The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is perhaps the church’s best-known institution and, in many ways its most effective ambassador.
The 360-member assembly has been featured in the inaugurations of every Republic President since Nixon.
But one member has quit the choir over its participation in the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump, and Jan Chamberlain has posted an eloquent letter of resignation on her Facebook page.
Here are some excerpts:
Since “the announcement”, I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.
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.
I have highly valued the mission of the Choir to be good-will ambassadors for Christ, to share beautiful music and to give hope, inspiration, and comfort to others.
I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.
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.
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.
I know that I too feel betrayed.
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.
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.
I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.