KC Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Encourages Graduates to Live Out Their Faith in Commencement Address

Last weekend Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker received a standing ovation for his commencement address at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas — even though some pundits have oddly criticized his remarks as “controversial.”

Butker, 28, arguably is responsible for the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVIII victory over the San Francisco 49ers in February. He is a devout Catholic, and he and his wife have two children.

During his commencement address, Butker discussed the many challenges that the Class of 2024 had overcome — such as graduating from high school and enrolling in college during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and “missing out on so many milestones the rest of us older people have taken for granted.”

What grabbed some people’s attention, however, was Butker’s willingness to criticize abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, dangerous gender ideologies, and “a growing support for degenerate cultural values in media.”

Butker noted how President Biden often professes his Catholic faith, and yet strangely made the Sign of the Cross during a pro-abortion rally in April.

But Butker also pointedly criticized Catholic bishops who fail to take their calling seriously, and he urged ministers to lead in a Christlike manner.

Critics have seized on Butker saying women “have had the most diabolical lies” told to them, and observing, “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 can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

But Butker also challenged the men in the graduating class to pursue God’s calling on their lives, and he spoke bluntly about the damage that absentee fathers cause.

Most of his address focused on encouraging the graduates to stand strong in living out their faith. “A life without God is not a life at all,” Butker said, “and the cost of salvation is worth more than any career.”

Throughout the speech, Butker was interrupted multiple times by applause from the graduates and their families, and he received a standing ovation at the end.

But pundits have criticized his statements. The radical, pro-LGBT group GLAAD, for example, issued a lengthy press release calling Butker’s remarks “inaccurate, ill-informed, and woefully out of step with Americans.” The Today Show encouraged viewers to watch a rebuttal to Butker’s comments, and the anchors on Good Morning America seemed genuinely puzzled that Butker would receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

The fact is Butker’s speech didn’t appear remotely controversial with his audience. It was very well received, and there are literally millions of Americans who would strongly agree with what he told the graduates. Plenty of people have expressed opinions about what he said, but it seems odd that so many would try to mischaracterize his remarks as “controversial.”

It shouldn’t be shocking when Christians publicly share their convictions. All of this reminds me of something John Stonestreet said in 2022: “Culture is most powerful in what it normalizes, and when lies are normalized, the truth becomes shocking. Thank God for Christian ministers willing to ‘shock’ and speak truth.”

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

The Global Resurgence of Antisemitism: Guest Column

Since October 7, the world has seen a resurgence of antisemitism, open and raw. In America, this has come especially from institutions of higher education though also from secondary schools and at city council meetings in Oakland. In New York, highschoolers brandished signs that read “keep the world clean” with an image of a Star of David in a trash can. 

If anything, the past few weeks should put an end to our decades-old illusion that history won’t repeat itself. Looking back on the horrors of the Holocaust and the historic sickness of antisemitism, we asked questions like, “How could anyone, let alone an entire culture, be overtaken by Jew-hatred?” Many assumed that kind of evil could never happen again. We now know that assumption to be wrong. 

According to University of Massachusetts professor of criminology Arlie Perliger, “The U.S. is currently experiencing one of the most significant waves of antisemitism that it has ever seen.” This wave predates the October 7 massacre that initiated the war between Israel and Hamas. In 2022, “[i]ncidents of harassment rose 29 percent compared to 2021; acts of vandalism surged 51 percent; and physical assaults jumped 26 percent” to an average of 10 reported incidents a day. The week after Hamas terrorists attacked Israeli civilians, antisemitic incidents tripled compared to the same week in 2022.   

Even among historically high immigration numbers in those countries, the immediate plight of Palestinians in the Middle East can hardly explain attacks in Europe, RussiaAfrica, and America. This contemporary crisis is the latest chapter of a hatred that goes back centuries, even millennia. Today, what’s often called the world’s “oldest hatred” is found at both ends of the political spectrum. We certainly should not overlook the power of envy. Setting aside the irrational claims about Jewish wealth over the centuries, a simple glance at Nobel Prize winners displays the cultivating power of Jewish culture. 

While envy might explain some of the insanity, there’s more to it. No other groups have faced so many attempts at eradication by so many: Persians, Romans, Crusaders, Nazis, and Islamists. How did the Jewish people survive when history is filled with tribes, nations, and peoples that endured for a time, only to disappear, some with barely a trace of evidence that they’d ever existed? The Jews were already an ancient people by the time of ancient Rome. Yet they remain, though what was considered at the time to be an eternal empire is now a relic.  

A Christian worldview offers additional resources by which to understand historical developments. Beyond sociological and anthropological realities are unseen ones. Whatever one’s views of the end times, the Jewish people embody the promises of God to redeem His world and destroy the works of the devil. They are a painful reminder to Satan that his spoiling efforts to mar God’s good creation will inevitably fail in the end, and that he will be defeated. The prince of darkness can never win his fight with heaven, but in defiant desperation, he incites people to commit evil and inflict pain, especially on those through whom God works His redemption. 

The Jews are also a tangible reminder that humanity’s story is not ultimately a tragedy. They are a link to the apostles and the prophets, to King David and the deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Even when rejecting the Messiah that fulfills God’s promise to them, they’re a reminder to the world that God wins.  

Especially as we approach Advent, the continued existence of the Jews is a powerful witness of God’s faithfulness to His world and to His promises. These promises, given in Eden to our first parents and reaffirmed in Revelation to the saints, declare that He is making all things new, and that nothing, even the insatiable hatred of hell itself, can stop His restoration of all things. 

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Dr. Timothy Padgett. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to breakpoint.org. 

Copyright 2023 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from BreakPoint.org with permission.

Gov. Sanders Appoints Former Senator Jason Rapert to State Library Board

In this file photo from 2021, Sen. Rapert (left) speaks with Sen. Alan Clark and Family Council President Jerry Cox (right) at the Arkansas Capitol Building.

On Monday Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders appointed former state senator Jason Rapert to a six-year term on the State Library Board.

According to its website, the State Library administers state and federal funds appropriated for libraries and library development, including State Aid To Public Libraries funds and federal Library Services and Technology Act funds.

During his time in the Arkansas House of Representatives and Arkansas Senate, Jason Rapert sponsored several good pieces of legislation — including Act 1213 of 2015 authorizing a privately funded monument of the Ten Commandments on the Arkansas State Capitol Grounds and Act 180 of 2019 that now prohibits abortion in Arkansas except to save the life of the mother.

Jason Rapert is a staunch conservative and a proponent of the biblical worldview. He will be a much-needed addition to the library board in light of recent concerns some people have voiced about inappropriate material in local libraries.