“I could never throw roses to Hitler.” -Mormon Tabernacle Choir member quits.
A key member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has announced her decision to quit after being told the choir would be performing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration ceremony. Comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler, Soprano singer Jan Chamberlin said she could never participate in anything endorsing Trump’s views.
Trump’s inauguration ceremony is set to have six religious leaders appear and feature music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Although the Choir has traditionally performed for presidential inaugurations before, some Mormons are not very enthusiastic about the choir performing for Trump.
Chamberlin’s separation from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir points out the level to which Mormons are against Trump. In fact, Mormons were one of the few conservative Christian group who did not support Trump, although they have traditionally been in favor of Republican candidates. Chamberlin says she did a lot of reflection on her decision, and felt she could simply not bring herself to sing for Trump any more than she could “throw roses to Hitler.”
For Chamberlin, Trump’s modus operandi is like how Hitler functioned: by inciting feelings of racism and targeted fascism. She believes performing for such a leader would not only ruin the image of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but also leave a number of people feeling betrayed.
After five years performing with the choir Chamberlin submitted her resignation letter:
“I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.
“I’ve tried to tell myself that by not going to the inauguration, that I would be able to stay in choir for all the other good reasons.
“I have highly valued the mission of the Choir to be good- will ambassadors for Christ, to share beautiful music and to give hope, inspiration, and comfort to others.
“I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.
“But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.”
Singer resigns from Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than perform at Trump inauguration. https://t.co/C6DVTkyULH
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) December 30, 2016
According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it seems participation in the Choir for the inauguration was not mandatory. Eric Hawkins, spokesman for the Church, insisted participation at the inauguration is voluntary.
An online petition to the LDS Church has been signed by over 33,000 petitioners, asking that the performance be cancelled as the choir does not reflect “the values and principles of Mormonism and does not faithfully represent its diverse 15+ million worldwide membership.”
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- The Salt Lake Tribune
- The Washington Post
- The New York Times
- NBC News
- Daily Kos