Los Angeles Dodgers caught in the middle of Pride vs Catholic fight
The Dodgers have come under fire from both sides after a drag troupe invited to their Pride event was called anti-Catholic by prominent players.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are at the center of controversy, with both sides calling the organization out for perceived injustices.
As part of the Dodgers’ 10th annual LGBTQ Pride Night event, a drag troupe known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were invited and this simple act set off a ripple of events that has the baseball team caught in between a rock and a hard place.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a drag troupe who dress as nuns. They were founded in 1979 in San Francisco and operate as a charity, protest, and performance organization. The Los Angeles chapter is slated to receive the Community Hero Award and it was in this guise that the Dodgers invited them to celebrate their service.
The fly in the ointment is that several players are devout Catholics and see the troupe as mocking their religion. Among the players who protested are Cy Young winner and Hall of Fame shoo-in Clayton Kershaw, and relief pitcher Blake Treinen.
Treinen issued a statement saying that he was disappointed to see the Sisters honored in Dodgers stadium, since “many of their performances are blasphemous, and their work only displays hate and mockery of Catholics and the Christian faith.”
Kershaw was a bit more muted in his criticism, saying, “This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community or Pride or anything like that. This is simply a group that was making fun of a religion. That I don’t agree with.”
As politicians and personages on the national stage waded into the issue, the Dodgers decided to rescind their invitation to the Sisters. But rather than put the matter to rest, the LGBTQ community accused the Dodgers of homophobia and called for a boycott of the ball club. The Dodgers hastily re-invited the Sisters and have faced criticism from the religious side.
The Washington Nationals will be playing in Dodger stadium during the event and their pitcher Trevor Williams was perhaps the most acerbic of all, saying “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.”
Williams doubled down on his position, calling for Catholic fans to “reconsider their support of an organization that allows this type of mockery of its fans to occur.”
So, here are the Dodgers, caught in the middle.
Interestingly, two of the most calming voices in the saga seem to be the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers decided to relaunch their Christian Faith and Family Day, allowing Kershaw to announce that and take the lead on announcing it.
Kershaw again insisted that his protest was not about LGBTQ but specifically about one particular act that he believes is anti-Catholic. He confirmed that he will not boycott Pride Night and has no problem with the LGBTQ community.
Sister Dominia, speaking for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, said in a statement, “Our mission is to help those in need and provide service and aid to the LGBTQ community. We accepted our nomination to the L.A. Dodgers for their recognition of our 27 years of service to Los Angles and the LGBTQ+ people. We thank the Dodgers for their support.”
Sister Unity, one of the founding members of the group in LA said, “We don’t mock Catholic nuns. We borrow from them, there is a little good natured, joyful ribbing. But we honor their work and we assume it for our community.”
Noting that Kershaw’s decision to attend the Pride Night game, Sister Dominia said that his decision was “very Christian.”
“Neighbors are neighbors. He has his beliefs. It’s OK. I’m not mad about anything. It’s all good.”
And maybe if we can all back down from the edge, this is the best lesson to everyone. You don’t have to agree with someone else all the time in order to respect them. And if we all do that, maybe, just maybe, this world would be a better place for everyone. Even Dodger fans.