- The Washington Times - Friday, December 30, 2016

A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir resigned Thursday after five years with the famed group, saying she wouldn’t be able to look at herself in the mirror again if she had to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Jan Chamberlin, who published her resignation letter on Facebook, said she spent “several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony” since the choir announced its participation in the Jan. 20 event last week.

“I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events,” she wrote. “I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.”

Ms. Chamberlin said the choir’s reputation will be “severely damaged” by appearing to endorse a president who represents “tyranny” and “fascism.” She compared President-elect Trump to Adolf Hitler and warned her fellow choir members that “history is repeating itself.”

“I believe hereafter our message will not be believed by many that have loved us and adored what we have stood for,” she wrote. “I know that I too feel betrayed.”

“I am troubled by the problems we face which seek to destroy our love for liberty and respect for humanity internationally,” she continued. “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).

“Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing,” she added. “My heart is shattered and broken…………. but my conscience is clear. And THAT, really is all that matters.”

A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which oversees the choir, told The Salt Lake Tribune that participation in the inaugural performance is voluntary.

“Only a limited number of choir members are participating (the number is limited by the inaugural committee), and none are required to participate,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement Thursday.

Church officials said about 215 of the 360-member choir are expected to volunteer to perform at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. The choir previously sang at swearing-in ceremonies for former President George H. W. Bush, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, The Tribune reported.

Shortly after it was announced that the choir would perform at Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Randall Thacker, a lifetime Mormon, launched a petition calling on the choir to cancel its appearance.

“The thought of this choir and Mormonism being forever associated with a man who disparages minorities, brags about his sexual control of women, encourages intolerance and traffics in hate speech and bullying, was unacceptable,” Mr. Thacker said in a statement.

The petition had nearly 21,000 signatures as of Friday morning.



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