". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘A Bold Witness for Christ’: Harrison Butker Doubles Down on Christian Faith

May 28, 2024

After two weeks of being vilified by leftists and their media mouthpieces following his commencement speech at Benedictine College, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has finally responded to the criticism directed at him, doubling down on boldly voicing Christian truth and standing proudly by his Catholic faith. Speaking at the “Courage Under Fire” gala for Regina Caeli Academy (RCA) on Saturday, the conservative Catholic football star mused, “The theme for tonight’s gala, ‘Courage Under Fire,’ was decided many months ago, but it now feels providential that this would be the theme after what we have all witnessed these past two weeks.”

After pausing to acknowledge the applause, Butker continued, “If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now. Over the past few days, my beliefs — or what people think I believe — have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe. At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate.” Referring to the support he has received from some of his fellow National Football League (NFL) players and coaches, he added, “But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion. In my seven years in the NFL, I’ve become familiar with the positive and the negative comments, but the majority of them revolve around my performance on the field.”

“But as is to be expected, the more I’ve talked about what I value most, which is my Catholic faith, the more polarizing I have become,” Butker stated, referring to the recent commencement speech in which he condemned the world’s wokeness and the LGBT agenda and instead extolled the virtues of the Christian life, especially the roles of motherhood and fatherhood. “It’s a decision I’ve consciously made and one I do not regret at all.”

“If we have truth in charity, we should trust in the Lord’s providence and let the Holy Ghost do the rest of the work,” Butker continued. “Our love for Jesus — and thus, our desire to speak out — should never be outweighed by the longing of our fallen nature to be loved by the world. Glorifying God and not ourselves should always remain our motivation, despite any pushback or even support.” He acknowledged that while he relies on those closest to him for support, “I can never forget that it is not people but Jesus Christ who I am trying to please.”

“I’m humbled by the support I have received from all walks of life, but I can’t help but tremble at the thought of the courage many saints have shown in their lives. Would I be so bold if the repercussion were what Daniel faced in being fed to lions? In reality, any courage I’ve shown will lead to some small suffering and will lead to some people maybe never liking me — but that could be God’s will. If I constantly remind myself of the hardships the saints went through, especially the martyrs and their persecution, it makes it all seem not so bad. For if Heaven is our goal, we should embrace our cross, however large or small it may be, and live our life with joy to be a bold witness for Christ.

“My hope is that tonight’s theme and RCA’s mission will embolden others, that many more will be unapologetic of their Catholic faith and never be afraid to speak out for truth, even when it goes against the loudest voices. In the end, being courageous starts with the small things, being disliked and mischaracterized by some is nothing compared to finding yourself in a lion’s den.”

Butker serves on the board of directors for RCA, a U.S.-based classical Catholic homeschool-hybrid education program. The organization is affiliated with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP), a Catholic priestly fraternity which celebrates the Tridentine Mass — the form of the Mass commonly celebrated until the 1960s. After delivering his commencement address at Benedictine College, Butker came under fire from leftist talk show personalities for attending the Tridentine Mass, which was smeared as “cultish” and “extremist.”

Butker was also heavily criticized for praising his wife Isabelle and her role as a “homemaker.” In a social media rant, self-styled comedienne Chelsea Handler smeared the football star as a “Bible thumper” who “thumped himself a little too hard with his Bible,” and further implied that Butker’s wife was being held hostage against her will, saying, “Isabelle, please blink twice if you need us to call for help.” Former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Stefanie Hillhouse also published a profanity- and vulgarity-laden social media tirade, calling Butker misogynistic and homophobic, telling him to seek therapy, and, referring to public relations training sessions, adding, “You now represent a billion-dollar organization — you are no longer ‘just Harrison Butker,’ you are now Harrison Butker who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs and anything you say or do that doesn’t align with that brand … will be grounds for termination.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.