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Comparing Trump to Hitler, Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer quits over inauguration invite acceptance

Members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

In her resignation letter to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, singer Jan Chamberlin wrote that her decision to quit the famed outfit is because it accepted an invitation to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration next month.

Chamberlin, who said she'd been with the choir for five years, warned that "it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny ... by singing for this man," adding, "I only know I could never 'throw roses to Hitler.' And I certainly could never sing for him."

More from her resignation letter, which Chamberlin posted to Facebook Thursday:

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 have highly valued the mission of the Choir to be good-will ambassadors for Christ, to share beautiful music and to give hope, inspiration, and comfort to others.

I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.

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.

Chamberlin added that the choir's "wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged" by singing at Trump's inauguration 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."

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Chamberlin didn't respond to interview requests — but she did post a follow-up message on Facebook Thursday night after news of her resignation hit.

"Well, let's see. Today I've been called many things, such as bigot, selfish, self righteous, closed minded, and I believe also disrespectful," she wrote, adding that she was also called "unpatriotic, unfaithful to God and faith, and not a good hard working Choir member. I think that's hilarious!"

The Tribune reported The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment on her status in the choir but emphasized that taking part in the inauguration performance is not mandatory.

"Participation in the choir, including the performance at the Inauguration, is voluntary," church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a Thursday statement. "Only a limited number of choir members are participating (the number is limited by the inaugural committee), and none are required to participate."

The paper added that choir members who want to sing at Trump's inauguration place their names in a lottery used for selection. The choir sang at swearing-in ceremonies for George H. W. Bush (1989), Richard Nixon (1969) and Lyndon Johnson (1965) and at inaugural parades for George W. Bush (2001), George H. W. Bush (1989) and Ronald Reagan (1981), the Tribune said.

The Tribune noted in a report on Hawkins' statement last week that reaction to the choir's invitation acceptance "has been mixed, with people expressing both opposition and support" and that inauguration performances are "not an implied support of party affiliations or politics. It is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power."

(H/T: Todd Starnes)

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