We paid those gay Kings Singers. So what’s their beef?

We paid those gay Kings Singers. So what’s their beef?


norman lebrecht

February 15, 2023

A statement from Pensacola Christian College, Florida, on why they cancelled the Kings Singers at two hours’ notice. with an audience of 5,000 expected for their concert. Read these Christian words:

‘Pensacola is a religious liberal arts institution founded upon and guided by the Bible, as reflected in our Articles of Faith. The college cannot knowingly give an implied or direct endorsement of anything that violates Holy Scripture, the foundation for our sincerely held beliefs. At the same time, the college also recognized everyone is created under 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 cancelation. The artists stated their understanding and acceptance of the change and were given full remuneration.’

So, that’s all right, then?


  • I beg your pardon says:

    Ugh absolute bigots.

    I’ve decided all religion is evil and useless. There is no magical man in the sky controlling everything and judging you and if you believe otherwise, you are moronic.

    • Gustavo says:

      “Gott ist tot!”

    • Musician says:

      The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (Psalm 14:1)

      • I beg your pardon says:

        Ah nice…is that a line from Harry Potter? Or was it lord of the rings?

      • David says:

        How can you possibly think that responding to the critique of the foolishness of believing in a book by referring to that very book constitutes a good response?

        • Musician says:


          Hebrews 4:12
          For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      So true. And look at all the downvotes you get from supposedly educated cultured people (this is a CLASSICAL MUSIC SITE after all) for stating the obvious truth.

    • Barbara Rosen says:

      George Carlin, certainly agrees – “Stand Up About Religion” : https://youtu.be/2tp0UNcjzl8
      ( for the meek, this is not an obscenity – of the worst order -filled Carlin routine)

    • HerrForkenspoon says:

      Moronic? Maybe just frightened.

    • soavemusica says:

      “Pensacola is a religious liberal arts institution founded upon and guided by the Bible, as reflected in our Articles of Faith.”

      A tricky undertaking.

      If it is a church, only church music could be sung and played,to begin with.

      MATTHEW 21:13 “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer.”

      If not, what do they expect from secular musicians performing secular music?

    • Maria says:

      In your opinion but not everyone else’s opinion or belief. Your post is insulting and says more about you – nearly as good as the misguided Evangelicals who cancelled the Kings Singers. That is not representative of mainstream Christianity and the teachings of Jesus, who was a Jew, not a Christian, but bid us to love our neighbour as putmrselves. Think about it! And, yes, I’m not ashamed to say I will be going to church in the morning! Laugh your head off!

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Mission statement from the college website:

    “God called this institution into existence for His glory.”

    J*s*s, as it were.

    • TishaDoll says:

      The sin of PRIDE is first and foremost of the ‘deadly sins’

    • Novagerio says:

      Ever heard of radical Islam? I doubt this magnificent group has any bookings in Arabic countries. Think of that. Of course it’s an extra embarrassment when the same level of bigotry is found in the Western world…

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Dear Norman, 120 thumbs down. Is this a SD record? I’m actually rather proud. Guess the evangelicals have mobilized their forces.

  • Gustavo says:

    In the year of the Lord 2023, not everything should be judged against the background of archaic rites and rights!

    The Bible is a historical document written by humans for humans.

    Since there is no scientific evidence for one god or many gods, mankind has always clung to such symbols, rituals and beliefs – no matter what religion it is.

    Dogmatic Bible interpretations and blind belief, however, can be just as disturbing as sexual inclinations that do not correspond to the social norm.

    Let us pray!

    Dear Lord, please consider updating your statutes, terms and conditions!

    • Musician says:

      2 Timothy 3:16
      All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      Psalm 19:1
      The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

      Romans 1
      18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
      19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
      20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
      21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

  • Alviano says:

    What is sad is that this is typical of a large part of America. America is in the same bag with Rissia, Iran, Egypt, and many others.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      In recent years, I’ve come to realize that intense religiosity is at the very heart of what makes the U.S. such an anti-intellectual and backwards nation. The Trump victory and aftermath turned me from a mild agnostic to a hardcore Atheist.

      • E Rand says:

        America is and always has been a religious country. Just try and blaspheme the Pride flag and you’ll see what I mean – from jail.

        • MWnyc says:

          For decades there have been any number of social conservatives “blaspheming” the Pride flag. None of them have gone to jail for it.

          And blasphemy is not a crime anywhere in the US.

  • Alan says:

    What a cancer organised religion is. The worst of all of them.

    Disgusting bigots who don’t seem to be even remotely aware of the commandment of their creator to love.

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    Absolutely sickening! What imperious morons – weaponizing their misinterpretation of scripture. I’ll bet there isn’t one person in that institution who can read ancient Greek or Hebrew – because if they did, they would realize that the English translation of Leviticus is a total sham. They don’t deserve a performance by the Kings Singers!

