean:
How often are there people who announce a departure due to the behaviors of others?
How often are there people who leave any sort of church due to the policies of leaders?
How often are there people who leave any sort of church due to the behaviors of others directed specifically toward the one leaving?

I have known people who have stayed in a church that had policies they disagreed with because they enjoyed the people in the local church.  I have known people who have rationalized their departure as a disagreement over doctrine when it was really over hurt feelings.  There seem to be few like Anne Rice who issue what amounts to a press release of their departure.  Not many have the notoriety she does.  I suspect most simply fall away quietly.
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« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2010, 07:10:46 AM »

The political discussions, which continued even after Schultz's warning, have been split and moved into the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29209.0.html

Do not post political messages in the public forum.
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« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2010, 11:21:20 AM »

Anne Rice's new LA Times interview. Excerpts:


Rice spoke to The Times by phone this week from her home in Rancho Mirage.

....
Q) Two days before you announced on your Facebook page that you were quitting Christianity, you praised the Lutheran Church....So why not become a Lutheran, or a member of some other church that shares your views?

A) I feel much more morally comfortable walking away from organized religion. I respect that there are all kinds of denominations and all kinds of churches, but it's the entire controversy, the entire conversation that I need to walk away from right now.
....
Q) You've written before about your love of churches, even during the time you were an atheist. Do you see yourself going back in a church?

A) Oh yeah, I would certainly go to a church to pray in private as long as nobody there is offended by my presence. You know, when you're brought up the way I was brought up in the Catholic Church, you really remain culturally a Catholic all your life. Your whole approach to art, your whole approach to music, to architecture, to literature, all of this has been shaped by Catholic thinking and the Catholic tradition. So that's not something that you can put aside. I mean, my novels were Catholic novels when I was calling myself an atheist.
....
Q) Was there any single moment that led you to say, "I'm done?"

A) There was. There was a last straw. But it's very important to emphasize that it was the sum total of a lot of things. There were some last straws that had to do with papal pronouncements, the pope going to Africa and declaring that condoms were not a good idea and would not help in the AIDS epidemic....That was a moment of, "What in the world am I doing connected to this religion?" But the real last straw, the very last straw, was the bishop of Phoenix, Ariz., Thomas Olmsted, coming out and publicly condemning a nun named Sister Margaret McBride for authorizing a life-saving abortion for a dying mother in a Phoenix hospital. What he said in essence was that she had excommunicated herself by authorizing the abortion, and I could write a book on why I think that was a ruthless and immoral decision.

But you know, again, when we talk about the last straw, we don't want to betray the whole spectrum of things that people have chosen to do in the name of organized religion in our time. There are deep issues with religions and the way they treat the very serious moral problems that people face today with reproductive questions, reproductive rights, questions of family planning, questions of marriage and divorce, questions of how you live a meaningful life in a world where almost every decision you make has some moral implication for somebody else. These are big issues. And the question of how much the decisions of people in organized religion are related to any deep-rooted theology of Jesus Christ, well, that's a real question. You understand my problem?
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« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2010, 05:21:44 PM »

A priest replies to Anne Rice Shocked:


"However, what she is proposing is, quite simply, impossible. With complete coherence, Ms. Rice could withdraw from the Gandhi Society, even while maintaining her deep admiration for Gandhi, or she could resign from the Better Business Bureau, even while retaining a commitment to the ideals of that organization. But she can’t leave the church and still cling to Christ, precisely because the church is not a club or voluntary society, but rather Jesus’ own mystical body. When the risen Jesus addressed Saul, who was on his way to persecute the Christian community in Damascus, the Lord said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” In the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, we find Jesus’ great parable of the separation of the saved and the condemned on the last day. To the blessed, Jesus says, “whatsoever you did to the least of my people, you did it to me,” and to the damned he says, “whatsoever you neglected to do to the least of my people, you neglected to do it to me.” The followers of Jesus are related to their Lord as the members of a body are related to the head, for Christ and his church form together, not a society, but a living organism. To say, therefore, that one loves Christ but has given up on his church is precisely equivalent to saying “I love you, but I just can’t be around your body!”

