GOOD

Mormons Petition Tabernacle Choir To Cancel Trump Inauguration Performance

One member of the choir has already quit in protest

via Flickr user (cc) Jerry and Pat Donaho

Members of the Church of Latter-day Saints, frequently known as Mormons, have traditionally been one of the most reliable Republican voting blocks in the country. In 2004, 80 percent voted for George W. Bush and 78 percent voted for fellow Mormon, Mitt Romney, in 2012. But given Donald Trump’s lack of religious tolerance and blatant sexism and racism, Trump only earned 61 percent of the Mormon vote in 2016. 21 percent of Mormons opted to vote for conservative Independent Evan McMullin and 28 percent for Democrat Hillary Clinton. So when it was announced that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be performing at Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, many Mormons have been uncomfortable with the decision.


Mormon Randall Thacker created a petition at Change.org to urge the choir not to perform in Washington, and it’s just shy of reaching its goal of 25,000 signatures. Thacker says his “heart sank” when he learned the choir would be performing for Trump. “I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The thought of this choir and Mormonism being forever associated with a man who disparages minorities, brags about his sexual control of women, encourages intolerance and traffics in hate speech and bullying, was unacceptable,” Thacker said on the petition. “I immediately knew there were probably thousands of people who felt the same way, so I created the space on Change.org for like-minded Mormons and their friends to share their feelings.”

Thursday, Jan Chamberlin, a member of the 360-piece choir, resigned in protest. Here is an excerpt from the beautifully-written resignation letter she later shared on Facebook:

I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.

I love you all, and I know the goodness of your hearts, and your desire to go out there and show that we are politically neutral and share good will. That is the image Choir wishes to present and the message they desperately want to send.

I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism by singing for this man.

And Choir’s wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged 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.

Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm.

I hope that we and many others will work together with greater dilligence and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens. I hope we can throw off the labels and really listen to each other with respect, love, compassion, and a true desire to bring our energies and souls together in solving the difficult problems that lie in our wake….

When I first auditioned and entered Choir, it was to follow deep personal impressions, and to honor my late father, who was among the best of men. Now I must leave Choir for the same reasons. My father ( who was an expert airforce bomber) hated tyranny and was extremely distraught over the holocaust. He and Mom both loved people greatly.

I have deep patriotic feelings for this country and for the freedoms of people everywhere throughout the world. I am troubled by the problems we face which seek to destroy our love for liberty and respect for humanity internationally.

History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding). I plead with everyone to go back and read the books we all know on these topics and review the films produced to help us learn from these gargantuan crimes so that we will not allow them to be repeated. Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing.

Articles
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet