Harrison Butker Boots This One Out of the Stadium

Kansas City Chiefs kicker and three-time Super Bowl winner Harrison Butker’s by-now infamous commencement address at Benedictine College in Kansas is igniting a firestorm of protest.

More than 190,000 people signed an online petition calling for his dismissal from the Chiefs. The reaction of CBS News was typical of corporate media, noting that Butker “railed against” any number of liberal pieties including: “Pride Month, working women, President Biden’s leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic, and abortion.” Vox called his address “misogynistic” and “a textbook case of conservative sexism and homophobia.” The NFL took a more judicious approach, stating that Butker “gave a speech in his personal capacity” and that his views didn’t reflect those of the organization.

Butker is a devout Catholic who attends the traditional Latin Mass. Here is a sampling of the address he delivered to the graduating seniors along with their families and friends at this small Catholic college.

On life, birth, and death: “Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values in media, all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

On working women and motherhood: “Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world … I’m beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

On masculinity and fatherhood: “Part of what plagues our society is this lie that has been told to you that men are not necessary in the home or in our communities. As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction, and chaos set in. This absence of men in the home is what plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation … Be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy.”

For these remarks and others, Butker received a standing ovation from attendees. All across America, devout Catholics who adhere to the teachings of the Church would have applauded as well. In the vibrant Catholic community of Front Royal, Virginia in which I live, this is ho-hum stuff, doctrine and belief as common as coffee in a kitchen.

The reactions of those enraged by Butker’s address reveals more about them than it does about Butker or the content of his speech.

Some of them, particularly the Catholics among them who ought to know better, demonstrate a glaring ignorance of Church doctrine. Everything Butker said about sexuality, marriage, family, and more can be found in the Catechism and in traditional Catholic teaching.

Alongside these illiterates in the faith are those Pavlovian automata for whom Christianity, and particularly Catholicism, is anathema. The doctor pops the knee with the tiny hammer of Christian faith, and the unthinking foot delivers its kick.   

Finally, the indignation and fury sparked by Butker lay bare a phenomenon long apparent in our culture, which is that American secularism has now attained the status of a religious cult. Contrary to the First Amendment, the state has established this brand of secularism as its religion. Those attempting to cancel Butker wholeheartedly buy into the creed of this church—the righteousness of abortion and transgenderism, the superiority of professional women to mothers and homemakers, the emasculation of the male because otherwise he is a toxic oppressor, and the wisdom of the federal government as superior to individual thinking.

This is the howling mob that hunts down schismatics as varied in personality and philosophy as J.K. Rowling, Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson, and now Harrison Butker. This is the mob that goes after Chronicles and other online sites standing outside the boundaries of secular orthodoxy. Question this religion, and you’ll be driven into the wilderness or metaphorically burned at the stake of public opinion as a heretic.

Fortunately, more and more people are resisting this denomination of destruction and hatred. As Harrison Butker reminded those young graduates, “If we are going to be men and women for this time in history, we need to stop pretending that the ‘Church of Nice’ is a winning proposition. We must always speak and act in charity, but never mistake charity for cowardice.”

Oh, and here’s one more bit of news. Following the outcry against Butker, sales of his #7 football jersey skyrocketed around the country.

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