Hillsong youth pastor slams response to Summercamp: It’s ‘immoral’
Laura Toggs, daughter of Hillsong founder Brian Houston, has slammed the response to Hillsong’s Summercamp in a scathing Instagram post directed at the media and music industry.
Toggs, who is a pastor of Hillsong’s ‘youth ministry’ along with her husband Peter, called coverage of the group’s youth camp “disgusting”, “horrible”, “immoral” and “low”.
In a screen grab captured by news.com.au, Toggs said she had “watched the media willingly disregard any fairness for the sake of click-bait & to suit whatever profit they make off their agendas.”
“To keep bowing down to the media is essentially to allow them to continue to own the narrative around the world, above the truth,” she wrote. “It is the most unwise thing you can do for your mind and soul. Defending truth is biblical.”
The post continued: “It’s disgusting. It’s horrible. It’s immoral. It’s low. It’s defaming. It’s destroying good peoples lives one cheap headline at a time. And, it’s heartbreaking to watch people believe the lies.”
Her post concluded with the missive: “If you wanna fill your mind & soul with junk then go ahead and buy into whatever s*** they spoon feed you. But if you want truth to frame your heart & soul & mind, let the bible be your source of wisdom & truth & guidance.”
According to news.com.au, Toggs claimed the NSW government had changed the rules on the organisation due to “media pressure”.
“There is a clear agenda to drag Hillsong through the mud and to destroy our name,” she said.
Toggs claimed she was busy organising the event and she didn’t know the rules had changed, and that she would have been “more sensitive to the singing had she known”, the publication reported.
“I hope that the music industry can rally their strength together to rally government – rather than bash churchgoers,” she said.
The music industry was rightfully angry when footage emerged from the Newcastle Summercamp’s opening night festivities. While music festivals like Grapevine were being cancelled under new restrictions, camp attendees enjoyed ‘live’ music crowded under a big top, as they sang, danced and moshed along.
NSW Health later confirmed the event was in breach of public health orders, and was under investigation, but escaped a fine.
The music industry rallied together in the wake of the event to create Thrillsong, a ‘supergroup’ to protest against the ban on live music while religious services and sporting events are allowed to continue.
The group, including Jack River, the Jungle Giants, Dune Rats, What So Not, Art vs Science, CC:DISCO!, Illy, Lime Cordiale, Montaigne and Peking Duk, released a joint statement:
“We firmly support measures to protect our fans and communities and to safeguard our healthcare workers. We simply ask that if rules are made, they apply to everyone equally. We need to be in this together.”
Since the statement dropped, even more big names have supported it, including Daniel Johns, Ben Lee and the Delta Riggs.
The group does plan to “rally government”, according to What So Not – aka Chris Emerson – in The Guardian.
“We are very seriously looking with legal teams into whether we have a cause for discrimination against the NSW government,” he said.
“We’ve also got a lot of time on our hands, and a lot of spirit, so we’ll willingly get together and perform some sort of religious ceremony as Thrillsong if that is the only way we can play.”
Musicians weren’t the only ones reacting to the Hillsong hypocrisy – Sydney pub the Gladstone Hotel announced an event called ‘Gladsong Hotel Sunday Service‘ protesting the double standards.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.