  • Observer says:

    How did this college know any of the singers were gay?
    It’s a known fact that at least 2 of them are blessed with this lifestyle.
    How would being gay effect their musical performance in any case?
    In this day and age with bigger issues effecting the world. does this really matter?
    Maybe these Fundamentalists are retaliating at the recent CofE decision at last week’s synod to allow same sex blessings in their church?

    • Hugo Preuß says:

      I am sure that they discovered that one of the singers “maintained a life style” that included eating lobster. After all, that is prohibited in their Holy Scripture as well. And it is totally, absolutely, completely inconceivable that they just pick and choose among the gazillion of things prohibited in that book.

  • Neowiser says:

    “PCC canceled a concert with The King’s Singers upon learning that one of the artists openly maintained a lifestyle that contradicts Scripture.”

    Maybe he regularly eats shellfish, which is unequivocally prohibited:

    Leviticus 11:10
    “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:”

    • Guglielmo Marinaro says:

      Or perhaps he wears clothes made of mixed fibres.

    • Sisko24 says:

      You just hit upon one of the biggest hypocrisies of certain ‘Christian’ theologies, that is, selective observance of and selective adherence to its tenets. Do not stand next to them on the Day of Judgment lest you be singed by a Divine Stroke of Ire directed their way.

    • Snark Shark says:

      Tell me you’ve never read Leviticus in its entire biblical context without telling me you’ve never read Leviticus in its entire biblical context

    • Norabide Guziak says:


    • Hugo Preuß says:

      Sorry – I commented *right* before reading your comment. Exactly my thought.

  • Bulgakov says:

    Ugh. An attitude all too prevalent through a lot of the USA. It‘s why religious bigots should be kept away from holding public office. They‘d try to introduce blasphemy laws.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Yes, it’s called separation of church and state. It is what’s supposed to happen. It keeps from having the majority establish a one religion state. Without tolerance for other belief systems, there can no progress in man kind. That’s the big picture. Many people are too small minded for that (and not just fundamentalist Christians either).

    • E Rand says:

      Totally agree! Too late though – the state religion may not be mocked! Try burning a Pride flag and find out.

  • Antony Beaumont (ex King's College Cambridge) says:

    Pensacola! Pensacola!
    Erschlagen liegen die Konstabler
    und untergehn die Gerechten mit den Ungerechten.
    Sie alle müssen dahin. […]
    Haltet euch aufrecht! Fürchtet euch nicht!

    Pensacola! Pensacola!
    The constables lie slain
    and the righteous perish with the unrighteous.
    They must all fear eternal damnation. […]
    Stand tall! Fear not!

    (Brecht/Weill, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, end of Act 1)

    Pls excuse slightly free engl. translation

  • Tiredofitall says:

    What’s more frightening is that this educational institution is brainwashing future generations of religious bigots.

    Good going, America!

  • MMcGrath says:

    Beginning in 1933, German schools, universities, opera houses, symphony orchestras, companies, etc., started “dismissing” Jews – throwing them out. The wording used was IDENTICAL…

    Our beliefs prohibit… The Bible…. We paid them to get lost…

    Next, will Pensacolans smash the homes of gays, burn their churches and places of work, murder them?

    I mean: Let’s call this out for what it is and not mince words. Fascism and Racism MADE IN USA.


  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    By logical extension, the Pensacola Christian College Florida should probably ban music by Lully, Saint-Saëns, Tschaikowsky, Barber, Bernstein, Britten, Cage, Henze, Menotti, Poulenc, Szymanowski and Tippett as well.
    Or do the brazenly bigoted, self-righteous despots of Pensacola believe that the only good gay is a dead gay?

  • Simon Dearsley says:

    You cannot credit aspects of Christianity with warmth, kindness or flexibility of interpretation.
    Why or why can people adhere to certain aspects of the ´word’ and not other aspects.
    I heard the King Singers perform in Fougeres last summer in a beautiful church. The music making was inspirational if not aspirational. The concept of God was evident in every note.
    The judgement of the Florida venue is misguided, and misjudged. Such hatred poured onto what has often been described as sublime music making is just so very sad.
    As a 14 year old I was testing out a church organ, launched into Ain’t misbehaving, and the priest ran out from the confessional and screamed that I would burn in everlasting hell because of my transgression. I didn’t play jazz for 18 years after his judgement.
    Hopefully the King Singers are more resilient and will be utterly able to perform without a second thought to this madness.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      Far too many socially incompetent people hide behind the façade of ‘religion’ to assume a veneer of respectability. They are all rapidly unmasked.

