Kansas City Chiefs' kicker Harrison Butker takes on the warriors of woke

I regret to announce that the tolerance brigade is at it again.

Earlier this month, a Catholic man gave a Catholic speech to Catholic students at a Catholic college, prompting woke secularists to spend the next week berating him to “stay in his lane”.

I’m not sure how much narrower a lane could be apportioned to Harrison Butker.

Earlier this year, Harrison Butker helped his team, the Kansas City Chiefs, to a second Super Bowl win in as many years. As kicker, Butker — or ‘Butt Kicker’, as he is fondly known — played a crucial role in the most recent victory, scoring 13 points, three of which were earned via the longest field goal ever kicked in Super Bowl history.

There is nothing about being an NFL player, however, that prevents players from having other passions in life. And Butker has made it quite clear over the years that his faith and his family rank as higher priorities for him than football.

It was the themes of faith and family that landed Butker in hot water for the commencement address he gave at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts college an hour out of Kansas City.

Backlash

In the days since, the NFL has distanced itself from Butker — an ironic move from a league that goes silent any time the approximately 50 NFL players per year entangle themselves in drugs, assault charges and domestic violence.

Butker has faced a barrage of misrepresentation in the media, been the subject of petitions aimed at having his contract with the Chiefs terminated, and even been doxxed by the official Twitter account of Kansas City.

What did he say that so upset the powers that be?

Butker’s speech began with a critique of leadership failures seen in the culture, particularly during the Covid era, and he wasted no time addressing some of the great shibboleths of modern America.

“Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues,” he said. “Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

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He took particular aim at President Joe Biden.

“Our own nation 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.”

Courage

Butker then landed his point: “Being Catholic alone doesn’t cut it.”

He went on to provide constructive advice for the young people in his audience whose leadership might help shape a better America.

“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,” Butker explained. “We must always speak and act in charity, but never mistake charity for cowardice.”

To the men, Butker had some hard words.

“As men, we set the tone of the culture,” he urged. “And when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction and chaos… plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation.”

“Be unapologetic in your masculinity,” was Butker’s advice. “Fight against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy.”

Wives and mothers

It was his words to the young ladies, however, that earned special scorn from regime voices.

While acknowledging that many of the women present would likely lead very successful careers, he ventured to guess “that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

Butker made it clear that he was not speculating, but speaking from direct experience.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

Choking back tears, he added,

“I’m on this stage today 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 would convert to the faith, become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

There it is — Butker’s spiciest takes. He expressed what basically everyone in past generations believed, even if they are written off as right-wing extremism today.

The legacy press accused Harrison Butker of leaning into the “culture war” — the same culture war, by the way, that the woke left wages every day of the week.

Like most conservatives these days, what Butker is really in trouble for is noticing. Noticing the failures of the West’s appointed leaders. Noticing the hypocrisy of the man in the White House. Noticing the cultural chaos surrounding us. More importantly, noticing the solution to our maladies: a return to God’s design for men, women, gender, family and marriage.

The ideas Butker shared might be on the nose to the hoity-toity, but the masses know which way is up. By last Friday, his number 7 jersey became the most popular Chiefs shirt on the NFL site, even outranking those of his superstar teammates, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift’s other half.

“The world around us says that we should keep our beliefs to ourselves whenever they go against the tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Butker observed during his speech — qualifying that the Christian faith has “always been countercultural”.

Ne’er a truer word spoken.

Inspiring stuff.

Read Harrison Butker’s full speech here.


Do you agree with Harrison Butker? Weigh in below.


Kurt Mahlburg is a husband, father, freelance writer, and a familiar Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He is the Senior Editor at Australia’s largest Christian news site The Daily Declaration and a Contributing Editor at Mercator. His writings can also be found at Intellectual Takeout, The American Spectator and the Spectator Australia. He has authored or co-authored five books, including his breakout title Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West?

Image credit: Benedictine College


 

Showing 23 reactions

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  • Anon Emouse
    Fred, I wish I could claim it was a clever play on Kurt titling his piece about “warriors of woke” instead of tilting, but it was a typo.

    Are you familiar with the “Shut up and dribble” comment? Its origin is from Laura Ingraham saying that Lebron James should “Shut up and dribble” rather than comment on politics. She also recently commended Butker for his speech.

