The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is facing intense pressure to pull out of performing at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration as an online petition has gathered thousands of signatures.
The Change.org petition seeks to persuade the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to end its practice of having the choir perform at presidential inaugurations.
The choir has performed at numerous presidential inaugurations throughout history, including for Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush. During his 1981 inauguration, Reagan called the MTC “America’s choir.”
“We, as signers of this petition, believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ decision to allow the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at the upcoming presidential inauguration of Donald Trump DOES NOT reflect the values of Mormonism and does not represent its diverse 15+ million members worldwide,” the petition, begun by one Randall Thacker, states.
The petition continues:
“We also believe that an official LDS organization performing at a presidential inauguration gives the perception that the LDS Church and its diverse 15+ million members worldwide support an incoming president’s agenda, values and behaviors. Performing at other government events would not be a concern (e.g. national holidays such as July 4th).
As members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we strongly urge the Church to stop this practice and especially for an incoming president who has demonstrated sexist, racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic behavior that does not align with the principles and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The petition further claims that the performance would harm the Mormon church’s image, and would send “the wrong message” to its children.
The petition had gathered 7,111 signatures at the time of publication.
Prospective performers for Trump’s inauguration have received significant backlash and threats of boycott from those dissatisfied with the results of the election. As Breitbart News previously reported, opera legend Andrea Bocelli was the subject of a “#BoycottBocelli” campaign on social media after it was reported that he had been approached by Trump to perform at the inauguration. The singer reportedly decided not to perform in the wake of the backlash.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will join iconic dance company The Rockettes at the inauguration in Washington DC on January 20, along with teenage opera singer Jackie Evancho, who is expected to sing the National Anthem.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum