I am disappointed and disgusted that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has agreed to sing at Donald Trump’s inauguration. Those events are a celebration of the incoming president, not merely of the country, and the claim that the move promotes national unity overlooks the fact that Trump ran a campaign centered on the degradation of women, vilification of immigrants, and oppression of minorities. This is not an inauguration for either of the Bushes or Reagan, who were messengers of a particular political stance, or even of a Mike Pence, who is even more extreme in politics but lacks many of Trump’s fascist ills. Rather, it is an inauguration for a man who spews racist garbage, brags about abusing women, and boasts about a Muslim registry. This act makes the Church’s appeals for religious liberty, gender equality, and international peace prove hollow.
To my friends who have been the direct targets of Trump’s attacks: even though the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a missionary arm for the LDS Church, I hope you know that their appearance at Trump’s inauguration does not reflect my values or interests, nor many of my friends and family within the Mormon tradition. On behalf of our Church, we apologize.
Actions speak louder than words.
Amen. To claim that the choir is singing in an effort to bring healing is almost right. It is singing to seek approval of the people in power. It is part of the decades-old effort to gain acceptance by the broader society.
I appreciate what you wrote, and I hope that the LDS Church stops this travesty from happening and apologizes. Otherwise I’m afraid that most people will see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s performance as the LDS Church officially condoning Drumpf’s disgusting and dangerous character and lifelong behavior.
Last night I viewed a November video where Bill Maher commented that, in their support for him, Drumpf “exposed evangelicals…as the shameless hypocrites they’ve always been.” He took pains, however, to exclude and praise the Mormons, saying:
“With one exception, and I never thought I would hear myself say this, but let’s hear it for the Mormons. […] Because apparently, the Mormons feel you shouldn’t vote for a lying, infantile scumbag just because he’s on your team.”
This afternoon I told a friend that if that is true, then I’ll be impressed. Tonight, as I started to fact-check this, I read that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would be paying homage to Drumpf, a man whose election should affect every decent American with a cringing shame. I’ll be watching, along with other citizens, to see if the LDS Church decides to throw “religious liberty, gender equality, and international peace” to the wayside for.. for… well, I have no idea what they believe they would gain. What type of remuneration are souls exchanged for these days?
This is so stupid. Remember when the mobs drove the saints from their homes and killed members of their party? Remember that they left all their belongings and property behind? The mob realized they had no legal right to the abandoned property and sent a delegation of Mob members to negotiate for the abandoned property. On the mob’s return across the river, their boat sank. The Saints, after being beaten, raped, killed and left in the cold went into the river to save the members of the mob. You’re complaining that we are practicing forgiveness. ROFL. Awesome! I am pretty sure practicing what you storm across the world teaching doesn’t mean your message is hollow.
I’m allowing this comment to appear (I haven’t approved the large number of troll comments) only because it is the most hilarious false historical anecdote I’ve ever heard. Whoever made it up should be commended for their wild imagination.
My stomach is sick as I think about my church choir singing at, and celebrating, the inauguration of a serial sexual predator, a man who has slept with dozens of married women, a man who has demeaned women in the most graphic and disgusting terms. This makes me so sad. I wonder if I don’t know my church as well as I thought I did. If we can’t make a moral distinction like this, then we have clearly lost our way.
Here’s a sample of things that the man the choir is celebrating has said about women:
“Beautiful, famous, successful, married – I’ve had them all, secretly, the world’s biggest names”
“I don’t think Ivanka would pose for Playboy, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [they] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
“I really understand beauty. And I will tell you, she’s not—I do own Miss Universe. I do own Miss USA. I mean I own a lot of different things. I do understand beauty, and she’s not”.
“If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller”
“A woman who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”
And in private: “…I tried to f— her. She was married. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—-…”
How do I talk to my daughter about the choir’s performance? How do I talk to my wife about it? What words can I use that will make this seem like an OK thing to do for a family oriented church? The church my kids have grown up loving?
Eric Hawkins, chief spokesman of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defended having their choir sing in honor of Trump’s inauguration by stating that it “is not an implied support of party affiliations or politics”. I’ll address him directly: Mr. Hawkins, do you honestly believe that the outraged backlash is simply due to Trump having run as a Republican? Or that for the first time in decades not one Washington, D.C. public school marching band applied for the chance to play at a presidential inauguration because some students suddenly felt an overwhelming dedication to non-Republican partisan politics?
What about common values and decency? Can you honestly say that you have not seen undeniable evidence that Donald Trump demonstrates, shows support of, and incites behavior and beliefs that are racist, bigoted, sexist, misogynistic, and all-around xenophobic? Not to mention a remarkable (even for a politician) capacity for bald-face lying and for putting personal gain above all, even above the safety and well-being of our country? Even Gene Simmons, of KISS–he’s the one in the demon costume who spit fire and “vomited” fake blood during concerts–not above making racist remarks himself, even *he* refused the request for his band to play for Trump’s inauguration, politely claiming that the band will “be touring Europe” (well, yes, they will be, but not until May). And yet, the Mormons will be represented in Trump’s celebration by the ambassadors of their faith. Talk about alternate realities…
Mr. Hawkins, you also stated that accepting the invitation for the choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to play for Trump “is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power”. Can you honestly deny that Trump has gone to extremes in demonstrating that he is the antithesis of freedom, of civility, and of any kind of peace? Do you believe that Trump’s “victory rallies” rhetoric and his repeated lies of a “landslide” victory show much regard for a “peaceful transition of power”? How about his public praise of Putin’s criticism of the American Democratic party? Putin, Castro, and Duterte all telephoned Trump to congratulate him on winning the election, the Russian parliament literally raised champagne toasts to that victory, and white nationalists and white supremacists raised their arms in Nazi salutes to shout “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!”; has anything like that ever happened in our country before? Mr. Hawkins, those people are NOT proponents of freedom and civility–this is not a normal U.S. presidential inauguration.
No matter what you claim, people already see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing at a victory celebration for Trump, Steve Bannon, and the rest of his appointees and advisors as, at the very least, a tacit support of values (or lack thereof) that threaten people and the environment–worldwide. Think about it, Mr. Hawkins: other than your choir and a young teenaged girl whose claim to fame is having entered (though not won) a televised talent contest when she was ten years old, no other singers in the United States (or the world) accepted the request to honor Trump with a performance. None. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still has a choice: their choir can stand amongst all the singing acts who refused Trump’s invitation to perform on January 20th, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir can stand out in history as the ONLY singers of renown willing to accept the request to perform to this inauguration… and, therefore, to be forever associated with the character of Donald Trump. Not with the office of the president, certainly not with “support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power”, just with all Trump has actually *shown* himself to represent. Because, as Mr. Labbe commented earlier, actions speak louder than words.
And that, Mr. Hawkins, is why even Mormons are begging your church to reconsider.