For all the talk Major League Baseball has done about welcoming fans of all backgrounds and faiths, the Los Angeles Dodgers superbly alienated millions of fans within their own city and across the country.
In their back and forth of inviting, then disinviting, then re-inviting the anti-Catholic group the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence," they have riled Christian and Catholic players within the league who are taking a stand against the bigotry and hatred the group represents.
Two of the Dodgers' own players, pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Blake Treinen, have spoken out against the club inviting the 'Sisters' and presenting them with an award for community service.
Treinen asked his friend, worship leader and evangelist Sean Feucht, to share a letter he wrote on social media condemning the Dodgers' decision and stating publicly it is because of his belief that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior:
Kershaw criticized the team's decision to host the group due to the disrespect and mockery of faith that is the foundation of the group's existence.
"I don't agree with making fun of other people's religions," Kershaw says. "It has nothing to do with anything other than that. I just don't think that, no matter what religion you are, you should make fun of somebody else's religion. So that's something that I definitely don't agree with.
"This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community or Pride or anything like that," Kershaw adds. "This is simply a group that was making fun of a religion, that I don't agree with."
In response to the severe backlash, Kershaw and the Dodgers announced a "Christian Faith Day" later in the season.
"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 Los Angeles Times on Monday. "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 [by the Dodgers]."
The most vocal opponent to the Dodgers decision has been devout Catholic and pitcher for the Washington Nationals, Trevor Williams:
Williams released a statement condemning the Dodgers and for violating their own Discrimination Policy which explicitly states, "Any conduct or attire at the ballpark that is deemed to be indecent or prejudice against any particular group (or religion) is not tolerated.
"It seems that the Dodgers have made an exception in this case," wrote Williams. "Doubling down that this group—which grossly disrespects and openly mocks many of the traditions and beliefs that Catholics hold most dear—should be celebrated."
These are just a few of the players, fans and organizations who claim to be targeted, ostracized and insulted by the Dodgers' decision to honor the group.
For those of faith who are speaking truth in love, Treinen summed up his position on the matter up perfectly:
"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," (Josh. 24:15).
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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