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.

A Wedding Isn’t Just a Party: Guest Column

Recent debates about whether Christians should go to so-called same-sex “weddings” have revealed a lot, and not just about how normalized homosexuality has become. Some of those who argued Christians should attend asked, “Why turn down an invitation to a wedding when we’re fine eating with, working with, or being friends with people who call themselves gay?”  

But this assumes that weddings are just another social event, a time for people to express their feelings and celebrate their happiness. In a Christian view, they’re much more than that. They’re a public act inseparably joining two lives and creating a family—a God-ordained covenant with a purpose that goes back to creation and symbolism that reaches into New Creation, whether those getting married realize it or not. Those who go don’t merely attend, they participate as witnesses. 

We have a serious failure of catechesis if Christians don’t understand how marriage ceremonies are fundamentally different than a party. For today’s confusion, Christians need to know what marriage is, not just what it isn’t

Copyright 2024 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from BreakPoint.org with permission.

Survey Shows Support for Same-Sex Marriage Declining

Support for same-sex marriage in the U.S. has fallen for the first time in nearly a decade, according to a new survey. The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) published updates to its American Values Atlas on Tuesday, revealing that public support for same-sex marriage dropped from 69% to 67% from 2022 to 2023.

The last time that PRRI recorded a decline in public support for same-sex marriage was almost 10 years ago, when it fell from 54% in 2014 to 53% in 2015. Among Republicans, support for same-sex marriage dropped from 49% in 2022 to 47% in 2023, which is still 12 points higher than it stood in 2014. There was also a similar drop in support among independent voters, from 73% in 2022 to 71% in 2023. Support for same-sex marriage has risen among Democrats from 65% in 2014 to 82% in 2023.

The PRRI survey further reported that support for same-sex marriage has decreased among religious groups. Support for same-sex marriage is and has been highest among religiously unaffiliated, Buddhist, and Jewish Americans, with a majority of mainline Protestants and Catholics also expressing support. Among American Catholics, support dipped from 75% in 2022 to 73% in 2023, but declined most steeply among Hispanic Catholics: from 75% in 2022 to 68% in 2023. Support for same-sex marriage is lowest among Mormons (47% in 2023), Hispanic Protestants (44% in 2023), Muslims (40% in 2023), white evangelicals (37% in 2023), and Jehovah’s Witnesses (18% in 2023).

Additionally, while a majority of Americans support LGBT non-discrimination policies, overall support for these policies has also declined. PRRI found that 80% of Americans supported non-discrimination policies in 2022, but only 76% did in 2023. Support among Republicans dropped from 66% in 2022 to 59% in 2023, while support among Democrats remained steady. The survey also found that 52% of those who identify as LGBT identify as religiously unaffiliated, which PRRI noted is “nearly twice the rate of the general U.S. population (27%).” About a third (35%) of those who identify as LGBT also identify as Christian, but PRRI noted that those who reject “Christian nationalism” are “nearly unanimous (93%) in their support” for both same-sex marriage and non-discrimination policies.

“The growing partisan divide on these issues show the effect of the continuous use of LGBTQ identity and LGBTQ rights as a wedge issue in our nation’s culture wars,” PRRI CEO Melissa Deckman said in a press release.

In comments to The Washington Stand, Family Research Council Senior Fellow Meg Kilgannon said, “It’s interesting to me that this very sophisticated survey funded by pro-LGBT advocacy organizations managed to have a series of questions related to ‘Christian nationalist’ support for/opposition to LGBT rights or protections.” She added, “That’s classic framing by the Left, casting Christians — or simply people who don’t think men can marry other men — as the odious troublemakers. The longer we live with the effects of sexual liberation, the less people will like it.”

PRRI’s report comes in the wake of courts upholding such measures as parental notification school mandates and bans on gender transition procedures for minors — both of which are labeled by LGBT activists as “oppressive” — as well as Democrats backing off LGBT funding programs and the release of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) files. The year which PRRI’s survey centered on, 2023, also saw widespread backlash against corporations such as Bud Light and Target for their LGBT activism, resulting in billions of dollars of losses for those companies.

Originally published by The Washington Stand