    Generally speaking, the wokeists (that’s what I call people like Kurt who are obsessed with all things woke) will support and encourage speech as long as it supports their position.
  • Fred Johnson
    commented 2024-05-29 05:21:33 +1000
    To Anon Emouse. First of all what a clever nom de plume, wish I had thought of that one. And I love your generalizations too! Now let me pause while I clean up some dribble…
    Oh and I believe Kurt may be tilting at windmills, not titling them or perhaps even entitling them.
  • Anon Emouse
    Love that the “Shut up and dribble” crowd is rushing to defend Mister Butker.
    Also love that the people defending Mister Butker demonized Colin Kaepernick for speaking up.

    Kurt meanwhile is titling at woke windmills
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-26 10:35:56 +1000
    ASnd, Mrs Cracker, you haven’t said how any of this applies to Hamas.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-26 10:34:31 +1000
    Well let’s make a comparison. Mr Butker and Taylor Swift. He used the bully pulpit to insult every woman in his audience. She mentions voting and the voter registration sites crashed. Now why is that?
  • Fred Johnson
    commented 2024-05-25 01:24:12 +1000
    Thanks MrsCracker! Lots of noise and tangentiality on this page but I loved the way Butker laid things out: super clear and family, God-focused. Get those two right and everything else can fall into place. Those who dissent can have their faces turn purple with demonic rage but I honestly feel the tide is turning. Finally.
  • mrscracker
    Yes, Mr. Johnson I agree.
    You know when when you’re flying over an important target because you take more flack. The family & faith are the last two things standing in the way of secularism.
  • Fred Johnson
    commented 2024-05-24 23:53:18 +1000
    Pope Francis has said many times, “Go make a mess”. Well, Harrison Butker has certainly made one, but what a delightful mess it is!
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-24 23:48:44 +1000
    Mrs Cracker. How did you manner to insert Hamas into the conversation? So everyone who has an objection to Mr Butker’s address want to slaughter Israelis? I suppose that would have to include the nuns. Have you ever just considered the possibility that whether or not you agree with Mr Butker, his speech was in poor taste?
  • mrscracker
    Copying & pasting from someone who says it better than I can:
    “As I have pointed out, it is now absolute taboo to even suggest to a young woman that marriage and children will matter more to her than whatever career she pursues, and that this is good and healthy and normal. If you dare to present these ideas in public, you better duck.

    Especially if you are on a college campus, home of the real extremists in America: feminists and Hamas appreciators. This is often the same person! It never ceases to delight me that the same young, braindead feminists who positively swoon at the idea of Hamas genociding every Israeli are also stanning a patriarchal culture that gives women no rights, where marital rape is rampant, domestic abuse common, and where the man rules the household as the supreme leader. Truly, the jokes write themselves.

    Saying that motherhood gives you more clout than your career is not the same thing as saying women should not work or pursue professional goals. Obviously. Duh, even. To suggest that is gaslighting of the gassiest order. Girl, you can have a marriage, children, and a career. After all, look at me! What am I, chopped liver? Yes, I stayed home with my babies because I wanted to but also because I had to. No force on Earth could have kept me from them. Yes, I worked freelance. Yes, I went back to the office when they were big enough. Yes, I finally quit 9-5 life when I had baby number 5. Yes, it was a major financial sacrifice. Yes, I kept working, for much less money, but the trade off was always worth it.

    Saying that a woman’s most valuable contribution to the world is raising her own young children is therefore not a political statement; it is a biological fact.

    Reminding young college graduates that motherhood is a magnificent choice and should not be denigrated as inferior to other more “prestigious” choices, should not be offensive.

    Defending motherhood as the job that will end up mattering much more than any other job you ever have is not “trad.” It’s a universal truth. Human infants do best when in close physical proximity to their mothers for as much of their day as possible. This is by design. It’s natural. It’s how humanity has operated since the first breeding pair emerged. What we have lost is the ability to speak this basic truth about women and motherhood.

    And the biggest losers have been women and young children. "
    From: Peachy Keenan
    Trads on Offense
  • Michael Cook
    followed this page 2024-05-24 21:49:24 +1000
  • Steven Meyer
    commented 2024-05-24 12:42:03 +1000
    David Page,

    Unlike the “experts” (Like Louis T. March) I don’t claim to have all the answers. However, I do have some data so let me lay it out.

