The messy build-up to Donald Trump’s Presidential inauguration continues.
A female member of the prestigious Mormon Tabernacle Choir has publicly resigned in fury from the musical company even though participation at the inauguration on January 20 is voluntary.
Jan Chamberlin, who has been with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for five years, said she didn’t want to be part of the choir that she believes is “endorsing tyranny and fascism” by performing at the inauguration.
In a Facebook post, Chamberlin said: “I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self-respect.”
She added: “Looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man.” She says that while she joined the choir to honor her father, a WWII veteran, she is quitting as “tyranny is now on our doorstep…I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a 360-piece singing group made up of volunteers, is a stranger to this kind of controversy. It is named after the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Utah, where the group has performed for more than 100 years, and has regularly performed at swearing-in ceremonies and inaugural parades in the past.
,Additionally, Randall Thacker, a Mormon and former president of Affirmation, a support organization for gay Latter-day Saints, launched a petition on change.org urging the choir to cancel performing at the inauguration on the grounds it “does not reflect the values of Mormonism and does not represent its diverse 15-plus million members worldwide.” As of Friday morning, the petition had over 21,000 signatures.
The news follows the dissent from dancers belonging to the legendary Rockettes dance company who have signaled their opposition to performing at the inauguration, even though their management company MSG has also said participation is voluntary.