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The purity movement, Harris says, had a good intention but “its sales pitch of using sex as the most important thing to sell abstinence actually led people to value and to focus on the wrong thing.” By replacing traditional dating with courtship, a new set of problems were created, Harris says.
Courtship teaches that a man and woman should only “go out” if marriage was the goal.
Thomas Umstattd, author of and a critic of courtship, told Harris that by placing an emphasis on marriage, “you're turning up the volume too quickly on the relationship and it makes it very intense.” Curt Allen, lead pastor of Solid Rock Church in Riverdale, Md., says “girls would not talk to guys” they did not want to court.
He went to a singles meeting during that era in which women were on one side of the room and men on the other side -- and they were afraid to talk.
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," Harris wrote.
"I hope you can forgive me."CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHarris received mixed reviews -- support and some pushback -- for his latest announcement.
Harris, who authored "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" in 1997 and "Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship" in 2000 that helped shape purity culture for many millennial believers, announced Thursday he was "separating" from Shannon, his wife of 20 years.
The former pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., recounted several things he has apologized for in the past: "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."JEREMY LIN ON HIS FUTURE, FALL OF LINSANITY: ' I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BE COMPLETELY DEPENDENT ON GOD' But there's one group he specifically wanted to add: "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.
The silver lining may be that it sounds like much of the intended audience is no longer interested in the film, anyway.In 2016, Harris seemed to apologize for his infamous book.Some of his old fans felt his apology was insincere in part because, while he said his book would no longer be printed (or reprinted), he hadn’t necessarily changed his views.(That’s one way to drum up publicity for a film that no one really wants to see: act like it’s too toxic for your tastes.) Perhaps there will be another documentary in a few years about what inspired Harris to leave the faith.Hopefully the distributor will be a company that understands even the perspectives of documentary subjects can change over time.