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May 17, 2024

Harrison Butker Splits the Uprights

The Kansas City Chiefs’ devout Catholic kicker gave a stirring commencement speech, and the woke Left went ballistic.

I’m not a Kansas City Chiefs fan. But I just became a Harrison Butker fan.

Butker, the star placekicker for the repeat Super Bowl champion Chiefs, was asked to give the commencement speech at tiny Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas. And give it he did.

“I’m on this stage today,” he said, “and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation. 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 [pauses, gathers himself, continues with voice cracking] would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker [stirring ovation].”

That was the most moving moment of his speech, but it wasn’t the most muscular. That was reserved for Joe Biden. “Our own nation,” he said, “is led by a man who publicly and proudly proclaims his Catholic faith, but at the same time is delusional enough to make the Sign of the Cross during a pro-abortion rally. He has been so vocal in his support for the murder of innocent babies that I’m sure to many people it appears that you can be both Catholic and pro-choice.”

Butker’s message was perfectly suited to his audience, but it was too much for the woke Left, whose adherents headed to Change.org to create a petition calling for the Chiefs to release their kicker “for discriminatory remarks.” As of 6:00 ET this morning, the petition had amassed more than 170,000 signatures, or one signature for every 2,000 Americans.

More disturbing than a meaningless petition, though, were the actions of the city where he makes his home. As Fox News reports, “The city of Kansas City, Missouri, has apologized after posting a message on social media revealing the residence of Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker after the Super Bowl champion came under attack following his faith-based commencement speech at Benedictine College over the weekend.”

That’s right. Some dirtbag civil servants doxed not only Butker but his wife Isabelle and their two young children. “We apologies [sic] for our previous tweet. It was shared in error,” the follow-up post read. Uh-huh. Missouri Attorney General Andew Bailey wasn’t amused, and he wasn’t buying the “error” explanation, either. In response, he said that his office is “demanding accountability,” adding, “I will enforce the Missouri Human Rights Act to ensure Missourians are not targeted for their free exercise of religion.” Good for him.

The speech was refreshingly free of the usual progressive bromides, and The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren was indignant. Butker, she wrote, “branched out from football over the weekend, taking aim at ‘diabolical lies told to women’ and ‘dangerous gender ideologies’ as well as gay pride and President Biden’s stance on abortion.”

The speech has been cut, pasted, and excerpted context-free all over the media, but here’s the whole thing. It’s well worth a listen.

It’s easy to see why the perennially aggrieved might be outraged. But the truth sometimes hurts. “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg, though, understood. “I like when people say what they need to say,” she said. “He’s at a Catholic college. He’s a staunch Catholic. These are his beliefs, and he’s welcome to them.”

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: Good for you, Whoopi.

But bad for you, Roger Goodell. Goodell, the weak-kneed, kowtowing, money-grubbing NFL commissioner, just couldn’t stare down the thin-skinned Rainbow Mafia, who were no doubt incensed by Butker’s failure to genuflect when he mentioned “Pride” Month in his speech. Instead, Goodell had the appropriate underling fire off a sternly worded statement.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” said Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

Inclusion, eh? They must mean inclusion except for devout Catholics and others with a reverence for traditional motherhood.

Christian actor Kevin Sorbo’s response was a throat-punch: “Just so we’re clear: NFL players can beat their wives or girlfriends, drive drunk, and do hard drugs, but we draw the line at them saying ‘Christ is king.’ Got it.”

Much to Goodell’s chagrin, Harrison Butker jerseys — both men’s and women’s sizes — are now outselling those of his infinitely more famous teammate, all-pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Benedictine is a Catholic liberal arts college, and Butker had strong advice for its young men as well as its women:

To the gentlemen here today, 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 around the nation. … Be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy. You might have a talent that you don’t necessarily enjoy, but if it glorifies God, maybe you should lean into that over something that you might think suits you better.

Butker also spoke at length, and eloquently so, about the Traditional Latin Mass, thereby putting the lie to those who’ve tried to characterize his speech as some sort of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, anti-woke screed. It was instead a thoughtful and elegant address, and it was enthusiastically received.

Fox News’s Laura Ingraham summed things up this way: “The powers that be here mean to make an example out of people like Harrison Butker and [women’s sports champion] Riley Gaines. Dare to challenge their twisted worldview, where men can be women and mothers and fathers are fungible, and they will try to denigrate you, isolate you, cancel you, and ultimately silence you completely. Be not afraid.”

In closing, Butker stressed that some things are more important than money and more important than any particular job. “Cost of living,” he said, “must not be the only arbiter of your choices, for a life without God is not a life at all, and the cost of salvation is worth more than any career.”

Then this: “Make no mistake: You are entering into mission territory in a post-God world, but you were made for this. And with God by your side and a constant striving for virtue within your vocation, you, too, can be a saint. Christ is King. To the heights.”

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