Former “Bachelorette” star Hannah Brown reveals in her new book that she believes she let down her faith following a dispute with a Christian contestant about having sex before marriage.
Brown shares the details of her journey while on ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise in her new book,God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life’s Best (and Worst) Moments.
The then 24-year-old professing Christian set out to find her future husband on season 15 of the dating competition show that aired in 2019. In the end, she did not end up with anyone.
However, she sparked nationwide controversy due to her remarks to contestant Luke Parker, who expressed his Christian convictions about purity.
Parker told Brown that he wanted a wife who shared his beliefs regarding sex. He quoted Hebrews 13:4, which states, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
“Let’s talk about sex and how the marriage bed should be kept pure,” he told her while on one of their televised dates. “Let’s say you have had sex with one or multiple of these guys, I would be wanting to go home.”
Offended and feeling judged, Brown confessed that she had “physical relations” with other contestants but that “Jesus stills loves” her.
Following the episode’s airing, Brown’s phrase “I had sex and Jesus still loves me” began trending on social media.
In her new book, Brown revealed that she “never thought” her heated conversation with Parker would “be shown.”
“It was very hard watching that for me because I felt like I’d let down my faith,” she said.
Many in the mainstream media applauded Brown, suggesting Parker “shamed” her. His commitment to abstinence was also heavily criticized by some.
Brown said she is “grateful I had the opportunity to be a voice for other women, but I don’t know if I was ready for it.”
When speaking to NPR about premarital sex, she clarified that she does know that the Bible condemns sex before marriage.
“When I said I’ve had sex and Jesus still loves me, I don’t mean that I don’t have a moral code, and I can do whatever I want, with whoever I want, at whatever time I want, and I can just lean back on, ‘Oh, He forgives me. Jesus still loves me,’” she noted.
“I do believe that the Lord intended for sex to be in the confines of marriage, but that’s not so for a lot of people,”she added. “And I used to carry a lot of shame because I had had sex before. And in that moment, [being questioned by Parker], I felt like I was right back in church, just feeling like I was not enough. And that’s what I meant.”
While arguing her position on the TV show, Brown used the example of the woman caught in adultery. She felt like Parker was holding a stone over her head and accused him of being “prideful.”
After the episode aired, Parker took to Twitter to address Brown’s stance.
“The difference in how we view sin is seen in the response, I’m weeping at mine and you’re laughing at yours. All sin stings. My heart hurts for both of us,” he tweeted.
Brown’s book also disclosed that while she felt she “let down her faith” at the time, she continued to engage in premarital sex with Peter Webber, one of the contestants on her season.