Discover more from Wonkette
Texas Church Illegally Desecrates 'Hamilton' With Tacky Evangelicalism And Homophobia
The cringe is unbearable.
"You know what Hamilton really needs?" said no one ever, "For all swears and references to sex to be removed and for a bunch of crap about Jesus and finding Jesus and how super great Jesus is to be smashed in, regardless of whether or not it fits in with the original tempo or makes any sense or is historically accurate. Then, once it's over, cap it all off with a sermon about how homosexuality is a sin!"
Well, I guess not "no one ever" because that is exactly what the Door Church in McAllen, Texas, did over the weekend, when they mounted an illegal production of Hamilton they claimed was sanctioned and licensed to them by "the Hamilton team." Indeed, during a sermon over the weekend, Pastor Roman Gutierrez even went so far as to say, "We would like to, once again, thank the Hamilton team for giving us the license to perform our version of Hamilton ."
Shockingly, "The Hamilton Team" did not, in fact, give them a license to do any such thing.
In fact, they did not even know about the sacrilegious production and as soon as they heard about it — and heard that it was being live-streamed — they sent a cease and desist letter telling them to shut it down. They did allow the church to do the second scheduled performance of the show, so long as they agreed not to allow video or photographs of the production, but without prejudice — meaning they may very well still sue the Door Church for violating their copyright.
Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church.
On Saturday, August 6, we were made aware of the unauthorized staging of HAMILTON by The Door Church in McAllen, TX that took place on Friday, August 5, and their plans for additional performances. We issued a cease and desist letter for the unauthorized use of Hamilton’s intellectual property, demanding the immediate removal of all videos and images from previous productions from the internet, including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, their own website, and elsewhere.
Hamilton informed the Church after receiving a response to the cease and desist letter, that they could proceed with the August 6 performance, on the conditions that (a) it was not live-streamed or recorded; (b) no photos or videos of the performance be posted; (c) they not mount any further productions; (d) this limited permission was without prejudice, and we reserved all rights and remedies; and (e) we would be discussing this matter with the parties behind this unauthorized production within the coming days once all facts are properly vetted.
We would like to thank our devoted fans for bringing this to our attention.
Churches are frequently given a certain amount of leeway with regards to using copyrighted material. They're allowed to use copyrighted music during sermons without having to get a license. The Door Church likely thought they could get around normal copyright laws by tacking a sermon on the end of the show, which they could not.
Besides, if it were legal to just randomly put on and stream your own production of Hamilton , what do you guys think Stephen and I would be doing on Sundays?
As if stealing an entire Broadway show were not grotesque enough, the Church's production desecrated the show by changing several of the lyrics in order to make it about Christianity and adding an entire scene after the duel in which John Laurens dies, and right before "It's Quiet Uptown" in which Alexander Hamilton accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
“More from The Door McAllen church's illegal Christianized "Hamilton." I don't remember this scene in the original production.”
— Hemant Mehta (@Hemant Mehta) 1659911983
Yeah, this did not happen in the show and it did not happen in real life, either. Hamilton was really only nominally Episcopalian for most of his life and didn't really get religion until old age. The first time he even received communion was on his deathbed, after the famous duel.
Many of the shows lyrics were also changed in order to be more "wholesome" ...
“More from The Door McAllen church's Christianized "Hamilton." The line is *supposed* to be: I am Hercules Mulligan Up in it, lovin' it, yes I heard ya mother said “Come again?" Lock up ya daughters and horses, of course. It's hard to have intercourse over four sets of corsets.”
— Hemant Mehta (@Hemant Mehta) 1659911295
Or to be more preachy — for instance, a line from "That Would Be Enough" was altered to "But I'm not afraid, my hope is in Jesus. If you could just give him a chance today, that would be enough."
“More from The Door McAllen church's illegal Christianized "Hamilton." The song is supposed to go: "But I’m not afraid I know who I married So long as you come home at the end of the day That would be enough"”
— Hemant Mehta (@Hemant Mehta) 1659928092
The show also concluded with a homophobic sermon that included the line “Maybe you struggle with alcohol, with drugs — with homosexuality — maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, God can help you tonight. He wants to forgive you for your sins.” Somehow I just don't think Lin-Manuel Miranda would approve of that.
This is just a tad ironic, not just because it is a Broadway musical, but also in light of the fact that there has been speculation for literal centuries that Hamilton and John Laurens were more than friends. It's not part of the show, but there are some pretty romantic letters between the two.
In spite of Schuyler’s black eyes, I have still a part for the public and another for you; so your impatience to have me married is misplaced; a strange cure by the way, as if after matrimony I was to be less devoted than I am now. Let me tell you, that I intend to restore the empire of Hymen and that Cupid is to be his prime Minister. I wish you were at liberty to transgress the bounds of Pennsylvania. I would invite you after the fall to Albany to be witness to the final consummation. My Mistress is a good girl, and already loves you because I have told her you are a clever fellow and my friend; but mind, she loves you a l’americaine not a la françoise — Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, 1779
As OnStage notes, this is not the first time the the Door Church has pulled this nonsense. Previously, they mounted a production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast that included a scene in which Belle introduces the Beast to Jesus.
“Maybe I'm wrong. Seeing this clip of Door McAllen's 2018 "production" of 'Disney's Beauty & the Beast' where they added a scene(something Disney would "totally" allow) where Bell introduces Jesus to the Beast is absolutely an improvement on the original script...🙄”
— Chris Peterson - OnStage Blog 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@Chris Peterson - OnStage Blog 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈) 1659896100
Hemant Mehta at Only Sky collected several clips of the show, and the sad thing is, a lot of these kids are genuinely talented — the kid playing John Laurens/Philip Hamilton is especially good and sounds freakishly like Anthony Ramos (who originated the role in the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions). Credit where credit is due.
The Door McAllen's version of Hamilton youtu.be
But the Bible says Thou Shalt Not Steal and Thou Shalt Not Lie and, more importantly, the US government says Thou Shalt Not Steal An Entire Broadway Show That Hath Not Been Licensed To Thee And Then Illegally Stream It For The Purposes Of Promoting One's Homophobic Church, Because Copyright Laws Exist And Also Fuck You.
Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!