I am a proud faculty member of Texas Tech University, an institution I believe in for its ability to effect change and to promote diversity. 

Every day, I drive down 19th Street along the southern edge of campus, and every day, I see advertisements for the Hillsong United concert, which will take place at Texas Tech’s own United Supermarkets Arena on Friday, April 26. 

Our students, too, see this ad, but I wonder if the administration is aware of the public stances Hillsong United has taken during a time of increased violence toward and restriction of the LGBTQIA community.

Hillsong United is a worship band that travels the world representing the Hillsong Collected group of megachurches. This is a church that, unlike Texas Tech University, does not affirm folks on the LGBTQIA spectrum. According to Brian Houston, the global senior pastor of Hillsong, "Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid."

Per the Texas Tech mission statement, "The university is dedicated to student success by preparing learners to be ethical leaders for a diverse and globally competitive workforce.”

Hosting a group on campus that explicitly denies the humanity and affirmation of queer individuals goes against this very mission, and I ask that the administration withdraw Texas Tech from hosting this event.

Dr. D. Gilson, Assistant Professor of English

(3) comments

Watchdogz

The conclusion of this LTTE is flawed. Hillsong does not deny the humanity of LGBT individuals, you added that to invoke an emotional response. There will be no concert at the USA this semester that will have a greater positive influence in creating ethical leaders than this one. Good for them for having a firm stance about their beliefs.

Rob2020

Texas is the nation's epicenter of violence against LGBT people. Texas led the nation in hate-related murders against LGBT people, an increase of 86 percent from 2016 to 2017. Seven Texans were murdered.

Nationally, fifty-two LGBT people were killed in 2017 as a result of hate-related violence, according to the NCAVP. The highest number recorded in the 20 years that NCAVP has tracked this information. Also, representing an 86 percent increase from 2016.

Not all Christians adhere to a bigoted, errant religious interpretation, but too many of them use it as a pretext to harm LGBTQ folks.

The state legislature is no exception with Lubbock's elected state representatives supporting legislation this session which would strip protections for LGBT Texans.

If Tech, Lubbock, and the state legislature foster an environment for intolerance, other people will be emboldened to hurt minorities.

Toleranceforall

Wow, so you want to stop them because their values don't line up with yours? This is the very thing that you say makes them horrible. They are not there to protest the LGBTQ community. They are not posting articles boycotting this campus because of its mission statement. Do you fail sir, as a professor, to see that the only hate being shown here is from you? They said though we share not in the agreement of certain lifestyle choices we still welcome you. Your response is very unwelcoming. It would seem sir, that the very rights the LGBTQ community fought so hard to obtain has been won. Inclusion and acceptance does not breed agreement. What exactly are you fighting for now sir? The disinclussion of others? You cannot force others to agree with peoples choices, but you can offer a grain of understanding by way of not doing to them what was fought so hard to not be done to you. INCLUSION in its pure nature means everyone, not just those who agree with the status quo.

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