The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is one of the few acts set to perform at the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, and while the inauguration and its acts have brought down heavy controversy and criticism, one black member of the choir is speaking out to defend the decision to perform.
“I can’t speak on behalf of everyone in the choir but for me, my mission as a singer has always been to soften hearts, to bridge gaps, to make connections and also to make friends,” said choir member Cristi Ford Brazao in a clip posted to Facebook that has since garnered over 100,000 views.
“It’s not so much about converting people but a spirit of fellowshipping,” she continued. “What I’m trying to do as a person is to be like Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ associated with prostitutes and liars and thieves and while he did not endorse what they were doing, he still didn’t hold his mission from them. And my mission is one of love, peace and hope and I want to share that with others, even in the face of ridicule because that’s what Jesus Christ did.”
Brazeo’s comments come after another choir member, Jan Chamberlain, announced that she would be quitting the group in protest of their decision to sing at the inauguration.