Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singer Who Quit Rather Than Perform for Trump Gets the Fox News Treatment


For Fox News's Christian Warrior Todd Starnes, Religious Freedom Is Less Important Than Supporting Donald Trump

She didn't ask others to join her. She didn't demand a boycott. She didn't even mention the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by name. She merely resigned from her position as a singer in the famed choir, rather than perform at the inauguration of Donald Trump. And for that she's getting the Fox News treatment from Todd Starnes, the Christian warrior who would have rushed to Jan Chamberlin's defense if she had refused to bake a cake, take photographs, or sell flowers for a same-sex couple's wedding.

In a lengthy Facebook post Chamberlin reprinted her letter of resignation to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, explaining that performing for Trump violates her religious and moral beliefs:

For me, this is a HUGELY moral issue. “ as he died to make men holy, let us live to make free” ( The first time I heard this beautiful piece, I was 11 years old; my brother Jim was singing in Honor Choir. IT”S message sent inspirational electricity through my soul and penetrated every fiber of my being. THIS is Choir’s true message, and we don’t want it lost by giving the opposite message).

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This scripture has been resonating with me a lot lately.

I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.

Chamberlin also warns of Trump's tyranny.

"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," she writes.

"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."

She adds, "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," she continues, "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.

Naturally, Todd Starnes, who spends the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's writing about the "war on Christmas," often stirring up trouble for public schools by falsely reporting bans on Christmas cards or why religious-themed plays were canceled. Starnes is often among the first to twist a story to demonize liberals and those who believe in the separation of church and state, and the first to provide a platform for the anti-gay religious right to spew their particular brand of hate that he endorses.

Yet, now we learn that those who oppose Trump, and take a moral and religious stand to do so, are equally on Starnes' target list.

And Jan Chamberlin has just gotten the Todd Starnes treatment.

In a Fox News column Starnes describes Chamberlin as "distraught," and her heartfelt explanation merely explaining why she cannot perform for Trump and thus chose to resign, "shrieking" and "hysterics."

"Ms. Chamberlin's shrieking," Starnes concludes, in his uniquely misogynistic manner, "is similar to the hysterics coming from Radio City Music Hall - where several Rockettes pitched a hissy fit over their participation in the inauguration." 

"For the record, President-elect Trump has never invaded a sovereign nation, nor has exterminated millions of innocent people," Starnes writes, as if those were Hitler's only crimes.

"And to compare the next president of the United States to Hitler is not only intellectually dishonest - it's downright repulsive," it's actually not intellectually dishonest, it's eerily correct when examining Hitler's rise to power.

"President-elect Trump is no Nazi, Ms. Chamberlin - but your argument is a few notes shy of a stanza," he finishes. 

In a separate Facebook post, Chamberlin, with a surprising amount of perspective, writes on the fallout from her post.

"Well, let's see. Today I've been called many things, such as bigot, selfish, self righteous, closed minded, and I believe also disrespectful. Also implied comments to question my character. And previously unpatriotic, unfaithful to God and faith, and not a good hard working Choir member."

I think that's hilarious!

Shall we get back to the topic at hand, which I believe was standing up for freedom, fighting against tyranny, and standing true to the values and morals we've been taught by God.

I am interested in having dialogue on THAT topic and working together to see how we can work together to do that.


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Image by Jerry and Pat Donaho via Flickr and a CC license