Mcallen, TX

Opinion: A Church in Texas Performed an Anti-Gay, Christian Version of Hamilton

K. Revs
Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

I guess you could say that The Door church in McAllen did not throw away its shot.

This past weekend, the church decided to put on a free and unauthorized production of the Broadway hit Hamilton. They posted the invite publicly to the Eventbrite website, marketed to all of the masses they could reach, and leapt headfirst into a world of questionable decisions.
Hamilton Invitation via Eventbrite

Upon first glance, you wouldn’t think that this production and songbook were any different than the one being performed by communities all over the nation.

As I’m sure you could guess at this point, that would be an incorrect assumption.

Because sprinkled along the lyrics that we have all come to know so well since Hamilton was blasted into the stratosphere, were edits that the church made of their own accord.

Without permission from the Hamilton team.

And it all ended with a spicy little anti-LGBTQ+ sermon tacked on at the end.

A bold flex considering the raving rainbow that makes up much of Broadway’s talent.

The biggest misstep was when the performance was posted online.
The Door Church

Definitely not the first bad decision in this production but certainly one of the worst.

After their first show, the Texas based church decided to post the footage online, where the world was able to see and utterly tear apart the changes that were made to the play. Some of which include:

  • Hamilton’s wife Eliza at one point saying “Jesus gives me the strength to pull through when I needed him most he was right on time.”
  • Hamilton’s final soliloquy including the words, “What is a legacy? It’s knowing you repented and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ that sets men free. You sent your sinless son of man on Calvary to die for me.”
  • And, of course, Hamilton accepting Jesus into his life after the death of Philip.

And obviously numbers such as “Say No to This” were changed from their inherently sexual nature to be more teenage crush-like, as opposed to the steamy affair that it actually refers to in Lin Manuel’s hit.

Once the jarring performance reached its conclusion, the pastor of the church took to the stage and delivered the hardest hit of all when he gave his altar call, saying the following;

“I don’t know what you’re going through but you have a destiny with God tonight…He wants to help you tonight. He know’s exactly what you’ve gone through. Maybe you’ve gone through broken marriages, maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs…homosexuality…” - The Door Church

The Hamilton team is not pleased.

As I’m sure you can imagine, the team at Hamilton is not pleased about the production.

Apart from the ethics of the changes essentially promoting everything that the creator of the show is against, it’s entirely illegal since Hamilton is still being performed live.

In a statement to a local news station, a representative of the show made it clear that this wasn’t a battle the church wants to pick.

“’Hamilton’ does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church.”

Hamilton also issued a cease-and-desist letter to the church once they learned about the show, and demanded that all videos and pictures relating to the production be taken down.

The battle still ensues, however...

Even after hearing from the Hamilton team, the church isn’t pulling back. In fact, they’re doubling, and even tripling down as seen in this clip.

Regardless of whether the above is true or not, it seems like we’re in store for quite the ride on this one. On the one hand, maybe Hamilton did give them permission to perform the show. But does that mean they were given permission to change it?

And even more nuanced…does Disney have any dog in this fight? As the official owner of Hamilton streaming rights, there’s a good chance that they’ll have leverage in this copyright discussion too.

No matter how it turns out (hopefully in the favor of Hamilton), I can say with absolutely certainty that The Door probably should’ve said no to this.

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