Originally published May 22, 2023 2:00 pm PDT
Update: On Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers apologized to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and re-invited them to the upcoming LGBTQ+ Pride Night, set to take place Friday, June 16 at Dodger Stadium.
In a bold move that has sparked controversy, Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken has extended an invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to attend the upcoming Angels Pride Night.
This comes after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to rescind their invitation to the same group, leading to a public fallout with both the Los Angeles LGBT Center and LA Pride, who decided to withdraw from the Dodgers Pride Night set for June 16.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an organization with strong ties to the LGBTQ+ community, were not just set to attend the event but were also due to receive awards.
However, their invitation was revoked following protests from some Catholic groups that accused them of ridiculing their faith.
The group often dresses in drag as nuns and are staunch supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, often engaging in fundraising.
The Sisters claim that their intent is not to mock religion but to “spread joy and end hate,” according to ABC 7.
However, some see the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s parody of sacred religious rituals as offensive.
Their “Our Bother” prayer and their “Condom Savior Communion,” for example, make fun of the Catholic Mass while distributing something of which the Church strongly disapproves, according to a 2019 report from The Observer.
They also sexualize religious figures with their annual “Hunky Jesus” and “Foxy Mary” contests.
The report emphasized how one slogan at the bottom of the Sisters’ webpage reads, “Go forth and sin some more,” the opposite of John 8:11, in which Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery to “go, and sin no more” (KJV).
Reacting to the new dispute, Anaheim Mayor Aitken took to Twitter to voice her disapproval of the Dodgers’ decision and to extend an invitation to the Sisters.
“I’m inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to join me for @Angels Pride Night at Anaheim Stadium on June 7. Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision,” she tweeted.
Anaheim residents critical of the mayor’s invitation are asking locals to voice their opposition.
One of those locals, Phil Hotsenpiller, is the pastor of Influence Church in Anaheim Hills as well as president and founder of American Faith.
Hotsenpiller reached out to Chairman of Angels Baseball Dennis Kuhl, expressing his strong opposition to the invitation extended by Mayor Aitken for Pride Night at Angel Stadium.
The influential pastor, who leads a congregation of over 5000 members, urged Kuhl to reconsider not only the invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence but also the event itself.
He pointed to the recent actions taken by the LA Dodgers in uninviting the pro-LGBTQ group from their stadium.
“I oppose the invitation extended by Mayor Ashley Aitken to Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for Pride Night at Angel Stadium, as does our congregation,” declared Hotsenpiller, emphasizing the unified stance of Influence Church.
His words reflected a deep-seated concern within the religious community regarding the hosting of events celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Drawing inspiration from the LA Dodgers, who made the decision to retract their invitation to Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Hotsenpiller implored Kuhl to follow suit.
“I ask you to do the good and moral thing and follow the example of the LA Dodgers, who uninvited the group to their stadium, but also to take a further step by canceling so-called ‘Pride Night’ altogether,” he appealed.
Hotsenpiller further affirmed his commitment to the cause, vowing to mobilize his congregation to boycott Angels games as a means to protest what he deems an “immoral action” taking place in their city.
“I promise you that this Sunday, I will inform our congregation and mobilize them to boycott Angels games and do everything they can to stop this immoral action in our city,” he stated resolutely.
The pastor went on to reference the potential consequences of engaging in political activism, using the recent experiences of Budweiser as a cautionary tale.
“Budweiser thought it was a wise decision on their part to become politically active. Now their stock is down and their product brand has been affected because they got involved in things they should not have,” expressed Hotsenpiller.
He conveyed his concern for the Angels, hoping to prevent the organization from facing a similar fate.
Hotsenpiller’s powerful message echoes the sentiments of many who hold strong religious beliefs in the local Anaheim community.
The Angels organization has yet to issue a formal response to Hotsenpiller’s appeal.
The California pastor is urging other locals to voice their concerns to Anaheim’s city council by visiting anaheim.net.