Pressure is mounting on the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir to not perform at president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony in January, but the choir is not backing down.
In a Friday statement to The Daily Caller, the choir responded to an online petition that wants to the choir not to sing at Trump’s inauguration. The statement said while the group has received “mixed reactions,” it will still perform for the 58th Inauguration in Washington, D.C. just as it has done in the past. (RELATED: Mormon Tabernacle Choir Agrees To Perform At Trump Inauguration)
“Response to the announcement has been mixed, with people expressing both opposition and support,” the statement read. “The Choir’s participation continues its long tradition of performing for U.S. Presidents of both parties at Inaugurations and in other settings, and is not an implied support of party affiliations or politics. It is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power.”
By Friday afternoon, the petition had garnered more than 8,700 signatures demanding that the group back out because if they perform, it “sends the wrong message to [Mormon] children” about a president-elect’s “words and actions” that they claim do not align with their values.
“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,” a statement on the petition read. “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. ”
“The Church’s participation will 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.”
On Thursday, a statement on the choir’s website confirmed it would be performing, just as it had for numerous other presidential inaugurations.
“At the request of the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Committee, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has accepted an invitation to sing at the swearing-in ceremony during the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol next month in Washington, D.C,” the choir announced in a statement. “This performance will mark the sixth time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has sung at an inauguration.”