Politics

Mormon Choir Singer Writes Viral Letter About Refusing to Sing at Trump's Inauguration

December 30th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

A Mormon woman's heartfelt letter about resigning from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir over the group's scheduled performance at Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20 is striking a nerve online. Jan Chamberlin detailed her decision in a Facebook post Thursday.

The post describes the painful reflection that led up to her resignation after participating in the choir for five years.

"I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism [sic] by singing for this man," Chamberlain wrote in the letter.

She went on to stress the importance of coming together to fight for the rights of American citizens.

Mormon choir rehearsal

She warned against repeating history in reference to Nazi Germany, adding that she considers herself patriotic.

"My father (who was an expert airforce bomber) hated tyranny and was extremely distraught over the holocaust," she wrote. "He and Mom both loved people greatly. I have deep patriotic feelings for this country and for the freedoms of people everywhere throughout the world. I am troubled by the problems we face which seek to destroy our love for liberty and respect for humanity internationally."

American flag

She then went on to express her concern about the choir possibly losing touch with its message.

"Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing," Chamberlin explained. "We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils." 

The choir's slated performance, which was announced Dec. 22, ignited mass controversy among Mormons

donald-trump

The choir's slated performance inspired Mormon LGBT advocate Randall Thacker to launch a petition on Change.org.

"We, as signers of this petition, believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' decision to allow the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at the upcoming presidential inauguration of Donald Trump DOES NOT reflect the values of Mormonism and does not represent its diverse 15+ million members worldwide," he wrote on the petition's page.

He went on to add, "As members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we strongly urge the Church to stop this practice and especially for an incoming president who has demonstrated sexist, racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic behavior that does not align with the principles and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." 

The choir has performed at the ceremonies and inaugural parades for former Presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The debate over the performance underscored long-standing tensions between Trump, the Mormon community and Mormon Republican leaders. Former independent conservative presidential hopeful Evan McMullin, a Mormon and former intelligence officer, emerged as one of the strongest critics of Trump after the election.

Only about 215 of the choir’s 360 members anticipate participating in the inauguration performance, church officials have told The Salt Lake City Tribune.

Read and share Chamberlin's full post on Facebook.