With cultural debates over LGBTQ issues, drag queen story hours, and other related skirmishes boiling over, some prominent figures are starting to break their silence and speak out.
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The Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent decision to honor the Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a controversial drag group that dresses as nuns and uses religious imagery in its satire, has sparked nationwide headlines.
Following outrage over the initial decision, the Dodgers backed away from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — then flip-flopped again and apologized to the drag performers, welcoming them back into the fold. Now, some Major League Baseball players are standing up and speaking out over the ordeal.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is among them; he told The Los Angeles Times he disagreed with the decision to honor the organization during an upcoming Pride Night game on June 16.
And, according to Kershaw, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence debacle expedited the decision to bring back another event: Christian Faith Day.
“I think we were always going to do Christian Faith Day this year, but I think the timing of our announcement was sped up,” Kershaw told the outlet. “Picking a date and doing those different things was part of it as well. Yes, it was in response to the highlighting of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”
The MLB star said he doesn’t think it’s appropriate to mock other people’s religions and takes issue with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s use of religious imagery. Rather than rant or complain, though, he said he responded by showing what he believes in.
“For us, we felt like the best thing to do in response was, instead of maybe making a statement condemning or anything like that, would be just to instead try to show what we do support, as opposed to maybe what we don’t,” Kershaw told the Times. “And that was Jesus. So to make Christian Faith Day our response is what we felt like was the best decision.”
Kershaw was joined by fellow Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen, who issued a separate statement through worship leader Sean Feucht.
“My friend and @MLB pitcher Blake Treinen asked that I post this statement for him in regards to the @Dodgers honoring of the sisters of perpetual indulgence,” Feucht tweeted, sharing a letter signed by Treinen.
In a screenshot of a written statement, Treinen said he is disappointed the group is being “honored as heroes” and said “many of their performances are blasphemous,” claiming the associated work mocks Catholics and the Christian faith.
“I understand that playing baseball is a privilege and not a right. My convictions in Jesus Christ will always come first,” he continued. “Inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to perform disenfranchised a large community and promotes hate of Christians and people of faith.”
He said recent controversies surrounding Bud Light and Target should send the message that fans want to enjoy a sport or a brand and don’t want politics pushed on them.
Treinen closed with powerful words about the Christian faith.
“I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins,” he wrote. “I believe the word of God is true.”
Kershaw and Treinen are hardly alone in responding to the Dodgers’ handling of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Trevor Williams, a pitcher for the Washington Nationals, was even more fervent in his response, posting a lengthy message on his Twitter account Tuesday.
Williams described himself as “deeply troubled” by the Dodgers’ choice to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, noting his belief baseball is a sport where everyone should be welcomed.
The problem, he said, is rooted in what he believes the organization represents.
“To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offense 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 wrote. “Creating an environment in which one group feels celebrated and honored at the expense of another is counterproductive and wrong.”
The player also alleged the honoring of the group violates the Dodgers’ Discrimination Policy, which purportedly bans “conduct or attire” deemed to be prejudiced against a particular group.
Williams encouraged the Dodgers to “reconsider their association” with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — but that’s not all. He also had a message for Dodgers fans.
“I also encourage my fellow Catholics to reconsider their support of an organization that allows this type of mockery of its fans to occur,” Williams added.
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