To make this principle more concrete, consider the fact that Anne Rice came to know Christ through the densely-textured world of her New Orleans Catholicism: its art, music, liturgy, stories, and above all, its powerful spiritual personalities. More to it, she experienced the renewal of her faith through the mediation of the liturgy broadcast on EWTN. The point is that the church, with all of its flaws, remains, down through the ages, the vehicle which bears Jesus Christ to the world, just as our bodies, with all of their imperfections, remain the means by which our identities and personalities come to expression. You just can’t discover Christ or stay with him in abstraction from his body. I know that Church people, even of the highest rank, do and say lots of stupid things. I fully realize how deeply scandalous the recent behavior of some priests and bishops has been to millions of Catholics, and I completely acknowledge that certain of the church’s attitudes, behaviors, and statements over the centuries have been deeply harmful. Heck, John Paul II dedicated the last several years of his pontificate to apologizing for the ways that churchmen have caused harm, sometimes greviously, over the past two millennia. But yet, as St. Paul said, “we hold a treasure” in these fragile vessels, and the treasure is Jesus himself.

I’m convinced that it is Anne Rice’s love for Christ that has pushed her to make this move away from the church, but I fear that she is drifting toward the love of an abstract Jesus. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. This means that God entered into our grubby, imperfect world and made it his tabernacle. He continues to do so, precisely through the flawed, compromised, sometimes exasperating body of the church, and therefore the church is where the real Christ is found. Come back, Anne, we need you!"
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 05:22:08 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2010, 07:11:14 PM »

It seems to me that the New Testament advocates some kind of anarcho-communism where the faithful voluntarily follow moralistic family values in a caring spirit.

Not anarcho. It was very much a hierarchical system. And I don't know if "communism" would exactly fit, but certainly communitarianism would.
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« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2010, 07:12:34 PM »

and does punish sin.

I don't think the Lord Christ is all that interested in punishment.
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« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2010, 07:13:04 PM »

She does say that she is anti-abortion, that abortion is the killing of a human being.

She's probably still pro-choice, though.
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« Reply #62 on: August 08, 2010, 07:14:17 PM »

Regarding Anne Rice's anti-conversion:


Quote
....there is a cautionary tale here, one with some important lessons to mull over:

• The cult of celebrity has no place in the Catholic Church. I'm not talking about proper recognition, respect, admiration, praise, or gratitude shown to those who deserve it. I'm talking about putting someone on a pedestal for wrong or dubious reasons, and showing an undue eagerness in lauding them as "Catholic" because they are a famous (take your pick) athlete, singer, writer, actor, etc. A very wise (and no-nonsense) priest told me, many years ago, to never, ever fall into the trap of being a celebrity convert, for to do so would destroy my soul. The temptation is real. It should be smacked down, trampled upon, and dismembered at every opportunity.

• Saying "I want to be Catholic" should include saying, "I believe what the Catholic Church teaches." This should be a no-brainer, I suppose, but everyone involved would be better served if the cards were laid on the table right up front. Saying that someone is "sincere" or "has a good heart" only goes so far. There is a parallel with marriage preparation. Saying, "I really love her/him!" shouldn't be an automatic stamp for a Catholic wedding. This isn't a matter of questioning motives, but of simply asking people if they, in fact, understand their own motives and acknowledge both the rights and duties that come with being Catholic. A simple baseline, it seems to me, is asking folks to affirm the teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

• A lack of humility and teachability should be a red flag. When a potential convert/revert will not consider and engage with Church teaching regarding faith and morals, it should be an opportunity to engage in serious discussion, not an opportunity to turn the other way and act as if everything will magically turn out fine. The latter response will often lead to further disillusionment on the part of the convert/revert (who may think the lack of questioning is a tacit form of endorsement), and it can result in scandal for the faithful. And yet, in a culture that is obsessed with being "honest" about feelings and emotions, there is all too often a failure to be honest about what someone thinks and believes.

• Not everyone can be a theologian, but everyone should know some theology. Fr. Barron points out that Rice, who is a talented and intelligent woman, has huge holes in her understanding of theology and doctrine. And the issue at hand—the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church—is hardly a matter of esoteric interest; it is an essential, core matter. It wasn't for nothing that one of the key documents of the Second Vatican Council was about the nature and mission of the Church.
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« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2010, 03:02:55 PM »

Christianity Today interview with Anne Rice. Excerpt:


Are there any other religious authors you read?

I read theology and biblical scholarship all the time. I love the biblical scholarship of D.A. Carson. I very much love Craig S. Keener. His books on Matthew and John are right here on my desk all the time. I go to Craig Keener for answers because his commentary on Scripture is so thorough. I still read N.T. Wright. I love the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner. I love his writing on Jesus Christ. It's very beautiful to me, and I study a little bit of it every day. Of course, I love Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

You mentioned D.A. Carson, Craig Keener, and N.T. Wright. They are fairly conservative Protestants.

