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Prominent Author Apologizes to LGBTQ Community, Renounces Christianity

Prominent Author Apologizes to LGBTQ Community, Renounces Christianity

Prominent Author Apologizes to LGBTQ Community, Renounces Christianity

He wrote the popular sexual purity book 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' for teens.

rachelkiley

The author of a prominent Christian dating book for teens has come forward to renounce his religion and the homophobia and misogyny his book encouraged among its devoted readers.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye was a staple in youth groups across the country in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. You’d be hard-pressed to be a teenaged churchgoer at that time and not run into someone who had read it, or had a copy in hand, ready to lend to someone who needed to be shamed into some Biblical ideal of dating.

The book provided what appeared to many as a very strict set of “rules” for dating, which included girls to be subservient to men, teaching teens to feel ashamed of their desires and experiences, and unequivocally condemning anyone questioning their sexuality.

Its author, Joshua Harris, announced his divorce on Instagram earlier this month. A few days ago, he returned to the social media platform to share some further thoughts about the change in his life.

“The information that was left out of our [divorce] announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus,” he wrote. “The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”

Harris goes on to say that he has “lived in repentance for the past several years—repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few.”

“But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.”

It isn’t the first time Harris has admitted that his book and some of his teachings have caused harm, and in 2018 helped create the documentary I Survived ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye,' examining the negative impact the book had on real people’s lives.

“I regret any way that my ideas restricted you, hurt you, or gave you a less-than-biblical view of yourself, your sexuality, your relationships, and God,” he wrote on his website at the time.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye will not be reprinted after current copies have sold out, per Harris’s request to his publisher.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.