A Catholic coalition has taken a stand against what it perceives as a display of bigotry by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The baseball team has been accused of promoting a group that mocks the Christian faith during their long-scheduled “Pride Night.”
CatholicVote, a non-profit organization, has launched a substantial ad campaign criticizing the Dodgers’ decision to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI). The group that claims to be representative of the LGBT community is known for its controversial displays of what many see as blatantly anti-Christian sentiments.
Only one channel rejected our ad — the channel which just happens to be 50% owned by the Dodgers itself. No surprise there.https://t.co/WIXJPodfHF
— CatholicVote (@CatholicVote) June 16, 2023
In a clash of values that has drawn national attention, the ad titled “The Dodgers Have Lost Their Way” juxtaposes the LA Dodgers’ history as civil rights trailblazers with their current actions. It reminds viewers of the team’s principled stand in the era of Jackie Robinson. It argues that the current management is risking the team’s legacy.
The Dodgers’ controversy revolves around the decision to invite, uninvite, and reinvite SPI to be part of their Pride Night festivities. Videos of SPI’s “Hunky Jesus” contest, featuring a pole dance on a cross, triggered a wave of criticism, compelling the Dodgers to offer a “Christian Faith Night” in response.
However, the response from conservative groups and politicians hasn’t been forgiving. In a show of support for CatholicVote’s efforts, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Catholic himself, spoke on behalf of an ad condemning the Dodgers’ decision to host SPI.
A joint op-ed by Rubio and Brian Burch, the president of CatholicVote, sharply criticized the Dodgers’ Pride Night plans. The authors questioned why a team with such a significant Catholic following would honor a group known for its explicit and controversial mockery of the Catholic faith.
The story deepened when a Los Angeles news outlet refused to air an ad by CatholicVote that criticized the Dodgers’ decision. This one-minute spot was part of a campaign to raise awareness. Spectrum SportsNet LA, which was set to run the ad, later deemed it “too controversial” and rejected it.
In response, Tommy Valentine of CatholicVote stated, “We will not be silenced, and we will not stand idly by while the Dodgers show their contempt for Catholics.” The organization subsequently secured a new platform to broadcast its ad during the Dodgers games streamed in LA and New York City.
This situation raises broader questions about inclusivity and respect. Many wonder where the line is drawn between promoting diversity and showing outright contempt toward a major American religious group.