    Let’s compare 1950 – when the baby boom was in full swing – to 2024.

    I’m restricting myself to some aspects of what life was like for Whites.

    Economic growth:

    1950:
    Benefits of economic growth are widely shared. Almost everyone is getting better off.

    2024:
    Most of the benefits of economic growth accrue to the top 10% and most of that to the top 1%
    Minor ups and downs but wages basically stagnant for 40 years. Some would argue they’ve fallen.

    Housing:

    1950
    Mostly affordable on one salary. Usually spacious enough to accommodate children

    2024
    Barely affordable on two salaries – at least in areas where the jobs are. Quite often not even then.

    Financial Security:

    1950
    Good at least for people with white collar jobs.
    Blue collar jobs in large corporations reasonably secure punctuated by occasional “furloughs”
    If you’re employed, and most people are, you’re almost certainly earning a liveable wage.

    2024:
    Few people can be confident they’ll still have their incomes a year from now.
    Jack Walsh’s “rank and yank” system the norm.

    Trade Unions

    1950
    Many jobs covered by strong trade unions who can advocate for your interests.
    Trade Union corruption a big problem. (Where is Jimmy Hoffa?)

    2024
    You’re on your own. You have zero power against a corporation

    Industry Concentration

    1950
    Some concentration but still widespread competition

    2024
    Oligopoly almost everywhere. Oligopolies can restrict competition, squeeze suppliers, depress wages and rip-off consumers

    Education

    1950
    A high school diploma from a public school usually enough to get you at least an entry-level job at a liveable wage. College debt not an issue

    2024
    Realistically you need a college degree to get something better than a dead end job. Most degrees of zero educational value. College has become a racket. It’s about credentialling rather than education. And it costs a ton of money.

    And if you don’t graduate you still have the debt.

    Healthcare:

    1950
    Accessible but, by today’s standards, not very good
    Most physicians self-employed or working in doctor-owned practices.

    2024
    Superb by 1950 standards but often unaffordable.
    nobody really understands the Byzantine beast that is the US healthcare system or the extent to which pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceutical benefit managers, corporatised medicine are ripping off patients and taxpayers.

    One company, United Health, employs 10% of all doctors.

    Women have careers

    1950
    Very few women

    2024
    It’s not even a matter of careers. Most women have to work just to help with the mortgage.

    Government

    1950
    An expectation that government will be responsive to the needs of the populace and that includes restraining large corporations. Legislators are expected to govern

    2024
    Fantasy of “small government” which really means corporates have free reign.
    Politics becomes 100% show biz.

    Law

    1950
    Expectation that everyone is equal before the law

    2024
    Corporate CEOs and corporations are effectively above the law.

    The end

    Now I’m not saying these changes are the sole cause of plummeting fertility.

    But does anyone believe they play no role?

    Does anyone believe that you can reverse plummeting fertility without tackling the issues raised by these changes?.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-24 09:30:12 +1000
    Mrs Cracker, Mr Butker’s mother is a medical physicist. Does his disapproval extend to her? My personal physician is a woman. I have complete coverage from the VA because of my military disability. But I continue to pay for Medicare and a private supplement so I can continue to take my medical problems to her.

    Some women are unsuited to staying home. My wife was such a woman. We tried it with our first born and it didn’t work. She had a nervous breakdown. Luckily I had started a business, with some success. We were able to work out a compromise where one of us was always home. We tried child care for a very short time, but that is hell on a child. I have to point out here that I have led a charmed life. Whenever I throw the bones in the air they land to my advantage. Mr Thordarson and I are friends. I’m sure he would back me up on that. Not many people have my luck. They live hand to mouth and do what they have to do to get by. We could tweak our economy and our society so that having one parent at home is not a hardship. I know such attempts in the past have been an abject failure, resulting in the destruction of the family unit. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We could learn from these grave errors. We are the richest country on earth. We could make it easier for families to have a stay at home parent. It really is the best option. And, by the way, it doesn’t always have to be the woman who stays at home. I would have been quite happy to fill that role. I was born to raise children. And I don’t consider that to be at all unmanly.

