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Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith Kindle Edition
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"This book was a real grace for me, as it will no doubt be for many others trying to live as disciples of Jesus." --Peter Steinfels, Codirector of the Center on Religion and Culture, Fordham University
"Eve Tushnet puts a human face on Church teaching." --Rev. Louis Cameli, Author of Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality
"Full of wry humor, practical advice, humility, and best of all, deliciously pungent word craft…. Part memoir, part guidebook, and honest to the core." -- --Simcha Fisher, Author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Tushnet blogs regularly at The American Conservative and Patheos. Her work has been published by the Atlantic, Weekly Standard, Commonweal, and First Things, and she has written for the Washington Post "On Faith" blog and the New York Times "Room for Debate." She has spoken on being gay and Catholic at Carnegie-Mellon University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, Fordham, among others. She has also addressed a group of campus ministers in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and spoken with Interfaith Voices, a syndicated public radio show. Tushnet contributed an essay on gay Catholic life to the 2008 anthology Faith at the Edge, and has essays forthcoming in books from Fordham University Press and Notre Dame University Press. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B01N2OISBK
- Publisher : Ave Maria Press (October 20, 2014)
- Publication date : October 20, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 2384 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 225 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1594715424
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #368,466 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I am lucky that I had a lot of people in my family and friends who are compassionate and have been praying for me. When I picked up this book, I found it difficult to put it down. This was probably one of the first times I was able to listen to someone who had many of the same questions I had, was going through a lot of the same struggles that I was, but found a path and was able to live according to the fullness of Church teachings without trying to lie to herself or reject aspects of her own being. While she doesn't prescribe specific answers to all of my questions, she doesn't intend to. Instead, I think she did something even better than that: she explains, in detail, her journey and how she was able to find a way to both love and feel fulfilled in her life and her faith, not despite her homosexuality, but through it. This kind of example and support is something that I think gay Catholics (and Christians, in general) is something that is very much needed. As I read the book and finished it, I felt a renewed sense of peace and determination. Where before I had gone through many cycles of anxiety and struggled with whether I could even reconcile my faith and who I was, here, I found someone who came out the other side with both her faith and her self intact, and I knew that I could do so as well.
I find myself recommending this book to others quite a bit. It helped me in so many ways, and I hope that it can help others in the same way. It's an easy read, not too wordy or overly theological. It's both interesting and insightful. She's very open in her writing about what she's gone through and doesn't try to force any particular views upon the reader. She just describes her experience and journey, but in a way that ropes you in. I found myself finishing the book very quickly.
I don't think that you even need to be a Catholic to find this book useful. Her struggles as a Catholic, and her life journey, can provide insight and help for any Christian who is trying to figure out how to serve God as a homosexual.
I want to give a wholehearted thank you to Eve Tushnet for giving us this book and offering her own life experiences to help others going through the same struggles!
I just read Gay and Catholic by Eve Tushnet, who is (let’s see if I can say it all in one breath) openly lesbian, out-of-the-closet celibate, and gracefully Catholic. I’m interested in the lesbian and celibate and Catholic part, but the word I like best here is “gracefully.”
Seems to me the first thing is to "Seek the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness," and --- holding the puzzle board on the level --- the jigsaw pieces will fit in right, Like every man-jack (and woman-jigsaw) of us, we have to get that first thing first. Once we are committed to be disciples, the door open, the light dawns, we see what we're supposed to be doing. Doing that, and joyfully, is pure grace.
What I like about Eve Tushnet is that she doesn't tell you how to feel, or burden you overmuch with a double-decker omnibus Super Sized Scoop of Natural Law --- though I think both "feelings" and "Natural Law" are important enough --- but first-things-first --- she lets you see what grace can look like for a woman which has pushed all her chips to the middle of the table for the sake of Our Good Lord.
It's a gamble, all right. But what she's managed to win is a joyful, sociable, open, honest and serviceable celibacy within a sensibility which is lesbian and spunkily chaste.
Every one of us could benefit from doing what she's done: betting everything that if you do the "one thing needful" -- be faithful to the Lord --- everything else will, with patience, settle into place. And she's honest. Friends, that's water in the desert.
Finally, a book I could both recommend to my parish and hand out at a Womyn's Community Fest.
