Mormon Tabernacle Choir Member Pens Must-Read Letter Speaking Out Against Its Inauguration Performance

"I believe hereafter our message will not be believed by many that have loved us and adored what we have stood for."

Perhaps no other presidential inauguration in recent memory has been rife with so much controversy. Last week, when it was announced that the Rockettes will perform on Jan. 20, multiple members of the famous dancing troupe expressed their surprise at the news and dismay at being "contractually obligated" to do so. (The Madison Square Garden Company later issued a statement saying the dancers are "never told they have to perform," though it seems part- and full-time dancers are under different employment contracts.)

In the latest turn, one member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the newest confirmed inauguration performers, has resigned from the group after deliberating for "several sleepless nights and days" about whether to perform for President-elect Donald Trump. Jan Chamberlin, who has been with the choir for some five years, wrote a deeply emotional resignation letter to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and its president, Ronald B. Jarrett, which she shared on Facebook.

First thanking them for the memories and experiences with the choir, Chamberlin wrote that she had tried to justify participating in the inauguration. 

"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 [the] Choir wishes to present and the message they desperately want to send," she wrote. 

"I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man. [The] Choir's wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged and that many good people throughout this land and throughout the world already do and will continue to feel betrayed. I believe hereafter our message will not be believed by many that have loved us and adored what we have stood for. I know that I too feel betrayed."

Chamberlin wrote of her hope that people will "work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens," and to solve the problems to come. She quote the verse "As he died to make men holy, let us live to make free," adding that the first time she heard it, "its message sent inspirational electricity through my soul and penetrated every fiber of my being." This, she reminded the choir, is their true message that she feared would be lost in the decision to perform at the inauguration. 

"Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing," she wrote. "We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils."


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