If the “sexual purity” movement has escaped your gaze, suffice it to say it is a Christian campaign that’s all about virginity and sexual abstinence until marriage, and it has millions of adherents and generates bestselling books. One blockbuster was the 1997 book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris, an evangelical pastor at the Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Well, Joshua has now left his wife and come out as gay, and he’s done it with quite a bit of fanfare. Three years ago he announced that the Dating book was a “huge mistake,” and he’s been apologizing ever since, giving speeches around the country, including a TED talk, and expressing endless regrets on social media. All that is great, but it doesn’t exactly answer the question “What were you thinking?” twenty-plus years ago. Mind you, Harris wasn’t just trying to put a stop to sex while dating but to dating itself, which he decried as a rehearsal for divorce. It’s a cliché that prudes are people who aren’t “getting any” themselves. Clearly Harris was longing for something he couldn’t have, but this guy really didn’t want other people to have any fun at all!
Ok well let’s be clear, Josh had not officially come out, but yeah it’s not rocket science. No, the purity thing wasn’t about not allowing anyone else to have fun. He didn’t care about that. At 21, exactly at the time when Mom and Dad, friends and church folks were saying things like, well what about her or when are you getting married or why are you not dating. It was about getting out of having to play that game but instead wanting to be able to get married when he wanted to and when he was good and ready. He wanted to avoid the torture of that whole process. Indeed, a painful, traumatic ordeal that millions of gay Christian men experience. It’s just that with Josh who was used to getting his way , being a narcissist and his powerful parents he thought, I know i’ll write a book and my problem is solved – and it worked. Go girl!