And she’s out. A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has quit over the group’s commitment to perform at Donald Trump‘s inauguration.
Jan Chamberlin posted about her decision on Facebook. “It is with a sad and heavy heart that I submit my resignation to you and to Choir,” she wrote on Thursday, December 29. “I love you all, and I know the goodness of your hearts, and your desire to go out there and show that we are politically neutral and share good will. That is the image Choir wishes to present and the message they desperately want to send. I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and [fascism] by singing for this man. And Choir’s wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged and that many good people throughout this land and throughout the world already do and will continue to feel betrayed.”
She went on to compare the President-elect, 70, to Adolf Hitler. “I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect … I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him,” she continued. “My heart is shattered and broken…………. but my conscience is clear. And THAT, really is all that matters.”
Chamberlin has been a member of the group for five years. She said in her post that she had many sleepless nights, prayed a lot and spoke with family and friends before she decided to leave.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins gave a statement about the event on Thursday. “Participation in the choir, including the performance at the inauguration, is voluntary,” he said, via The Salt Lake Tribune. “Only a limited number of choir members are participating and none are required to participate.”
Some mormons have since signed a petition, urging the choir to not perform. “I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The thought of this choir and Mormonism being forever associated with a man who disparages minorities, brags about his sexual control of women, encourages intolerance and traffics in hate speech and bullying, was unacceptable,” Randall Thacker, who created the petition, wrote on Change.org. “I immediately knew there were probably thousands of people who felt the same way, so I created the space on Change.org for like-minded Mormons and their friends to share their feelings.”
Chamberlin and Thacker aren’t the only ones who are upset. A Radio City Rockette, using the name Mary to protect her anonymity, told Marie Claire that she’d rather lose her job than dance at the inauguration.
“There is a divide in the company now, which saddens me most,” she told Marie Claire on December 27. “The majority of us said no immediately. Then there’s the percentage that said yes, for whatever reason — whether it’s because they’re young and uninformed, or because they want the money, or because they think it’s an opportunity to move up in the company when other people turn it down.” A second dancer named Phoebe Pearl wrote on Instagram that she was “embarrassed and disappointed” to perform.
Trump, who said that he has written his own inauguration speech, will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in Washington, D.C., on January 20.
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