This is a strange season.
An unknown singer in a volunteer choir makes headlines because she quits rather than singing at the Trump inaugural.
The decision was not an easy one, wrote Jan Chamberlin.
Ever since “the announcement” — as Chamberlin called it — she has “spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony,” she wrote in a Facebook post that was no longer public by Friday evening. “I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul. 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.”
Ultimately, though, Chamberlin decided that she could not stay in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that Chamberlin, a singer in the famed group, is resigning after learning that the choir would appear at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.
“I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events,” she wrote on Facebook. “I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.”
Chamberlin wrote that by “singing for this man” the choir would appear to be “endorsing” tyranny and fascism, and its image would be “severely damaged.” Moreover, she wrote, it would leave many feeling betrayed, as she already did.
[At Trump’s inauguration, Franklin Graham, Cardinal Dolan and four more clergy will pray]
In the post, Chamberlin also appeared to compare Trump to Adolf Hitler, writing that “history is repeating itself.”
“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler,’ ” wrote Chamberlin, who did not immediately return a request seeking comment Friday. “And I certainly could never sing for him.”
I understand that a lot of people don’t like Trump. Hell, I’m one of them. But this is virtue signaling on steroids. I even understand declining to perform at his inauguration. But if you truly felt a deep antipathy for ‘throwing roses to Hitler’ then you wouldn’t have lost a nanosecond of sleep. In fact, you’d have slept the sleep of the righteous. This whole decision would have been a no-brainer. And, as someone sorta famous once observed “do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.”
I also recognize craven attention-seeking when I see it. This woman isn’t an employee. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is not the Dixie Chicks and she is not Natalie Maines. No one in this choir is forced to go anywhere. There is no sacrifice at all on the part of this person. No courage is needed for what she did. She could have declined to make the trip the DC and gone on with her life of Trump-loathing and continued to sing. But she didn’t. Because if she simply declined to travel she would have passed on her chance for fleeting fame and the plaudits and approval of people she doesn’t even know.