My rating is 3/5 because as a straight person, it gave me a bit of insight on gay Catholocism, but I feel like it offers much more insight on what it means to be a child of God and one within the Catholic faith. That is, we all feel the need to love others and be loved in return. We can express that love in many non-sexual ways, even if secular society frowns upon some things if there isn't a "label" attached to them.
For a "gay Catholic" book I feel it's a bit "meh"; for a Catholic book on loving others and finding joy in our vocations (even when there are challenges), it's decent.
I heard about this from a guest or host on one of the Sirius/XM Catholic Channel shows. I'm not gay, but someone in my family is. Even more relevant, that someone is female. And, as Tushnet points out, it's more difficult to find anything on Catholic lesbians than it is on gay Catholic males. This is an important book for any Catholic in order to open our minds and hearts to what it actually means to accept our sexuality along with the Church's teachings.
Tushnet goes through her history and past with regards to family, sexual attraction, alcoholism, and religion. She provides great insight on theology that many tend to forget: agreeing with and accepting aspects of the faith does not always mean that you agree with the leaders and what they may say that does not directly relate to doctrine. It also does not mean always being happy with the teachings or even fully understanding them.
She is clear from the start that what worked for her in terms of a religious central focus, books/articles/other reading material, and spiritual direction may not necessarily work for others. She is very aware that healing methods and intellect are not universal, and that we sometimes have to go through trials and errors to come to terms with ourselves and our lives. It's an important thing to remember, no matter your orientation.
It is VERY important to guide others to the Catholic faith by answering questions that are actually asked, and not assuming we know what they're interested in, especially if they are gay. It's also important for people to keep in mind that they may indeed need therapy - though for any wounds received from the past and NOT for being homosexual.
Being single shouldn't be considered a vocation; what a person does while being single can be. Because not all vocations are based on sexual attraction. After all, those in the religious life may not have been initially called to celibacy; working in a pregnancy center is not limited to specific genders or attractions; friendship comes in all forms. All vocations have sacrifices, periods of loneliness, and many ways to love others. Based on that last bit, Tushnet brings forward a theme that "celibacy is not enough for gay people and that [they] must cultivate an outward looking spirituality, which seeks to love and serve others" ( page 79). Non-homosexuals must also remember that 'being celibate' is indeed different for homosexuals and single heterosexuals, and not brush it off as if there aren't different challenges.
There is historical evidence of same-sex kinship/friendships, to where families were joined together. It's important to not let the fear that such friendships will become sexual hinder gays from forming such relationships and straights from encouraging them. Sexual sin can occur no matter one's sexuality, and close friendships are seen in religious orders, people who became saints, and the Bible itself. Additionally, the love of friends can further one's love of Christ.
Straights must ensure that unmarried [gay] friends are integral parts of our lives by continuously welcoming them into our homes. Gays in turn should reciprocate, and welcome married couples and full families into their homes. As Tushnet says, "Surrender control in favor of love" and “Knitting single people more closely into families is one of the biggest things the Christian churches could do to change the culture.” (page 126).
Being able to feel sympathy and solidarity with each other can help to prevent bitterness and resentment about our own situations.
- Tushnet brings up gay Catholics who I didn't even know were as such, including Oscar Wilde and Morrissey, the lead singer of The Smiths.
- She helps the reader to remember that when we believe we're closer to understanding the inherent meaning of an object (including living beings), we're noticing the fingerprints of the Catholic God.
- A person can indeed can be gay and Catholic. Thinking that there is something wrong with you and that your homosexuality needs to be "healed" can hurt you and the people around you more than accepting that you can't force an inner part of you to change.
- Anyone can deny what erotic attractions want without denying themselves love. But we also must remember that expressing love is not erotic/sexual in nature, especially since gay people receive that stigma.
- Intimate same-sex friendships are essential for our growth, personal understanding (and can solidify our sexual identity), and overall health.
- Christians, no matter their sexual orientation, cannot push God/church teachings on others. Doing so is harassment and not being a witness to the Gospels.
- There are insights on the challenges both gays and straights face, whether or not they are celibate.
- In the appendices, Tushnet explains common challenges to gay Catholics and provides suggestions that can be helpful.