Politics & Media
May 22, 2024, 06:24AM

Reaction to Football Kicker's Speech Exposes Ignorance And Hypocrisy

The media should study up on Catholicism.

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Butker, was invited to conservative Catholic Benedictine College recently to talk about conservative Catholicism in his commencement speech, and caused a media meltdown. The speech was described as "polarizing." What a shock.

Butker managed, in just 20 minutes, to trash just about every cornerstone of modern progressivism. The surprise was in how vociferous and widespread the attacks were on words spoken at a tiny Midwestern school. The surprise within a surprise was how little the media understood about the Catholic church.

Brainless reactions to the latest controversy is the stock-in-trade of ABC's The View, the TV show on which one panel member, Sunny Hostin, recently blamed earthquakes on climate change. The show didn't disappoint this time, trotting out an agitated Sara Haines to react to a reasonable defense of Butker by Whoopi Goldberg, of all people, by explaining that Butker belongs to a Catholic church that celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), which she said is "cult-like and extremist like some religions in the Middle East." Haines is clearly referring to Islam, but why is she afraid to say the name of that "extremist" religion even when she's overtly condemning a variety of Catholicism as "extremist and cult-like?" Progressives tread lightly when it comes to that religion, while Christianity is fair game. It's okay to call Catholics extremists if they prefer the mass in its traditional language.

Presumably, Butker's anti-abortion comments contributed to Haines' and the rest of the media's agitation, but the Catholic church officially condemns abortion, which isn’t news. They may have been fooled by what Joe Biden—a "practicing Catholic"—has to say on the issue into thinking that his church is more liberal on abortion than it is. Although many Catholics—especially those who don't attend mass—reject the Vatican's strict anti-abortion position, Biden goes beyond mere opposition in actively using his power to work against his church's official doctrine. There's a movement among Catholic bishops to deny him communion.

With all of Harrison Butker's slams against abortion, gays, trans people, and the various other manifestations of "degenerate cultural values,” what really set off the liberals were his remarks addressed to the female grads, who he said had had "the most diabolical lies" told to them. "Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world," he told them, "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."

This sent prominent sports journalist, Rich Eisen, over the edge. "To say that people who are about to receive their degrees were being lied to diabolically," he said, "because they are being told that some title that awaits them through their hard work isn't as rewarding as sitting at home and being a mother or a homemaker. It's just an outrage." Is it also an outrage to say that mothers who forgo a career to raise their kids are "sitting at home?" Eisen droned on about what a world-class multi-tasker his wife has been in pursuing her career while simultaneously helping to raise their children, but his self-centered smugness was what really came through. He said that the idea that their daughter could've been sitting in the Benedictine College audience and hearing "such a thing" is "totally outrageous." Apparently, the podcaster got so bewildered that he thought his daughter might be attending a religious college as conservative as Benedictine some day, because she's not going to hear such a message at any other school.

MSNBC posted a video on YouTube—"Butker speech spotlights religious war on women's rights, even Taylor Swift's"—but what MSNBC and most of the mainstream media miss is they're part of a secular, progressive war to denigrate women who exercise their "rights" to stay home and raise their children. As for the Taylor Swift reference, are we really supposed to believe that Catholics are waging a war on the singer's "right" to choose that career over that of a housewife?

MSNBC host Alex Wagner babbles on in the video that the childless Swift and her boyfriend, Butker's teammate Travis Kelce, are "literally a testament to the opposite of everything Harrison Butker was talking about," as if the rarefied "double income, no kids" lifestyle of this celebrity couple is connected to the reality of any of these recent Benedictine grads, or the reality of life in general.

Then Wagner gets even sillier, claiming that Kelce, because of his association with Swift, "gets to enjoy a super-fancy European vacation." "Journalist" Wagner has no idea who paid for that vacation, plus in 2020 Kelce signed a four-year, $57 million extension to keep him in K.C., and he makes millions more in endorsements. The guy can vacation in high style anywhere in the world. "Doesn't seem like a bad gig," Wagner exclaimed, as if Kelce's a wife-dependent househusband. "Someone tell Harrison Butker, quick!" Tell him what? That Benedictine women should become billionaire pop stars so they can take their celebrity boyfriends on fancy boat rides on Lake Como instead of having kids?

The Harrison Butker controversy highlights a number of  the media's shortcomings, including their lack of understanding of the Catholic Church. The ignorance surrounding the reaction to the speech is illustrated by social media personality Jessica Burbank in her appearance on a segment of "Rising" on Hill TV. Burbank, whose Instagram 
, exclusively, glamorous-looking close-up photos of just herself, stated that "no one is trying to end his football career." Fact check: a petition by Change.org calling for the player's dismissal went online shortly after the speech.

Addressing Butker's comments on motherhood as a housewife being women's most fulfilling role, Burbank's co-host quoted Butker as telling the Benedictine female grads, "Most of you want to get married." Burbank responded, "And it might not be most of them." What sort of hive does she live in to believe that most of the women graduating from one of the most conservative religious colleges in the US might not want to get married?

When the topic moved to Butker's talking about gay "sin," Burbank said, "The Pope is cool with gays." Fact check: The Pope said, "We are called to love all people, even if they sin," but the Pope and the Catholic Church view gay sex (but not gay attraction) as a sin.

Burbank then said, "Pope Francis formally approved letting Catholic priests bless gay couples," suggesting once again that he's "cool with gays." In fact, such blessings have a narrow definition, and the church states that they can’t be construed as a recognition of the legitimacy of gay relationships. 


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