    And Paul, if you are reading this, it is my turn to buy dinner.
  • mrscracker
    “In his speech, the young man said that the greatest of all titles for a woman is that of a wife and mother, and as he did so he praised his wife, and came to the point of tears. For saying what was not controversial when I was young, but what is abominated now, he has been the target of abuse and hatred.

    The Sisters of Saint Scholastica, whose forebears founded Benedictine College, sneered at the “limited” vision of homemaking that Butker admired, preferring an attitudinal homemaking which, it appears, obviates the need to have a home and to make something of it. Spiritual diapers don’t get your hands dirty.

    Of course, Butker suggested only what Chesterton suggested long ago, to the effect that modern women rose up and said they would no longer be dictated to, and promptly became stenographers. How can it be “limiting,” Chesterton said, to bring the universe to a child you love, but a spree of liberty to do one or two things hour after hour for bosses and strangers?"
    From:
    A Much-Needed Kick in Kansas
    Anthony Esolen
  • Steven Meyer
    commented 2024-05-23 13:58:28 +1000
    The problem with articles of this nature is that, in the words of Wolfgang Pauli, it’s “not even wrong.”

    It’s just another meaningless shot in the endless culture wars, not designed to hit the enemy so much as to energise the outrage of its own side.

    Don’t you guys ever get tired of this game?

    Don’t you ever want to get to reality, to try and discover what’s really driving low fertility or the abandonment of your religion?

    Can you not see that the world may just not be the way your ideology tells you it should be, that interpreting events through your ideological lens can lead you astray?
  • Steven Meyer
    commented 2024-05-23 13:38:25 +1000
    I think this guy has some interesting things to say:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLmAy9pqtZo
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-05-23 13:21:14 +1000
    I don’t buy that, Mr Thordarson. Housing prices increased because construction of new houses hasn’t kept up with population growth. This, despite churches being able to house every homeless person in the US.

    The far right would imprison childfree individuals if they could. They view population growth as a worthy goal in and of itself. And yet they’re not willing to make life easier for parents, especially BIPOC parents.
  • Paul Thordarson
    commented 2024-05-23 11:33:13 +1000
    Couple of notes: First, it is the left, most especially Planned Parenthood who brought us the “DINK” culture. (Dual Income No Kids). The DINKs have been responsible for rendering housing all but unaffordable for a single income family as they could always out bid the single income folks (the housing price trends follow birth control and abortion trends pretty well). And the men did not get a pass. Beyond these items, I totally agree with the “Would women prefer to stay home?” section and all of the second paragraph in David’s comment..

    The “stay home and have a kid every 9 months” comment is beyond ridiculous. He never said any such thing. Read Karol Wojtyla’s “Love and Responsibility” if you want a real Catholic understanding of marriage and responsible parenthood, most especially the father’s. Of course if you’re more interested in straw men and stereotypes, you can watch “The View”. A good echo chamber for the “every 9 months” stereotype and just as out of touch with reality as well..
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-23 07:32:23 +1000
    And it is the “conservatives” who have created an economy where two incomes, for far too many families, has become a necessity. Would women prefer to stay home? I think that depends on the home, don’t you? And why are these remarks always directed at women? Why do men get a pass.

    To all you men out there, lift your game. Study and get a better job. Spend less time in the boozer. Wash more often. Be less abusive. Stop ogling other women. Come on. The ball is in your court.
  • mrscracker
    Mr. Bunyan, perhaps you listened to someone paraphrasing his speech? I’ve seen plenty of that online & in the media. It’s better to listen to the speech in its entirety & we should remember the particular setting & the audience he was addressing.
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-05-23 06:52:58 +1000
    mrscracker, he insulted all women who go to college by telling them they should have spent those years getting pregnant every nine months instead.

    He doesn’t deserve respect for that, let alone a standing ovation.

    He’s lucky enough to earn an income sufficient to support his family and allow his wife to be a full-time mom. Almost no one is that fortunate.
  • mrscracker
    I keep hearing the comments he made about his wife criticized but little mention of what he said about men & their equally important vocation as fathers.
    Both women & men have been told “diabolical” lies & we see the effects today as Western culture unravels.
    It’s a shame that focusing on basic Catholic teaching at a commencement speech at a Catholic school would create so much fuss in the secular world. But there you go.
  • Kurt Mahlburg
    published this page in The Latest 2024-05-22 20:22:42 +1000