BY VALERIE SHELLEY
The LAHS Bel Canto choir will be singing the song “The Cell Block Tango,” from the musical play “Chicago” in its upcoming performance on May 11th and possibly on the 12th as well. This song is about 5 murderesses and how they killed their victims. There are five verses and the students will be singing about shooting someone in the head, poisoning a victim, stabbing a person 10 times, and about an individual blacking out and then awakening to find two people dead with blood on their hands. Surely the numerous incidences of violence in the schools nationwide, including a fatal shooting in Albuquerque, should disqualify this song as appropriate for presentation by the choir!
Furthermore, the song mocks and denigrates members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The song declares that because a character in the song is “Mormon” (slang term for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) he has six wives. The practice of polygamy was ended by the Church in 1890, some 130 years ago. The Los Alamos School District should give The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the same respect that they give all religions. Our school should always encourage the students in their schools to treat people of all religions and backgrounds with respect. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who sing in the Bel Canto Choir are being asked to mock their own religion all the while glorifying heinous murders.
I’m asking all members of this community who believe in being respectful of all religions and who believe that victims of violence should be supported –not subjected to “violence as entertainment” –to contact members of the school board and the LAHS administration to ask that the Bel Canto Choir cancels the choir’s performance of this song. Our Los Alamos community is one where no student should be scorned or mocked because of their religion, where victims of violence should be supported, and where students should not be asked to perform songs which make light of murder.