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seraaa

Josh Harris announces "I kissed dating goodbye" is to be discontinued

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seraaa

I have been following this and now: an update! (He also says the documentary film will be released next year)

https://joshharris.com/statement/ [full statement]

Quote

 

While I stand by my book’s call to sincerely love others, my thinking has changed significantly in the past twenty years. I no longer agree with its central idea that dating should be avoided. I now think dating can be a healthy part of a person developing relationally and learning the qualities that matter most in a partner. I recommend books like Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud and True Love Dates by Debra Fileta, which encourage healthy dating.

There are other weaknesses too: in an effort to set a high standard, the book emphasized practices (not dating, not kissing before marriage) and concepts (giving your heart away) that are not in the Bible. In trying to warn people of the potential pitfalls of dating, it instilled fear for some—fear of making mistakes or having their heart broken. The book also gave some the impression that a certain methodology of relationships would deliver a happy ever-after ending—a great marriage, a great sex life—even though this is not promised by scripture.

And to those of you who benefitted from my book, I am so grateful that something I wrote helped you. The fact that a flawed man could write a flawed book and somehow that could help some people is amazing to me. But, to borrow an analogy from the automotive industry, if a car serves some people but a flaw in its design causes damage to others, good intentions by the carmaker and even the endorsement of other customers don’t override the problem. I cannot recall all the copies of my book that have been published. However, my public critique in written and documentary form, and the numerous media interviews I’ve done in the past two years, are my attempt to both apologize and spread the word of about the problems I see in it.

In light of the flaws I now see in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I think it’s best to discontinue its publication, as well other supplemental resources tied to it (this includes the two books I wrote after it whose content is similar). My publisher, whose encouragement in this process has been deeply meaningful to me, supports this decision and will not reprint the books after the current copies in their inventory are sold.

Whether you agree or disagree, I hope you’ll think for yourself and be compassionate toward those whose experience has been different than yours.

Thanks for reading. I wish you all the best on your journey.

 

 

This is wild to consider in the context of the influence that book had

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Waffle Time
Hane

Meanwhile, this douchebag cheated a generation of conservative Christian kids out of innocent, constructive pastimes like proms, movie dates, and other activities that would have helped them get to know each other in a healthy way before deciding to settle down. News flash, Joshie: Untold numbers of us dated regularly through our teen years and were still virgins (and not just “technical virgins”) when we got married. (That was important to me back then; my opinions have changed.)

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OhNoNike

Totally true.  I didn’t realize it came out when he was only 21.  At least he’s sort of retracting it now.  Seemingly. 

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seraaa
1 minute ago, Hane said:

Meanwhile, this douchebag cheated a generation of conservative Christian kids out of innocent, constructive pastimes like proms, movie dates, and other activities that would have helped them get to know each other in a healthy way before deciding to settle down. News flash, Joshie: Untold numbers of us dated regularly through our teen years and were still virgins (and not just “technical virgins”) when we got married. (That was important to me back then; my opinions have changed.)

In many ways it is too late for many people, and at least the harm can't continue in quite the same way. 

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Meh
formergothardite

He made a lot of money hurting countless people. I guess it is good he is pulling the book and admitting it is harmful, but he also using the whole thing to help out with her current brand of Christianity where he is "strong enough to be wrong". 

The jaded side of me wonders if he barely makes any money off it now and if he would have been so willing to discontinue it if it was making him money and not hurting his current brand. 

https://relevantmagazine.com/life5/joshua-harris-got-wrong/

Quote

Harris’ concern over his platform as the primary point of his investigation is indicative of a deeper issue. The centering of his own experience in his TEDx talk, even his using the word “strong” to define his shift in perspective in the title, reasserts patriarchal norms.

This is a moment when Harris could reflect on the systems that put an inexperienced male voice into the world as an expert on relationships and sexuality. Where he could highlight other voices articulating the impact of the movement he was swept into—of whom there are plenty, many of them female—and begin to articulate what exactly the shift in his perspective has been. Instead he seems mostly concerned with figuring out how to hold onto a platform that seems to be slipping, how to make his growth the story.

