Novelist Anne Rice says she's left the Roman Catholic Church because of its anti-gay rhetoric.

Rice, best known for her Vampire Chronicles series which include over a dozen novels, was raised Catholic but left the church at 18 and became an atheist.

In 1998 Rice returned to the church after experiencing a religious awakening.

For the next decade she devoted herself to write exclusively Christian-themed novels, such as Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.

“Today I quit being a Christian,” Rice announced Thursday on her Facebook page. “I'm out.”

Upon elaboration, Rice said she was walking away from organized religion, not God.

In an interview broadcast Monday on National Public Radio, the 68-year-old Rice said the decision was “very painful,” but added that after leaving she “felt sane for the first time in a very long while.”

The church's opposition to gay marriage pushed her out. She said she felt an “intense pressure” when she learned of the church's pivotal involvement in supporting gay marriage bans.

Rice's 32-year-old son Christopher is a gay rights activist and bestselling author.

That fact, she said, had nothing to do with her decision to forgo Catholicism.

“My experience with gay people long preceded Christopher coming out of the closet and becoming a gay novelist,” she said.