The LDS church will send its famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform in the inauguration of a new president, next month. Many Mormons are aghast. Bad enough, they say, that so many LDS-Mormons threw their integrity in the fireplace and voted for this career criminal. Now the LDS church itself wants to contribute, actively, to valorizing him?
Those for whom apologia is a way of life will scream, I expect, that participation in the inauguration of a POTUS is a privilege having nothing to do with the particular person being inaugurated, and that turning down the invitation would be tantamount to sedition. Meh. Overlooking the monstrous evil that this particular person practices, as a matter of course, has been this particular country’s great disgrace all along. Letting this particular person slide, over and over again, has been our collective sedition.
Anyway—for the apologists—I’m actually delighted that the Mo-Tab will sing #LittlePrincePumpkin into the White House. I’ve been worrying that I might not last much longer as a card-carrying LDS-Mormon. Now I have greatly renewed confidence.
Being an LDS-Mormon person used to be hard. Never mind the stuff like not having unauthorized sex and not stealing. I mean, given some circumstances, that stuff is certainly difficult. But the relatively simple matter of being nice takes effort. Loving one’s neighbor ain’t easy. Working in the manner of Jesus to make everyone feel loved, valued, worthwhile—when you’re as dysfunctional as I am, that’s exhausting.
The LDS church’s decision to send its face and voice to celebrate the inauguration of one of the twenty-first century’s most hateful people has lifted that great, Jesus-y burden. Obviously, the choir’s event won’t make it easier to be a good person. It merely confirms, with finality, that being good is not really an LDS thing.
So much easier, now. As long as my principal interest is staying in the LDS church, I don’t even have to try for the simple things, anymore.
It might even be better that I actively try not to be good. In a culture that so clearly values hate-mongering, misogyny, and almost indiscriminate hatred, the attempt to practice niceness could pose a threat to the authority that sustains hate-mongering and misogyny as a sign of faithfulness.
But this is the great liberation that rises from the LDS church’s shameless prostration to evil. The LDS church and all its authority have ceded the moral high ground for good, which means that no one needs to take church authority seriously.
I can’t wait for the next pompous LDS windbag to tell me that I’m an apostate. “Follow the prophet!” they bellow at me. “Stay in the straight and narrow! Hold to the iron rod! You’re headed toward that great and spacious building with all your faithless arguing.”
The LDS church is going to dance with a sexual predator on the most public stage imaginable. Indeed, the church seems eager to let everyone know that its cultural ambassadors will share the cold, January dais with this gleefully hate-mongering sex offender.
The camera will pan, slowly, on inauguration day, across the strong, choir faces of LDS women, earnestly forming their O’s in the freezing wind—so reverent, so solemnly faithful and patriotic. Then, a crossfade, holding in one frame for a moment the pure sanctity of Mormon womanhood behind the grinning profile of a monster who, but for the cameras, would grab their pussies without hesitating.
“I’m guilty of arguing?” I’ll say. “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang paeans to the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief.”
Check and mate.
I’m made, Brethren and Sistren. It had been merely that all the callow LDS-Mormon individuals who voted for the Great Orange Gargoyle had surrendered their right to speak on matters of right and wrong. Now, the church itself has stepped down from its place of higher virtue and probity. My own judgment turns out to be much more solidly moral, as I’d so long suspected. It’s like getting an extra birthday this year.
I’ve even got a hymn for the choir to sing. Turn with me, now—won’t you?—to hymn number twenty-three in the authorized LDS hymnal. I expect you’ll agree with me that the following hymn is perfect for the Mo-Tab voices that will usher in The Next Four Years for us all.
We loudly sing for thee,
Praising thy lechery, Misogynist Ape;
We sing our fealty this ‘naugural,
May your degen’racy cheapen us all,
May your degen’racy debase us all.
We proudly sing for thee,
Lauding thy bigotry, hatred and fraud;
Grant us thy racist turn this ‘naugural,
Make white supremacy rule over all,
Make white supremacy terrorize all.
We gladly sing for thee,
Yearning to join with thee, whate’er thy scheme;
Let’s fleece the vuln’rable this ‘naugural,
Steal, rob, and bilk the blind—defraud them all,
Steal, rob, and bilk the blind—bamboozle all.
We warmly sing for thee,
We’re well-acclimatized to th’ rule of fear;
Bully the principled, that’s nothing new.
For the past century, we’ve done it, too,
For more than a century, we’ve oppressed, too.
Update: Mo-Tab member resigns from the choir over its decision to perform for the #LittlePrincePumpkin inauguration. Rock on, Jan Chamberlin.
Further Update: Raul Reyes at CNN: “It sends the wrong message to the church’s members around the world that the choir would perform for a leader so at odds with LDS teachings — and let’s not even get into Trump’s bragging about sexual assault.” You and me both, Mr. Reyes.
Still Another Update: There’s a growing catalog of folks who might very well regard the inauguration of a U.S. president as a celebratory event that transcends party politics, but who regard this particular person as so personally despicable they can’t share a stage with him—not for fame, not for money. Would that the Mo-Tab had as much determination to avoid the very appearance of evil as KISS.
And another update: History from Joseph Stuart, and this little bit of every-bit-right analysis: “‘America’s Choir’ and the LDS Church may separate the music from the candidate, but public perception will not. It is likely that the Tabernacle Choir’s performance will link Mormonism to the Trump administration, not only in votes, but also in the hearts and minds of those that watch them sing.”
Image adapted from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mormon_Tabernacle_Choir.jpg