Here was this young guy, only 21, preaching chastity, virtue and not kissing until you got married.It was a supremely conservative message packaged with youthful fervor and a fedora., and thus ignorant of the context into which it was written and the impact the book had already had in the US, where it had been out for some years. The notion that you waited until you were ready to commit to a relationship that had the potential to lead to marriage, and then you pursued it in an intentional, chaste way, was a deeply appealing one. I had also been hurt by a nice American Christian boy at university.
(Dan, Dan, Toasted Cheese Sandwich Man, my friends called him, and now you can see why I wanted to tell you his real name.) We prayed together in his room.We went to see and I – oh, how I cringe at this memory – used this as a golden excuse to put my head on his shoulder and cry like a baby through most of it.In the wake of its publication, churches held purity conferences, purity balls, and had teens take purity pledges.My own parents vowed that their children would never date, we would court, as laid out in Harris’ book.While we think that actually taking the time to listen is a good start for Harris, many of us are deeply uncomfortable with his chosen format.
By giving Harris permission to share these stories, they are being licensed to him for use in whatever way he sees fit—in whole in or in part, censored or uncensored, in service of whatever conclusions he comes to about the impact of his work.
I’d already had my teenage fun, my first snog and many subsequent ones.
Let’s call him Dan, since that was his name, and there are a million Dans, and the chances of his reading this are, at best, minimal.
But beside my non-existent teen love life, the book had a larger impact that as an adult, I’m only now coming to grips with—damaging expectations of myself, men, and sexuality—beliefs that have cost me love, friendship, and given me a life of shame.
(IKDG) about four years later near the end of middle school.
Josh grew up outside Portland, Oregon, and professed faith in Christ as a teenager.