    • MWnyc says:

      Do I presume that you were a 14-year-old many years ago? I could easily picture that happening in the 1950s or early ’60s, but for all of my adult life, any Roman Catholic priest in the English-speaking world who yelled that someone would burn in everlasting hell for playing “Ain’t Misbehavin'” on an organ would become a laughingstock.

  • Anon! A Moose! says:

    “The highly talented musicians were treated with dignity and respect when informed of the cancelation.”

    The contradiction inherent in this statement is mind boggling. The ultimate in empty respectability politics- it doesn’t matter how monstrous it is what you do, as long as you do it with a smile and polite proper english.

    How very Southern, in fact. All they left out was “bless their hearts”.

  • Larry W says:

    Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

  • Kurt says:

    This problem is much bigger than Christianity vs gay rights in small town America or even religious freedom vs gay rights. In recent years the gay rights movement has been repackaged and closely linked with emerging gender ideology and Trans rights ideology. As a result the new LGBTQ agenda, like it or not, is now seen as a symbol of Western decline by many parts of the world including Russia and atheist China, not to mention the Middle East, Africa and a growing unease even in Eastern Europe. This is a serious problem to unpick and we are all going to encounter much more of it.

    • MWnyc says:

      That “repackaging” has been done mostly by the right wing, with some help from the social media left.

    • Nick2 says:

      Kurt’s comment is hugely simplistic and mostly downright wrong. Fundamentalism has been around for almost as long as the world’s various religions. Yet most religions started out with compassion for other religions. The Persian Zoroastrians welcomed Jews, Christians, Muslims and others. The Muslim leaders who had taken Jerusalem welcomed Christians and Jews. When the Christian Crusaders retook the city they massacred all other faiths to the extent that the streets were basically rivers of blood. All were welcomed in China. Indeed during World War 2 China helped many of the Jewish faith.

      It was mostly the later frequently mistaken interpreters of the meanings/intentions of those religions that resulted in the development of hatred and fundamentalism.

      • Kurt says:

        You’ve missed the point entirely Nick2. I’m not talking about religious fundamentalism, religions tolerating each other or even religion generally. I’m talking about a broader moral conservatism which links all of the religions and countries I mentioned but is also very prevalent amongst lay people world over. Their approaches to the ethics of sexuality are broadly similar and have been around a long time.

  • NYMike says:

    “Pensacola is a religious liberal arts institution” – an oxymoron if there ever was one.

  • trumpetherald says:

    What a bunch of sad sacks…

  • GiveMeStrength says:

    Nowhere in the teaching of Jesus (on which the Christian church purportedly is based) is there a word against homosexuality or homosexuals.

    • MWnyc says:

      True, but there is in the writings of St. Paul, who founded the religion.

      Whether the writings of St. Paul ought to have the authority they carry is another matter.

    • JRM says:

      Wrong “Give me strength”. God specifically forbids men to lie with men.

      • GivemestrengthI'mgaspingforbreath says:

        I wasn’t talking about God but about Jesus – or even Christ. When someone comes and tells me what God thinks or wants, I run as fast as I can.

  • Euphonium Al says:

    You’d think someone at the college might have Googled the contractor before retaining their services, rather than a few hours before said services were about to be renedered. The King’s Singers got the last laugh here anyway; they apparently got paid to not work, although the state and/or federal court systems may well weigh in on the matter. Plenty of fundamentalist religious choirs and singers here in the US, I’m surprised the college didn’t just pick one of them in the first place.

    • SVM says:

      I happen to know one of the current members of the King’s Singers, and I must confess I had no idea of the sexuality of any of the members. I still have no idea whether the member I happen to know is the one to which the college objected, and I have no inclination to ask him such a personal question. Most people are not so interested in other people’s personal lives as to seek-out such information actively, and many people have the good sense not to discriminate against others on such personal matters in a professional context.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    What vile “people”. Yet more proof that religious fundamentalism (i.e. religion in general) is the bane of the modern world.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Oh, I don’t know . . . maybe the fact that they would like to sing for people, without those people worrying about whether somebody is gay or not. What if they had a Muslim singer?

  • observer says:

    Wow! All the religious fanatics came out in droves to bash the commenters here today. Never seen so many thumbs down. Lol

    Yeah, call me up when you’re ready to picket seafood restaurants for serving shellfish with the same zeal that you persecute gay people. Also, maybe, like, read the Sermon on the Mount or something.

  • NotToneDeaf says:

    I’m amazed that given this situation and the recent upset in Orlando, none of the other arts organizations in FL are addressing this with any kind of words of support. Point #2 – This is all happening because that state’s horrible governor is being given free rein to impose his conservative beliefs on the entire state – and just as happened with Trump, once permission is given to accept and promote ugly behavior, it comes out in droves. America better get used to it as DeSantis is certainly destined to be their next President. Convince me I’m wrong.