 

 

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louisa05
17 minutes ago, Hane said:

Meanwhile, this douchebag cheated a generation of conservative Christian kids out of innocent, constructive pastimes like proms, movie dates, and other activities that would have helped them get to know each other in a healthy way before deciding to settle down. News flash, Joshie: Untold numbers of us dated regularly through our teen years and were still virgins (and not just “technical virgins”) when we got married. (That was important to me back then; my opinions have changed.)

To be fair to Josh Harris, when I taught at a Christian school in the 90s, this stuff was already discouraged. I started there 2.5 years before the book came out. His ideas about avoiding dating, especially in the teen years, weren't that original. And I heard of people not kissing before marriage as early as 1991 or so when I was in college. I heard a purity lecture at a teen retreat I was a college small group leader for in 1992 or so that incorporated a lot of the ideas in the book. He may have spread it to a larger audience, but he doesn't have sole responsibility for any of it. 

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viii

As someone raised on this book and suffered from this book, I still find his comments admirable and a step in the right direction. 

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Walking Cat Bed

Discontinuing publication means he won't make money on sales, correct? 

He can't un-write and un-publish the book, but not continuing to make money on the book is something.

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EowynW
11 minutes ago, louisa05 said:

I just have to say that it seems like there is nothing he can do to make some people happy now. Whatever he does, the goalposts move. 

First it was "Josh Harris needs to apologize". He did. So it became, "Josh Harris needs to say he was wrong all along". He did. Then it became, "Josh Harris needs to discontinue publication of the book". Now he is. And it's still not enough. 

He can't undo it all. It's not possible. But name me another evangelical leader who has ever come out and said, "that shit I made a pile of money preaching to the whole world? That was bullshit". There isn't one. 

Exactly. I am from the one of the generations that hit with his stuff, but I am so happy to see how he's grown and changed. I think it is good to extend grace to someone who has changed their ways like this. 

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GenerationCedarchip

I honestly admire Harris for grappling with that book and its effects. It's not easy to publicly admit mistakes and to say this about the work that propelled him into the spotlight is huge. I know lots of folks in the conservative Christian community who are doing a lot of deep thinking as a result of the public conversation Josh Harris has been having. 

As was noted above, the ideas in the book were already out there in the 90s. The book did spread them like wildfire, though. I remember the book coming out and in the way it was presented in church, there was definitely a hint of "If you do this courtship thing, God will reward you with a godly, handsome and successful man." Looking back on it, that corner of purity culture definitely had something of the prosperity gospel about it. 

I'm glad Harris is speaking publicly instead of quietly pretending it never happened, which seems to be the usual practice.  My heart still breaks for all the people hurt by these teachings, though. 

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luv2laugh

It is really hard to admit you are wrong in the public. I do applaud his sincere apology. I really like the change in him and how he is growing. It would be nice if he can put his money where his mouth is and make a large donation to a healthy nonprofit that he supports or something. He profited immensely from this book and making a donation would help.

I also agree with formergothardite. I believe he’s trying to rebrand and he’s realized that this book is harmful to that.

Edited by luv2laugh

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Meh
acheronbeach

Remember too that Josh was really young - 21 as someone else said - and with a high profile HSLDA father who obviously pushed his young sons hard to be handsome young preachers.  This is the same family whose sixteen year old sons started The Rebelution (including that horrendous modesty survey).  

I think it's admirable.  Josh Harris didn't have to publicly denounce his book and ideas that a lot of people still support.  He can't change what he did at twenty one.  He can only apologize and say he was wrong and try to make amends.  

 

On another note, is he still in Vancouver?  I am dying to know what he thinks of what is possibly Canada's most liberal, hippie city.  

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JermajestyDuggar

I personally think fundie-ism is changing. I think it’s been changing for awhile. It used to be setting yourself apart from the mainstream. I think they’ve realized that just doesn’t work long term. The new fundie-ism is much more mainstream looking. It’s harder for you to spot. It used to be so easy to spot a fundie. Now they all look like everyone else. They are also starting to act like everyone else. Dating and kissing before marriage is so much more common amongst the fundies we see even on FJ. I think Josh could see this coming a mile away and sure, he sees his promoted method as harmful. However I don’t think he is not fundie anymore. I just think his brand of fundie has changed. My theory is that the fundies will try to evangelize by being “just like you.” It’s really hard to win people over to your side when you’re wearing an ugly ass frumper and you don’t even understand basic pop culture references. Now being fundie is cool and hip and fun. Now you get to be a super special Christian and keep all your favorite clothes and tv shows. 

