Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer quits before Trump inauguration, says she can’t ‘throw roses to Hitler’

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sings in the Conference Center at the morning session of the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Choir member Jan Chamberlin posted a resignation letter that she says she sent to choir leaders on her Facebook page Thursdaym Dec. 29, 2016. In it, she writes that by performing at the inaugural, the 360-member Choir will appear to be “endorsing tyranny and facism” and says she feels “betrayed” by the choir’s decision to take part. (AP Photo/George Frey, File)
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FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sings in the Conference Center at the morning session of the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Choir member Jan Chamberlin posted a resignation letter that she says she sent to choir leaders on her Facebook page Thursdaym Dec. 29, 2016. In it, she writes that by performing at the inaugural, the 360-member Choir will appear to be “endorsing tyranny and facism” and says she feels “betrayed” by the choir’s decision to take part. (AP Photo/George Frey, File)

A singer in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has resigned her position, saying that she could not “in good conscience” sing at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration next month.

Jan Chamberlin wrote in her resignation letter, which she posted to her Facebook page, that she had spent many "sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony" since the announcement that the choir would participate in Trump's Jan. 20 ceremony.

“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've tried to tell myself that it will be all right and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man,” she wrote.

Chamberlin wrote that she could not do it because, while she knows her fellow choir members’ hearts and their desire to show political neutrality and goodwill, she also understands that it would appear that the choir was “endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man.”

“I could never look myself in the mirror again with self-respect,” she wrote.

Dear Family and Friends,This is the message I have sent to Choir:
Dear President Jarrett and Choir,
Today is my...

Posted by Jan Chamberlin on Thursday, December 29, 2016

Chamberlin wrote that she became a member of the choir five years ago, in part, to honor her late father, who was a military veteran. She said he hated tyranny and was “extremely distraught” about the Holocaust. She said as a patriotic person, she is troubled by the country’s problems “which seek to destroy our love for liberty and respect for humanity internationally.”

“Tyranny is now on our doorstep,” Chamberlin wrote. “It has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm.”

She called her decision a moral one.

“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him,” Chamberlin wrote.

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The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment on Chamberlin's status with the church's famed choir. LDS officials also declined to discuss any other choir members who might have complained or refused to participate in the presidential inauguration.

"Participation in the choir, including the performance at the inauguration, is voluntary," church spokesman Eric Hawkins told the Tribune in a statement Thursday.

Hawkins said that the number of participating members is limited by the inauguration committee. When the church announced its participation last week, LDS leaders said only about 215 of the 360 choir members are expected to perform.

Those who did not want to participate could opt out of the lottery used to determine who will attend the event, the Tribune reported.

Randall Thacker, a lifelong Mormon, launched a petition shortly after last week’s announcement asking the choir not to participate. As of Thursday, it had more than 19,000 signatures.

The choir has previously participated in the presidential inaugurations of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.