She’s been writing and I’ve been reading her for a long time, but I think Eve Tushnet’s name became much more widely known in 2010, when the New York Times profiled her, identifying her in the opening graph as that (to them) most exotic of all creatures, a “the celibate, gay, conservative, Catholic writer”.
My goodness, these labels, categories and pigeonholes — our increasingly polarized world loves them, because they tell us who we should read or not read, hate or not hate in the blink of an eye — but that just makes them all the more abhorrent, doesn’t it? Most of us are a great deal more than what is made obvious within our “categories.” Eve, for example is — like Leah Libresco at Unequally Yoked –, a most interesting Yalie.
She studied philosophy at Yale University, where she was received into the Catholic Church. She is a freelance writer in DC, and has been published in (among others) Commonweal, The National Catholic Register, National Review, and The Washington Blade. Eve blogs at EveTushnet.com. Her hobbies include sin, confession, and ecstasy.
That would be the mystical sort, not the drug. And as of today, she blogs here at Patheos, where our first order of business may well be to get her into the habit of starting each post with an actual headline!
As you may have noticed from that blurb, Eve, though called a “conservative” by the Times, hones that down a bit, claiming “conservatism reborn in twisted sisterhood”. Beyond her writing, Ever has worked full-time for the National Catholic Register and the Manhattan Institute, and for the Institute on Marriage and Public Policy, the Bible Literacy Project, and the National Organization for Marriage. She is trained in classic reasoning, which suits Catholicism so well; it means she is perfectly at-home anywhere and nowhere, and so you will find her writing strewn among all sorts of different outlets, some “liberal”, some “conservative” some secular.
If her freelancing venues are strewn, though, her thoughts are not. She is simply brilliant at looking squarely at any issue, be it deep friendship and confessional intimacy (I would love to see her write on Bl. John Henry Newman and Ambrose St. John) or homeschooling and socialization, or Art, or Books or “the closet” Eve has a way of throwing relentless reason together with the most fluid prose until the the issue (and the reader) must cry surrender or find a better argument.
I had hoped to bring her over to Patheos last year, but it wasn’t the right time. Now, perhaps it is. While I am loath to over-emphasize one issue when Tushnet can write so knowledgeably about so much, she is fantastic on the issue of Catholicism and same sex attraction. Whether it wishes it or not, the Catholic church is being propelled toward an unstoppable and necessary confrontation with the homosexual community. If the church gets it right, this confrontation can become the finest fruit of the New Evangelization. If she gets it wrong, the lesser fruits will not nourish or strengthen the body of Christ to its potential.
I wrote yesterday how pleased I am that the Catholics are daring to talk about the issue without dipping into the goo of sentimentalism, which tends to gum up all it touches. For this reason, I think Eve’s gifts and her remarkable fluency are essential to the engagement, and I am thrilled to have her here at Patheos, where, between Mark, and Marc, Max and Katrina, Tim Muldoon, Fr. Dwight and the rest of us, and now, Eve (and, soon, the addition of some equally provocative/smart/surprising voices), we’re doing our best to keep the conversation faithful, thoughtful, respectful, compassionate and above all, interesting!
Welcome, Eve Tushnet, to Pathoes. To paraphrase Paul Johnson, “come on in; it ain’t awful!”
I think you’ll want to bookmark her.