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SilverBeach
12 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Now being fundie is cool and hip and fun.

Hillsong. ITA , fundies have changed their packaging.

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Columbia
12 hours ago, louisa05 said:

He can't undo it all. It's not possible. But name me another evangelical leader who has ever come out and said, "that shit I made a pile of money preaching to the whole world? That was bullshit". There isn't one. 

That was my first reaction when I read his statement. I could think of a lot of sorry-you-were-offended, or sorry-I-got-caught apologies. I couldn’t think of any other pastor or church leader who honestly said that they were wrong and we’re sorry for it. 

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Briefly

Good for him.  Yes, the damage is already done and that is not necessarily something that can be undone.  But I'm leaning towards giving him the benefit of the doubt here.  He may be sincere.  I remember a Sunday School teacher in a Southern Baptist church, he son read the book in high school and he decided not to date anymore.  He basically picked out his future wife, who was a girl he had never dated but was at least sort-of friends with, and his plan was to go off for his first semester of college and then he intended to inform her of that fact and also stated that they would start the courting process at that point.  I left that church before his semester ended, but I did see some indications on his mother's facebook page that clearly stated his plans did not happen and it was very probably because the girl in question was not interested!  And I was not surprised at all.

That was also something that we would not have subjected the Briefly daughter to, she was allowed to date but she didn't really date much until the last couple of years of high school because she said most of the boys were gross.  She didn't meet her current (and probably forever) boyfriend until the end of the first year at junior college.

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Walking Cat Bed

Oh, I definitely think Josh is on a better path. He was chosen to ring that bell and to contribute to popularizing the purity ideology. His only other real option at the time would have been to rebel outright. He's doing what he can now, which I appreciate.

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hoipolloi

Crystal Paine and her husband recently discussed their Josh Harris-inspired courtship on Crystal's podcast series. 

She's also talked about it some on IG:

 

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Terrie

I appreciate his publically stating he was wrong and discontinuing the book, but the documentary, even if it will be available for free, makes me uncomfortable. It's all about him. Why HE changed his thinking, about HIS process. Better than nothing, but it doesn't take much to be.

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JermajestyDuggar
37 minutes ago, hoipolloi said:

Crystal Paine and her husband recently discussed their Josh Harris-inspired courtship on Crystal's podcast series. 

She's also talked about it some on IG:

 

Wow her parents were even more strict than a lot of the fundies we talk about! That’s insane. No wonder they broke the rules. I’m sorry but if you put in place an insane amount of rules for your teenager, it’s impossible for them to obey every single one. The more ridiculous and unnecessary rules you place on your teen, the more you will be disappointed in them. Way to set them up for failure! And she still apologizes for breaking a few rules? Ugh.

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hoipolloi
6 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Wow her parents were even more strict than a lot of the fundies we talk about!

True -- they sound awful.

Crystal herself was extremely self-righteous about it all. She even appeared as a poster girl for the patriarchy in some British documentary in the mid-2000s. I remember her kvelling about it on her defunct blog, Biblical Womanhood, as a wonderful way to bring light to the heathen.

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Waffle Time
Palimpsest

I'm honestly surprised that Josh has discontinued publication of IKDG, and this is a much better apology than his first half-assed attempt 2 years ago.  Then he was only "considering" whether the book could have hurt people. 

Perhaps he did learn something from asking for input and making that documentary.  It may indeed just be rebranding, but at least pulling the book may cause some people to reconsider.  It will get him vilified by the hard core, but he had already burned his boats there when he resigned from SGM.

I'll be interested in seeing the documentary even if it is all about "me, Josh Harris."

 

 

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hoipolloi
34 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

Perhaps he did learn something from asking for input and making that documentary.  

Will believe it when it happens. Still seems like this is more about Josh Harris and HIS future than anything else.

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