In recent weeks, the Los Angeles Dodgers made headlines by flip-flopping on whether or not to honor a group of anti-Catholic drag queens at their annual Pride Night. First pressured by Christians and then pressured by LGBTQ activists, the Dodgers have changed their minds several times, eventually landing right back where they started.
Some commentators have reacted to the re-inclusion of the drag queens with shock and nostalgic longing for the days when a night at the ballpark didn’t involve an overt political agenda. But it’s time to stop pretending: gender ideology has become a religion, and there’s no corner of culture they’ll leave untouched.
It all started when the Dodgers invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of drag queens who mock the Catholic Church, to participate in the baseball team’s 10th annual Pride Night and receive a “Community Hero” award.
Pretending to be an order of “trans and queer nuns,” the Sisters openly mock Christianity in dozens of ways — encouraging audiences to “go and sin some more,” hosting “Hunky Jesus” and “Foxy Mary” contests at Easter, and taking fake religious names like “Sister Risqué of the Sissytine Chapel” and “Sister Shalita Corndog,” among others.
Sen. Marco Rubio drew attention to the Dodgers’ invitation through a May 15 letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred, who previously said that the MLB needs to “make decisions that are as inclusive and welcoming to everyone as possible, and keep us as apolitical as possible.” Rubio asked Manfred:
Do you believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers are being “inclusive and welcoming to everyone” by giving an award to a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians — and not only Christians, but nuns, who devote their lives to serving others?
As scrutiny mounted, the Dodgers rescinded their invitation and published a now-deleted statement apologizing for their plan to award the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence:
Given the strong feelings of those who have been offended by the sisters’ inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees.
But in the end, the strong feelings of those who were offended by the Dodger’s backtracking prevailed. In solidarity with the Sisters, other LGBTQ groups began to withdraw from the team’s Pride Night. (RELATED: Biden’s Drag Queen Navy)
On May 22, the Dodgers changed course again. They had consulted their “diverse communities,” apologized to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and members of the LGBTQ community, and realized that the baseball team will need to “work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves.” The Sisters were back in.
The strong feelings of those offended by the sisters’ inclusion didn’t evaporate overnight. If anything, those feelings are even stronger now that the Dodgers have snubbed Christians twice.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a statement condemning the honoring of the Sisters of Perpetual indulgence, whom they describe as “a group that clearly mocks the Catholic faith and makes light of the sincere and holy vocations of our women religious who are an integral part of our Church.” The archdiocese called for Catholics and people of good will to stand against bigotry and hatred.
Sen. Marco Rubio and Princeton professor Robert George had similar responses to the re-inclusion of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, as they both drew attention to the irony of anti-Catholic bigotry.
“If the hate group ‘Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ was anti-Islam instead of anti-Catholic there is zero chance the Dodgers would be honoring them with a ‘Community Hero Award’ next month,” Rubio tweeted.
George, too, commented that our culture has seemingly given a free pass to the ridicule of Christians:
If men wearing hijabs were to prance around mocking Muslim women, insulting Islam and faithful Muslims, and ridiculing the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad, their bigotry would be widely and rightly condemned.
In the Wall Street Journal, deputy editorial features editor Matthew Hennessey asked, “Why would the team honor a group that mocks Catholics?” He expresses confusion as to why the Dodgers would need to invite drag queens in the first place — after all, the team’s ostensible purpose is to play baseball, not promote a particular political and sexual agenda. Hennessey — and many other confused and outraged fans — still see the world through hopelessly outdated rose-colored glasses.
Hennessey’s commentary reveals the longing for yesteryear that characterizes much of the Right. “Most Americans are happy to live and let live,” he writes. “Everyone is already welcome at the ballpark. It feels un-American to force-feed culture-war politics alongside the peanuts and Cracker Jack.”
But Hennessey doesn’t seem to realize that he’s writing about an imperial ideology, a cultural project that Pope Francis has called “ideological colonization.” The Left doesn’t set aside politics when the pitch clock starts because it conceived of everything as an integrated political project, peanuts and Cracker Jacks included.
There’s a strange honesty to this willingness to acknowledge the totalizing force of the culture war. Gender ideology is impervious to claims of fairness or accusations of bigotry and hypocrisy. The Dodgers debacle is sad, disturbing, and entirely predictable — as soon as the Dodgers hosted their first pride night, this month’s news was all but a foregone conclusion.
Regardless, the episode shows the true colors of both the LGBTQ movement and our cultural elites: the Dodgers will unabashedly honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence because modern culture has replaced God with the idol of the self and sexuality.
Mary Frances Myler is a postgraduate fellow with the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government.
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