8:31am PT by Jackie Strause
'Bachelorette' Star to Critics: "I Refuse to Believe I Give Christians a Bad Name"
After a trailer showing Hannah Brown defending premarital sex on The Bachelorette, the ABC star says she is shocked by the "amount of hate" that has been aimed her way on social media.
On the June 24 episode of The Bachelorette, Brown — who has spoken about her Christian beliefs on the reality series — took an empowering stand against a contestant, frontrunner Luke Parker who is known as "Luke P." on the show, when he confronted her about being physically intimate with another contestant during a nude bungee-jumping date.
"You're not my husband. You don't own my body, you don't own me. It's my body," she told him when he criticized her behavior. Throughout the season, ABC has been teasing an explosive conversation between the pair that is still yet to come, where Parker confronts her about being intimate with other contestants. The scene, teased in trailers, has already turned her forthcoming response into the biggest moment of the season: "I have had sex and Jesus still loves me," Brown says in the clip.
Brown's conversations with Parker, who is Christian and who has spoken on-air about having a religious awakening, deliver on promises from the former Miss Alabama herself, host Chris Harrison and longtime executive producer Nicole Woods that the current Bachelorette would not shy away from expressing her feelings and doing things her way. And while The Bachelorette franchise has seen its share of sex-shaming, Parker (who doubles as both a frontrunner and a villain among the contestants) is also giving the franchise a chance to explore faith and religion, topics the ABC series has traditionally shied away from showcasing in the past.
Now, however, it appears that Brown is shocked by the "amount of hate" both she and her contestants have received now that the show is barreling towards its final weeks and that faith-based showdown (Bachelorette finales July 29). In a lengthy Instagram post, Brown hit back at criticism that she "give(s) Christians a bad name," saying: "It’s chilling to know so many people want to spread hurt so recklessly."
Read her full post, below:
I refuse to not stand in the sun. I refuse to feel shame. I refuse to believe the lies and evil that flood my comments. I am standing firm in believing that maybe God wants to use a mess like me to point to His goodness and grace. But dang, it’s hard.
The amount of hate I and the men on this journey with me receive...it’s chilling to know so many people want to spread hurt so recklessly. We all fall short of the glory of God...we just happen to do it on national television.
I’ve realized that a lot of the things that Satan uses to hurt me, come in the form of many of your comments— he uses a grain of truth to steer to evil lies. 'You’re not enough, you’re dirty, you’re dumb, you’re immature, you’re not worthy...'. It’s upsetting to get messages from Christians telling me I give Christians a bad name.
I’ve lived my life for the world to see and judge and absolutely, I’m hot mess on a stick, I blew it a few times...but I refuse to believe I give Christians a bad name. I’m an imperfect human. Who is yes, also a Christian. And God has a master plan for all the failures I continue to learn and grow from to work out for good, and for his glory.
Thank you to those who continue to support me and my guys as we open our hearts to each other, and in turn...you! We appreciate you and your kindness!
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Head here for THR's show coverage.