A Florida religious college is facing heat after it cancelled a concert by a Grammy Award-winning troupe after finding out that one of the band's singers is gay. The King's Singers, a renowned British troupe, was to perform at Pensacola Christian College on Saturday, as part of the four-city tour of the United States.
Cancellation Came Two Hours Before Concert
The New York Times reported that the college informed the group two hours before the concert about cancellation over concerns regarding the lifestyle of a gay singer. It was reported that a student had informed the college about a singer in being openly gay.
In a statement, the college said, "The college cannot knowingly give an implied or direct endorsement of anything that violates the Holy Scripture, the foundation for our sincerely held beliefs," the college's statement reads. "At the same time, the college also recognizes everyone is created in the image of God and should be afforded the dignity of kindness. PCC canceled a concert with The King's Singers upon learning that one of the artists openly maintained a lifestyle that contradicts Scripture. The highly talented musicians were treated with dignity and respect when informed of the cancellation. The artists stated their understanding and acceptance of the change and were given full remuneration."
Issuing their own statement, The King's Singers said that the school gave its reason for cancellation as 'concerns' expressed about the 'lifestyle' of members of their group. "It has become clear to us, from a flood of correspondence from students and members of the public, that these concerns related to the sexuality of members of our group," they added.
"Our belief is that music can build a common language that allows people with different views and perspectives to come together," their statement reads. "This is the first time that anything other than bad weather, the pandemic or war has caused a concert cancellation in our 55-year history. We are disappointed not to have been able to share our music and our mission of finding harmony with over 4,000 students of the college and the wider Pensacola community. We hope that any conversations that follow might encourage a greater sense of love, acceptance and inclusion."
Social Media Reacts
The PCC drew severe backlash on social media. "Such a misguided, closed, short-sighted decision, which you met with dignity, love, comprehension, grace, and class. Let the music PLAY. Love is love, and true compassion is what endures. Thank you for showing the way!" the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato wrote on Twitter.
"American religious fundamentalism on a very slippery slope. Notice how the 'sinners' respond with restraint, dignity and compassion. Bravo to the Kings Singers, but it makes me deeply worried about where this kind of thing leads," wrote a user.
"The small-minded provincial bigots at Pensacola "Christian" College cancel a performance by the Kings Singers with two hours notice for sadly predictable "reasons," read another tweet.
"The absolute brass neck to claim the Kings Singers were treated with dignity and respect when you cancelled them because of your bigotry. Shame on you," wrote a user.
"To the best of my knowledge, singing does not violate Holy Scripture (see Psalms of David for details) and the Kings Singers had no intention of using the concert to promote sin. On the other hand, the college missed an obvious opportunity for evangelism," expressed a user.