One member of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir quit this week in response to the choir’s plans to sign at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
Jan Chamberlin took to Facebook to post a letter she wrote to the choir’s director in which she said she was resigning due to the impending inaugural concert.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
Chamberlin said the choir is hurting itself by appearing at Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
“[I]t will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism [sic] by singing for this man,” she wrote.
“Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm,” she wrote.
In her letter, she likened Trump’s election to the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany.
“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,” she wrote.
“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him,” she added.
A statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints noted that not all choir members were being asked to attend the ceremony.
“Participation in the choir, including the performance at the Inauguration, is voluntary,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement Thursday. “Only a limited number of choir members are participating (the number is limited by the inaugural committee), and none are required to participate.”
About 215 choir members are expected to make the trip to Washington.
In a statement issued last week, Hawkins noted that the response to the choir’s participation in Trump’s inauguration “has been mixed, with people expressing both opposition and support.”
Hawkins said the choir’s appearance “is not an implied support of party affiliations or politics. It is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power.”
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