    • SVM says:

      Actually, De Santis is far more libertarian than almost any other senior American politician. He was one of the last political leaders to impose lockdowns in 2020, and the first to lift them completely (also in 2020). He was one of very few political leaders who not only refrained from imposing vaccine apartheid, but made it illegal for others in his jurisdiction to do so (alas, he could not stop all of the federal vaccine mandates). So, when it came to the most existential questions of personal liberty and bodily autonomy, De Santis did *not* “impose” his beliefs on an entire population, unlike some of the so-called liberals in the “blue states”.

      None of this is to excuse the absurd decision of a college that happens to be in Florida. But where is the outrage at the Biden régime for banning unvaccinated individuals?

  • Phil Kranz says:

    And, of course, no one at the college violates biblical precepts, unlike those naughty singers.

  • Nick2 says:

    I defy any of those Pensacola bigots to prove their alleged case! The Old Testament was not written down. It was passed down by word of mouth through many generations – and we know how many alterations that will have resulted in as happens with all word of mouth history! Besides, when most of the Bible was committed to paper, the world as those writers knew it was a series of individual tribes whose very dependence lay in procreation. They knew absolutely nothing of the rest of the world (no doubt well over 90% of it and some more advanced civilizations), merely their own tiny slice of it. And today we are expected by bigots of all faiths to believe that they and they alone know the truth. What sort of world do they inhabit? Certainly not one that preaches the love of their God.

  • justsaying says:

    It’s true there are condemnations of homosexuality to be found in the Bible, though not as many as for divorce. Let’s all help to make sure Pensacola Christian has no openly divorced employees or guest artists — it wouldn’t be Christian to leave them looking like hateful hypocrites!

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Here’s what I’m curious about: Is it OK to listen to gay singers, watch gay actors, go to a shooting range with a gay gun enthusiast, if you DON’T KNOW that that person is gay? . . . Seems that it is. Wouldn’t Rock Hudson be a great case in point?

  • Gustavo says:

    Easy money.

  • E Rand says:

    Unconscionable! Sick! Disgusting! Imagine, an academic institution cancelling an appearance over the deeply held views of an individual or group. My God what has academia come to… oh. wait! I just remembered, the last decade of conservatives who have been unceremoniously protested and cancelled by activist students and Universities.

    I don’t agree with this decision, but it is refreshing to see pushback in the other direction for once.

    • Tom Phillips says:

      In other words like all right-wingers you DO agree with this decision and live to gloat at your opponent’s misfortune. And of course the ever present “what about” arguments to justify these repulsive retrograde practices.

      • E Rand says:

        I clearly stated “I do not agree with this decision”. And whataboutism is not the sole property of the Left. Especially when it’s pertinent.

    • James 429 says:

      The King’s Singers weren’t cancelled because of their beliefs are because of any publicly held opinions or actions. They were cancelled because of who they are. There is a big difference there even if bigots like you can’t or won’t see it.

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    I see Mr. Lebrecht has tossed some chum in the water for the usual feeding frenzy among the America-hating Eurotrash and their oikophobic orbiters.

    I think that this is wrong, but the outrage here is contrived considering the Grievance commissars at universities have canceled and disinvited anyone not fervently toeing today’s Left ideological line.

    As for the anti-religious hate bigots here, it’s little coincidence that a largely dechristianized Europe that has also, in one way or another, gotten rid of almost all its Jews is now an economically-stagnant, technologically-backwards, demographically-doomed backwater.

    • E Rand says:

      Ex. Act. Ly.

      Dear Left- you enjoy seeing conservatives and others you despise cancelled? Ok. Here; eat some of your own cooking. How’s it taste?
      And for the hysterics who apparently can’t read- I don’t agree with this decision. But, I enjoy seeing it. Can you process that?

    • Tom Phillips says:

      Much of Western Europe is at the very least technologically equal to the U.S. and – needless to say – far more socially and culturally advanced, only lacking such virtues as widespread mass shootings, school violence, non-existent health care, and a generally destroyed infrastructure and other quintessentially American traits.

  • James 429 says:

    I’ve just done a little Googling about Pensacola Christian Academy and the big question I now have is why in the world did The King’s Singers ever agree to play a concert there in the first place? Horrible place with a very sick and twisted, not to mention hypocritical, version of Christianity.

    Really guys, you need to do a better job of vetting your concert engagements.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Funny how the Heather MacDonald’s of the world – always shrieking about censorship on college campuses – have no problem when their own side does this.

  • Dan says:

    Nobody tell Pensacola that the bible mentions masturbation is a sin. The school would be empty.