A female member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is quitting the ensemble, saying she would rather quit than sing for a president she likens to Adolf Hitler.
In a Facebook status update posted Thursday morning, Jan Chamberlin — a five-year veteran of the choir — stated she had been struggling to sleep after roughly two-thirds of the choir volunteered to travel to Washington, DC to sing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration ceremony. She said that while she doesn’t blame her fellow singers for accepting the invite, she “could never look [her]self in the mirror again” if she sang at Trump’s inauguration.
“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,” Chamberlin wrote. “I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism[sic] by singing for this man.”
Chamberlin lamented that the choir’s positive image would be forever tarnished in the eyes of the rest of the world by performing for Trump, whom she said engaged in many of the same tendencies as Hitler in the leadup to the Holocaust, saying, “Tyranny is now on our doorstep.” Chamberlin, clearly distraught, said her family would be disappointed in her if she chose to follow her fellow singers to Washington and perform for the next president.
“When I first auditioned and entered Choir, it was to follow deep personal impressions, and to honor my late father, who was among the best of men. Now I must leave Choir for the same reasons. My father ( who was an expert airforce bomber) hated tyranny and was extremely distraught over the holocaust. He and Mom both loved people greatly,” Chamberlin wrote, later saying that she could “never throw roses to Hitler.”
History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding). I plead with everyone to go back and read the books we all know on these topics and review the films produced to help us learn from these gargantuan crimes so that we will not allow them to be repeated. Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing.
We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils.
Chamberlin isn’t the only member of the Mormon Church to loudly protest the church’s world-famous choir singing for the President-elect. A petition started by Randall Thacker — who is also a Mormon — has garnered almost 20,000 signatures in a matter of days as of this writing, asking the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to refrain from singing at the Trump inauguration.
“My heart sank when I heard the news last Thursday. 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,” Thacker said in a press release.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins clarified to the Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday that choir members were not required to sing at the inauguration, and that only 215 of the 360 members of the choir would be attending.
“Participation in the choir, including the performance at the Inauguration, is voluntary,” Hawkins said. “[N]one are required to participate.”
Read Jan Chamberlin’s Facebook post below:
Dear Family and Friends,
This is the message I have sent to Choir:
Dear President Jarrett and Choir,
Today is my…
Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected], and follow his work at the Public Banking Institute blog.