An online petition to put pressure on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir not to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration has reached 30,000 signatures, and several members of the famed choir have chosen not to perform, the Huffington Post is reporting.
Back on December 22, as ABC News reported at the time, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced that they would be performing at Trump’s inauguration, joining the Lil’ Wranglers from College Station, Texas and the Tupelo High School Band, among others, according to KDVR (Denver).
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) December 31, 2016
That decision has not sat well with many Mormons, including several members of the choir. In fact, only 215 of the choir’s 360 members had agreed to perform at the inauguration as of December 26, when the Salt Lake Tribune reported on the issue. It bears noting that not all of those refusals are necessarily related to the performers’ feelings on Donald Trump, and it may be that many are sitting out the inauguration simply because they can’t afford to go to Washington, can’t get time off work, or other, more mundane reasons.
But for at least one member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the decision to perform at Trump’s inauguration meant the end of her association with the group. As Raw Story reports, Janet Chamberlin, who has been a member of the choir for five years, chose to resign rather than be associated, however obliquely, with Donald Trump.
“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”
It seems that anger and disappointment at the decision to have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has extended beyond just choir members. Randall Thacker, a Mormon who says his “heart sank” when he heard that the Choir would perform at Trump’s inauguration, started an online petition to pressure the choir not to perform.
“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.”
As of this writing, Thacker’s petition has gained just under 30,000 signatures, of a goal of 30,000. And many of those signatures have come from fellow Mormons.
“As a woman and Mormon of color and who supports the general authority’s message of inclusivity and tolerance, I am now appalled by this decision.”
“Donald Trump does not represent my values as a Mormon and I do not want that assumed by the participation of a cherished Mormon institution in his inauguration.”
It bears noting that on-line petitions carry exactly zero legal weight, and server as a little more than a vehicle for expressing public sentiment. Even if Thacker’s petition hits ten million signatures or one billion signatures, it will amount to nothing more than an effort to put public pressure on the choir’s managers.
As of this writing, the choir’s management has not directly responded to the petition. In a statement via The Salt Lake Tribune, Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, spoke generally about the choir’s history of performing at presidential inaugurations.
“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a great tradition of performing at the inaugurals of U.S. presidents… Singing the music of America is one of the things we do best. We are honored to be able to serve our country by providing music for the inauguration of our next president.”
Do you believe that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir should adhere to Thacker’s petition and back out from performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration?
[Featured Image by Igor Bulgarin/Shutterstock]