A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has resigned in protest over the group’s upcoming performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration, saying she could “never look [herself] in the mirror again” if she sang for the president-elect ― a man she likens to Adolf Hitler.
In a letter sent to the choir and later posted on Facebook, Jan Chamberlin explained that she has “spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony,” reflecting, praying and searching her soul.
“I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man,” 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.”
By performing at the Jan. 20 ceremony, Chamberlin said, the choir will create the impression that it’s “endorsing tyranny and facism [sic].”
Chamberlin went on to compare the incoming president to the leader of 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),” she wrote.
“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”
More than 200 of the choir’s 360 members are expected to perform at Trump’s inauguration, church officials earlier told The Salt Lake City Tribune.
But Chamberlin is not alone in her distress. Randall Thacker, a lifelong Mormon, launched a petition urging the choir not to perform 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.”
As of Friday, the petition had topped 24,000 signatures.
Chamberlin concluded her lengthy letter thus: “My heart is shattered and broken ... but my conscience is clear. And THAT, really is all that matters.”
Todd Starnes of Fox News blasted Chamberlin’s post on Friday, noting that choir members’ participation in the inauguration is strictly voluntary and describing her Hitler comparison as “not only intellectually dishonest ― it’s downright repulsive.”
Trump’s transition team has struggled to find performers for his inauguration. The Rockettes are scheduled to perform, but one member of the famed dance company has also spoken out. She told Marie Claire, “This is making our show, our job, our name, branded as right-wing. An extreme right-wing.”