The thing about some of those Change.org petitions is that anybody can start them and sometimes the causes they back are ridiculous.
A case in point would be the recent Change.org petition to stop the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration.
From the Hill:
The Change.org petition has accumulated more than 6,500 signatures since it was created Thursday.
“We, as signers of this petition, believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ [(LDS)] 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 states.
“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.”
No, actually, it just means they will perform.
I get it. Sort of.
I have railed against faith leaders and Christians who have spoken up in favor of Trump. A direct endorsement of a man who is faithless, has rejected a need for God in his life, and whose behavior is so desperately out of line with Christian principles hurts the Christian witness to a soul-sick world.
We’re supposed to look different, rather than endorse more of the same.
That being said, for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at a presidential inauguration isn’t a new thing. It’s not like they’re paying any undue homage to Trump. They’ve performed at presidential inaugurations, before.
Starting with Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. They also performed for Richard Nixon’s swearing-in ceremony in 1969, for Reagan’s inaugural parade in 1981, the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural parade for George H. W. Bush in 1989, and for George W. Bush’s inaugural parade in 2001.
These are performers, and they have a long history of showcasing their talent for major events. A presidential inauguration – even that of someone like Donald Trump – is still a big deal, and it’s right in their wheelhouse.
The petition argues that the Church’s participation “would harm this spectacularly talented and beloved choir’s image, misrepresent the diversity of Mormons worldwide, and sends the wrong message to LDS children as they will perceive the Church’s participation as endorsement of a president whose words and actions do not align with our values.”
“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’s creator, Randall Thacker, writes.
Again, I get it, but unless they are expressly endorsing Trump, this is nothing short of trying to bully somebody into an agenda.
And it’s really annoying.