Days after drawing the ire of the faith community for re-inviting a group of “drag queen nuns” to an LGBT Pride game, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced they would host a “Christian faith” day this summer.
“Join us at Dodger Stadium on 7/30 for Christian Faith and Family Day,” the May 26 announcement by the Dodgers said. “Stay after the game to celebrate and be part of a day of worship. Stay tuned for more details.”
Join us at Dodger Stadium on 7/30 for Christian Faith and Family Day. Stay after the game to celebrate and be part of a day of worship. Stay tuned for more details. https://t.co/g9QWEYl5FE— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 26, 2023
Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, a nine-time-All Star, also touted the event. Kershaw is an outspoken Christian.
“Excited to announce the relaunch of Christian Faith and Family Day at Dodger Stadium on July 30,” Kershaw wrote on social media. “More details to come – but we are grateful for the opportunity to talk about Jesus and determined to make it bigger and better than it was before COVID. Hope to see you on July 30th!”
Excited to announce the relaunch of Christian Faith and Family Day at Dodger Stadium on July 30th. More details to come— but we are grateful for the opportunity to talk about Jesus and determined to make it bigger and better than it was before COVID. Hope to see you on July 30th! pic.twitter.com/yNu7HyEgR9— Clayton Kershaw (@ClaytonKersh22) May 26, 2023
The announcement by the Dodgers about Christian Faith and Family Day came after the Dodgers disinvited and then re-invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, “drag queen nuns” who perform for entertainment. The Dodgers even gave the group a Community Hero Award.
The disinviting drew the ire of the LGBT community. The re-inviting sparked criticism from the Catholic community.
“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. “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].”
Kershaw viewed the performance by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as an attack on religion.
“I don’t agree with making fun of other people’s religions,” he said. “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.”
He added, “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. And that was Jesus. So to make Christian Faith Day our response is what we felt like was the best decision.”
The Dodgers last held Christian Faith Night in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, when Kershaw and others gave their personal testimony in a post-game event. Hillsong California delivered a musical performance.
Other clubs also host faith nights. The St. Louis Cardinals are hosting their 31st Annual “Christian Day at the Ballpark” on June 10. He Gets Us is the sponsor.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Katelyn Mulcahy/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.