HYMNALS STARTED TO FLY when Brokeback Community Church, situated in the town of Colac in Victoria, Australia, decided to boycott a local community carol service because organisers insisted on singing a controversial verse in the song ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing.’
The church, which is a vocal critic of the idea of same-sex marriage, believes the famous carol teaches that God and Jesus are homosexuals.
‘In many ways, it’s a good song,’ said Senior Pastor Freddy Hudson. ‘It’s a got a catchy tune that can really get a crowd moving. But homosexuality is an abomination to God, and this song is yet another to pervert our children by the gay lobby. I was always a bit suspicious of Charles Wesley.’
The issue lies with a line in the second verse, which reads, ‘Pleased as man with man to dwell/Jesus our Immanuel.’ Pastor Hudson comments, ‘My Bible says that Jesus will not countenance any ‘man with man’ cohabitation. To say that Jesus is himself is involved is blasphemy of the highest order.’
Event organisers are not surprised, saying that the church nearly pulled out of the event last year because an ice-cream seller intended to sell the ‘Golden Gaytime,’ a popular treat. That result was averted when the ice-cream seller joined Brokeback Church and attempted to burn his entire inventory.
Reverend Don Johanssen, Organising Secretary for the event, claims he tried to find an appropriate solution, but without success. ‘We suggested changing the line to ‘person with person,’ but Fred squashed that idea. He said we got rid of the PC thugs in the nineties. And we couldn’t get rid of the verse—we’ve sung it for the last fifty-seven years and that sort of change will confuse the band.’
Discussions are underway to resolve the problem before the ecumenical Palm Sunday Service in April. ‘Fred’s not too sure about the song, ‘Ride on, ride on in majesty,’ says Rev. Johanssen. ‘Hopefully we’ll be able to talk him around.’