How Can I Change the Conversation at My College Around Gay People in the Church?

The second post about questions I was asked at recent speaking events. I've written about one important aspect of this already: You have to be out there doing the work of protecting actual gay people from actual violence, cruelty, and rejection. This is part of what our faith calls us to do.But okay, you're doing that; what about changing the immensely important conversation on sexual ethics and vocation?The most glaring problem I see right now is that American culture has a vocabulary … [Read more...]

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Bright College Chaplains, With Pleasures Rife (aka My Advice to Catholic Colleges re: LGBT Students)

The shortest, gladdest chaplains of life!I had the chance recently to talk to some people responsible for student life at a big Catholic school, who wanted to know how they could better serve and shepherd their LGBT students. Here's some of what I said. Also I could come to your school, btw, email me eve_tushnet@yahoo.com if you're interested in that.* Know that you're asking these students to, at a fairly young age, reject key components of what we call the American Dream. Lay celibacy … [Read more...]

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“Et in Academia, Ego”: I review “Bradstreet Gate”

for the University Bookman: Death and defeat haunt the college novel. College novels—whether they focus on students or professors—typically tell a story in which the shining promises of academia prove not only false but absurd. College promises insight; college novels display the blankness of human depravity. College proclaims the power of reason and dialogue; college novels expose irrational passions and farcical miscommunication. College exalts the life of the mind, while the college novel is … [Read more...]

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I Watch “Mistress America,” The New Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig Flick About Women’s Friendship

for AmCon: One of the weirder trends in today’s art is the rise of a certain kind of comedy: cynical and even scathing on the surface, but in the end, staunchly moral. These comedies push forgiveness, humility, and love as self-gift; the great enemies are personal ambition, unwillingness to embrace adult responsibility, and concern for one’s own self-image. (The lesser enemy is positive self-talk, which all these comedies go out of their way to satirize.) It’s a sort of comedic burned marsh … [Read more...]

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“Governance Feminism” and Sexual Assault on Campuses

this bit leapt out at me but whole thing is worth reading--if I had to give it an extremely reductive summary it might be, "Sex isn't rational, and power is a temptation, not a tool"--see also btw the section on race: Increasingly, schools are being required to institutionalize prevention, to control the risk of harm, and to take regulatory action to protect the environment. Academic administrators are welcoming these incentives, which harmonize with their risk-averse, compliance-driven, and … [Read more...]

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“How to Be Intoxicated”

This article is annoyingly coy (it's all "there's danger in intoxication! there are no guarantees!" but it's scared to say what that actually looks like) but the basic idea is right on and important. And if you want specifics there's always The Secret History so I guess somebody's already written the stuff he leaves out: ...When colleges pick the one book that every new student should read (as they increasingly do through required summer reading programs), they tend to choose something of the … [Read more...]

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The Proper Basis for a Friendship is a Mutual Misunderstanding: Iris Murdoch’s “The Book and the Brotherhood”

The setup for The Book and the Brotherhood seems like one of those survivor's-guilt campus novels I love. Back at Oxford a group of idealistic young Marxists came together and agreed to pay for one of their number, Crimond, to write a book which would change the world. They'd support him for however long it took to compose this thing.But it took years. The rose-lip't lad of the group died, as such lads often do, and the survivors mostly drifted away from actual Marxism into (even) more … [Read more...]

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