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Mike Pence Tries to Shame Dodgers, Calls Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 'Hateful'

Mike Pence Tries to Shame Dodgers, Calls Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 'Hateful'

Mike Pence and a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence

The former vice president, like some baseball players, says the Sisters promote hate — which they don't.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, well-known for his anti-LGBTQ+ views, has denounced the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to once again invite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the team’s Pride Night after having disinvited the group earlier.

“Having been raised in a Catholic family, the Dodgers decision to invite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a hateful group that blatantly mocks Catholicism, to their event next month is deeply offensive,” Pence tweeted Wednesday. “Last summer the MLB moved their All-Star Game out of Georgia over a lie about voter ID and now they are apologizing and welcoming anti-Catholic bigots back to Dodger Stadium with open arms. The MLB should not be apologizing to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, they should be apologizing to Catholics across America. America’s pastime should respect the faith of every American no matter what.”

The Dodgers organization announced in mid-May that it was removing the Sisters from the lineup for its 10th annual Pride Night, which will be held June 16. The team management wasn’t specific about the reason, but some conservatives had objected to its inclusion. Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had written to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred saying the Sisters group “has mocked and degraded Christians, and especially Catholics, since its founding on Easter Sunday in 1979.”

The Sisters, however, say they are not mocking anyone and they’re not haters. “We are an Order of 21st Century Nuns dedicated to the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt,” according to the website for the L.A. chapter of the Sisters. “Our ministry is one of public manifestation and habitual perpetration. More simply put: we make people happy, stamp out guilt brought on by a judgmental society and help various organizations and charities, etc .... Our goal is to embrace our gay and diverse selves and each other as we are today, as we were born and as we are meant to be. Our goal is to share kindness, love and laughter with those we have met, those we meet today and those we will meet tomorrow as a source of personal empowerment and pride. If we can do this while raising money for charity and being our natural fabulous selves, then there is room for YOU to be as fabulous as you are and as you were meant to be.”

After receiving backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and more, the Dodgers apologized and reinvited the Sisters. The group will receive the team’s Community Hero Award for its charitable work. Over the years, it has raised funds for a diverse selection of nonprofits, some LGBTQ-specific, some not.

Pence, who is expected to seek the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, was indeed raised a Catholic, but he is no longer one. He has said he found a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ through evangelical Protestantism. Also, voter suppression is Georgia is real; the law that led MLB to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver has many provisions that make it difficult to vote.

The decision to reinvite the Sisters has drawn criticism from some players. Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen posted a statement on Twitter through Christian music artist Sean Feucht. “Many of their performances are blasphemous, and their work only displays hate and mockery of Catholics and the Christian faith,” Treinen wrote.

Trevor Williams of the Washington Nationals, who pitched against the Dodgers this week in L.A., also spoke out against the group’s inclusion. “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 tweeted.

Dodgers pitching ace Clayton Kershaw tweeted about the relaunch of the team’s Christian Faith and Family Day without mentioning the Sisters, but when queried by the Los Angeles Times, he said plans for the Sisters’ appearance spurred him to lobby for the return of the faith observance, which hasn’t been held since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he felt the Sisters were “making fun of a religion,” but instead of denouncing them or boycotting Pride Night, he decided, after talking with his wife and others, to push for the return of the faith event, which will be held July 30.

“This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community or Pride or anything like that,” Kershaw told the Times. “This is simply a group that was making fun of a religion, that I don’t agree with.” He added, “I think in these situations, instead of maybe criticizing or trying to find something wrong with a group, it’s better just to focus on what you do believe in. For me, that’s Jesus. So I think that was our best response.”

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