Sometimes the most conservative people are the most biblically and scholastically sound. They have studied Scripture and have studied skeptical scholarship. They make brilliant arguments for the way something in the Bible reads and how it's been interpreted. I don't go to them necessarily to know more about their personal beliefs. It's the brilliance they bring to bear on the text that appeals to me. Of all the people I've read over the years, it's their work that I keep on my desk. They're all non-Catholics, but they're believers, they document their books well, they write well, they're scrupulously honest as scholars, and they don't have a bias. Many of the skeptical non-believer biblical scholars have a terrible bias. To them, Jesus didn't rise from the dead, so there's no point in discussing it. I want someone to approach the text and tell me what it says, how the language worked.
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« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2010, 09:36:50 PM »

celebreties who make this choice just make the term "spiritual bot not religous" more popular among the masses.  frankly, I'm not suprised.  I've read a few of her books, and by their themes, got some impression that she was some sort of new-age atheist.
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« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2010, 11:22:48 PM »

and does punish sin.

I don't think the Lord Christ is all that interested in punishment.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."
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« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2010, 11:52:12 PM »

and does punish sin.

I don't think the Lord Christ is all that interested in punishment.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

I didn't say that Christ is not interested in judgment and correction.
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« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2011, 11:22:40 PM »

I was looking at NT Wright's "Simply Christian" book, and surprisingly found a quote from Anne Rice on praising the book. I couldn't believe she was a Christian, and then I found this recent article here:

Quote
“I think the main reason Christians and Catholics are going through this crisis with gay culture is they cannot face the reality that they are seeing before their eyes. The reality is that good, wholesome, productive gay people exist in all walks of life in our country and in other countries,” Rice explained. “They are at war with information.”

“They cannot bear the thought that two good gay people could have two adoptive children and get up before an altar or a judge and exchange vows and live a good family life.”

“These Christians now have to face the fact that this information is just flooding in. Gay people are people. Gay people are good people. Gay people are wholesome people.”

“It calls into question everything they believe about sin and salvation. That the narrow way is to Jesus Christ and that anybody who doesn't take it and who is a sinner is going to hell.”

“They have to face the fact that all these good people are not living as degenerate sinners… They want gays to be sinners. They want you to be a sinner and they want you to behave like a sinner and they want you to fail like one. And it's driving them crazy that you're not doing that."
http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=7486&MediaType=1&Category=22

So what would Anne Rice's church be like if she had one?
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« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2011, 11:48:30 PM »

I was looking at NT Wright's "Simply Christian" book, and surprisingly found a quote from Anne Rice on praising the book. I couldn't believe she was a Christian, and then I found this recent article here:

Quote
“I think the main reason Christians and Catholics are going through this crisis with gay culture is they cannot face the reality that they are seeing before their eyes. The reality is that good, wholesome, productive gay people exist in all walks of life in our country and in other countries,” Rice explained. “They are at war with information.”

“They cannot bear the thought that two good gay people could have two adoptive children and get up before an altar or a judge and exchange vows and live a good family life.”

“These Christians now have to face the fact that this information is just flooding in. Gay people are people. Gay people are good people. Gay people are wholesome people.”

“It calls into question everything they believe about sin and salvation. That the narrow way is to Jesus Christ and that anybody who doesn't take it and who is a sinner is going to hell.”

“They have to face the fact that all these good people are not living as degenerate sinners… They want gays to be sinners. They want you to be a sinner and they want you to behave like a sinner and they want you to fail like one. And it's driving them crazy that you're not doing that."
http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=7486&MediaType=1&Category=22

So what would Anne Rice's church be like if she had one?

Gothic.
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« Reply #69 on: February 26, 2011, 11:52:04 PM »

St. Patrick's Cathed...err wait
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« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2011, 08:54:00 AM »

and does punish sin.

I don't think the Lord Christ is all that interested in punishment.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

I didn't say that Christ is not interested in judgment and correction.

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'

Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
- Matthew 25-41-46

"But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me."
- Luke 19:27


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« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2011, 05:29:49 AM »

and does punish sin.

I don't think the Lord Christ is all that interested in punishment.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

I didn't say that Christ is not interested in judgment and correction.

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'

Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
- Matthew 25-41-46

"But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me."
- Luke 19:27


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Who is to say that they are not punishing themselves?
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