Calls Grow for Dodgers to Disinvite Anti-Catholic Group from Pride Night
In the wake of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to re-invite an anti-Catholic transgender activist group known as the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” to receive an award during its annual Pride Night after initially rescinding their invitation due to public outcry, a number of Major League players, including the Dodgers’ own players, are voicing their objections to the decision due to the group’s public mockery of the Catholic faith.
“I don’t agree with making fun of other people’s religions,” said Clayton Kershaw, the Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Dodgers, during an interview Monday. “It has nothing to do with anything other than that. I just don’t think that, no matter what religion you are, you should make fun of somebody else’s religion. So that’s something that I definitely don’t agree with.”
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence describe themselves as “a leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns” who are “devoted … to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.” Founded in 1979, the group has become known for direct public mockery of Christian and Catholic traditions. Members of the group don drag makeup and dress in exaggerated clothing resembling the habits worn by Catholic nuns.
One of the group’s signature events is held on Easter Sunday in the Castro district of San Francisco and involves a 13-stop pub crawl meant to lampoon the 13 Stations of the Cross. The event features actors portraying the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, in which participants hand out free condoms and end with a toast of vanilla wafers and Jägermeister.
Other events sponsored by the group include “Clown Fuc*er,” described as “Cirque Dis So Gay, a fully immersive GENDER FUC#ING experience.” Another description for an even known as “The Monster Show: Easter with the Sisters” states, “[Why] not party with these Nuns the way God intended, at a Drag Show!” An event held on Easter Sunday, known as the “Peepshow,” features “Foxy Mary & Hunky Jesus.”
The group’s motto that appears on their website footer states, “Go forth and sin some more!” — a twisting of the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery (John 8:11).
The Dodgers’ apologetic statement re-inviting the group to be honored on the field and receive a “Community Hero Award” during their “10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night” on June 16th said in part, “We are pleased to share that they have agreed to receive the gratitude of our collective communities for the lifesaving work that they have done tirelessly for decades.” It appears that the “lifesaving work” is referring to the grants that the group gives to chosen causes. Some of the grants include helping to fund “Maya’s Magic Shop tarot deck”; to “(re)creates sacred spaces for Queer and Two Spirit people to (re)connect with their Mexica and Indigiqueer traditions”; and to fund “gender affirming clothing and resources to transgender youth and young adults” including “chest binders and clothing for California Students.”
On Tuesday, a second Dodgers player expressed disappointment in the team’s decision to honor the group.
“I am disappointed to see the Sister’s [sic] of Perpetual Indulgence being honored as heroes at Dodger Stadium,” said Blake Treinen, a relief pitcher for the club, in a statement. “Many of their performances are blasphemous, and their work only displays hate and mockery of Catholics and the Christian faith.”
“[I]nviting the Sister’s [sic] of Perpetual Indulgence to perform disenfranchises a large community and promotes hate of Christians and people of faith,” he went on. “This single event alienates the fans and supporters of the Dodgers, Major League Baseball, and professional sports. People like baseball for its entertainment value and competition. The fans do not want propaganda or politics forced on them. The debacle with Bud Light and Target should be a warning to companies and professional sports to stay true to their brand and leave the propaganda and politics off the field.”
Treinen concluded by declaring his Christian faith and quoting Joshua 24:15: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
A third Major League player added his voice to the chorus of opposition on Tuesday as well. In a lengthy tweet, Washington Nationals pitcher Trevor Williams stated: “As a devout Catholic, I am deeply troubled by the Dodgers’ decision to re-invite and honor the group ‘The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ at their Pride Night this year. … To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion, and the religion of over 4 million people in Los Angeles county alone, undermines the values of respect and inclusivity that should be upheld by any organization.”
He continued, “I believe it is essential for the Dodgers to reconsider their association with this group and strive to create an inclusive environment that does not demean or disrespect the religious beliefs of any fan or employee. I also encourage my fellow Catholics to reconsider their support of an organization that allows this type of mockery of its fans to occur.”
“I know I am not alone in my frustration, hurt, and disappointment about this situation,” Williams concluded. “As Catholics, we look to Jesus Christ and the way He was treated and we realize that any suffering in this world unites us to Him in the next.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.