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Christian ‘purity’ leader Joshua Harris distances himself from his faith and apologizes to LGBTQ community
via Joshua Harris / Instagram

In 1997, at just 21 years old, Joshua Harris wrote the Christian book, "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," which instantly made him a leader in the "purity" movement.

At the time, he was a virgin who had been home-schooled his entire life.

His book claimed that dating was a "training ground for divorce" and discouraged teenage relationships in favor of "courting." It also encouraged parental involvement in relationships and forbade any kind of physical intimacy.

The book instilled suspicion about relationships in young people and caused many to marry the first person they "courted." It also promoted the idea that sex was wrong and impure.


He would go on to become a megachurch pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

However, four years ago, Harris began to publicly distance himself from his Christian faith. In 2015, he left Covenant Life Church to broaden his views.

In a 2017 Ted Talk, he renounced his book, saying that it was inspired by fear. "Fear is never a good motive," he admitted. "Fear of messing up, fear of getting your heart broken, fear of hurting somebody else, fear of sex…"

Recently, he's dropped more bombshells. He announced he's leaving his wife after two decades together and has renounced his faith. He also apologized to women and the LGBTQ community for the views he spread in his books and from the pulpit.

RELATED: Barack Obama celebrates pride month by tweeting an amazing photo of a Sikh man in a special turban

"I have lived in repentance for the past several years," Harris wrote on Instagram, "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," he continued. "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."

Harris drove the point home by posting photos of himself marching at Vancouver Pride. In one of the photos, he posed with gay singer Trey Pearson and the host of the "Queerology" podcast, Matthias Roberts. Both photos have since been deleted.

via Joshua Harris / Instagram


via Joshua Harris / Instagram

His renunciation of his faith, divorce from his wife — whose role was prominent in his ministry — and embrace of the LGBTQ community caused controversy in the Evangelical movement.

RELATED: Her son came out. She called a gay bar for advice. The delightful convo went viral.

His former church was disappointed by the news.

"These updates are hard to hear. We love Josh and Shannon. For most of us, Josh isn't just some distant public figure," wrote Covenant Life Interim Senior Pastor Kevin Rogers in a letter to his congregation.

"He's a beloved former pastor and friend. So this news isn't just a lot to process theoretically. It hits home personally."

Regardless of one's religious views, Harris' decision to move away from being a leader in his faith because of a change of heart is brave to say the least. How many of us would walk away from a lucrative, high-status career because of a change of conscience?

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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