President-elect Donald Trump's team has had issues filling out an entertainment lineup for the Jan. 20 inauguration, and yet another anticipated participant is facing opposition to performing: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Religion News Service's Jana Riess signed a Change.org petition for the choir to withdraw from its inauguration appearance. The petition has been signed by nearly 14,000 people as of Christmas afternoon.
The petition states:
"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.
"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. Performing at other government events would not be a concern (e.g. national holidays such as July 4th).
"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 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."
The liberal Riess wrote she is not "just angry that the choir is performing for a GOP president."
"This is an issue that transcends political party," she added. "For the choir that represents my church to give its official imprimatur to the administration of this sexist, fear-mongering narcissist is a slap on the face – not only to the nearly half of Mormons who did not vote for the man, but to all of us who care about the Church’s reputation for goodness and basic decency."
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