Harrison Butker, Wearing a Scapular Isn’t Enough

News: Commentary
 •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 24, 2023   

Be the Catholic Colin Kaepernick

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Last week, traditional Catholics all but canonized Harrison Butker for wearing a brown scapular during the Super Bowl. Granted, he did nail the game-winning field goal with it on, which was pretty cool. But the Catholic kicker has been curiously silent over the years as the NFL has transitioned into a thoroughly anti-Christian organization that champions sexual depravity and socially divisive Marxist propaganda. He's been mute about the league's full-throttle support for sodomy, genital mutilation and Black Lives Matter. So the effusive praise that trad Catholics are lavishing on Butker is not fully deserved, for he's failed to confront the rainbow-colored, race-baiting elephant in the room. 

Image

Harrison Butker wearing a scapular

during Super Bowl LVII

Providentially, however, the two-time Super Bowl champ now finds himself in the perfect position to lead an authentically Christian crusade for the whole world to see; a crusade for his own integrity, for the other self-identified Christian men in the NFL, for the millions of youngsters who look up to them, and for the Holy Faith. Back in 2019, Butker signed a five-year, $20 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, and, since then, he's not only shown himself to be one of the best individual kickers in the NFL, he's also played a key role in his team's going to the Super Bowl three times in the past four years. On top of this, he's been named a captain multiple times by his teammates. So going into his seventh year, Butker's proven himself to be an indispensable player on the best team in the NFL. And most importantly, his peers look up to him as a leader.

However, Butker's not just perceived as a leader in the locker room, he's seen as a role model in the Catholic world as well. Just before his NFL career began, Butker had a reversion back to his Catholic faith. Now, he believes that God wants him on the gridiron to use his stardom for a greater good. Butker once told a crowd of Catholic students at Benedictine College, "We need to have leaders in our world that push the Faith, that push the virtues, that push Jesus Christ." This all sounds nice, but actually hazarding to be an active participant in the culture wars is a whole other matter. Regardless, Christ never bit His tongue when evil was in His midst, and neither should Butker, or any self-professed Christian leader for that matter.

In 2021, the NFL infamously announced that "football is gay" (whatever that means). Even worse, its promotion of such evil was, and still is, aimed at "LGBTQ young people between the ages of 13–24 years old." This campaign made the NFL's 2020 Black Lives Matter pandering look tame.

How does Butker not protest against his own team spitting in the face of God?

How does Butker, as a Catholic man, not protest — in some way — against his own team's spitting in the face of God? How does he not say anything about the wider corporation he works for, the NFL, doing the same?

Of course, one is sure to become an outcast if he rebukes his own team and the wider institution for which he works, but there's always a hill to die on; and if speaking out against corrupting the youth is not that hill, then I simply don't know what is. Maybe reading Luke 17:2 will give some of these guys the boost of testosterone they need. 

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Men's Kansas City pride T-shirt

Butker's Chiefs have, for several years, goose-stepped along to the cadence of the woke Left. Even today, the Super Bowl champs have an entire page dedicated to pride clothing on their website. And I've got to admit, there are some sweet deals: You can get a "Pride Mr. & Mr." sign or a "Pride Mrs. & Mrs." sign for only $26.99! Wow — football is flamboyant after all.

Clark Hunt, the CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, claims that his identity is his faith in Christ. Laughably, he also stated a couple years ago that "in the National Football League, Christ is really glorified." NFL oligarchs have the brass to openly mock Our Lord, but the self-identified Christians who are in a position to defend Him cower silently with their tails between their legs. The NFL's promotion of homosexuality and so-called transgenderism is luciferian, for it shows a seething animus towards the sacredness and purity of marriage and the integrity of the human body — and, again, this campaign especially targets the youth. 

Where is the outrage over such scandal? Where is the righteous anger? The blowback? There is none to be found. Not from any players or coaches in the NFL, at least — and this includes all the self-professed followers of Christ, all the clanging cymbals who make a point of thanking God on camera every time their team wins a game. Pathetically, the only outrage in the NFL comes from useful idiot social justice warriors serving as political pawns for the demonic Left.

Think less about the Chiefs' kingdom and more about Christ's kingdom.

Harrison Butker once said of his head coach, Andy Reid: "[He] doesn't really want us talking a lot about, you know, religion or politics, which I completely understand." First off, no I don't understand — especially seeing as how the Chiefs push the homosexualist agenda and neo-Marxist racial grievance-mongering (it's on their helmets; it's plastered on their jumbotron; it's scrawled across their end zones). Secondly, even if I did understand, my "understanding" would disappear if and when my God and religion were mocked and ridiculed on the world stage. 

Image

Harrison Butker serving at a

Traditional Latin Mass

But I get it, Butker's the best we've got. He talks about the Faith, he's made a couple of pro-life statements, and, on top of being a husband and father in the NFL, he still finds time to serve at Mass.

The faithful ought to always push each other to go deeper, to climb higher on the path to Calvary. And they especially have to challenge their brothers when they fall into complacency, when they're failing to raise up their voices for God and against patent evils in their midst.

For clarity, I think it's safe to say Butker privately abhors the homosexual agenda pushed by the Chiefs and the NFL, and I'd wager he feels the same way about BLM. Heck, last year, he was even willing to quit if the team mandated that players get the jab. My question is, Where is that same vigor and defiance when it comes to his league's and team's homosexual activism? 

After the picture of Butker wearing his scapular during the Super Bowl went viral, traditionalist Catholic commentators were all over it. Taylor Marshall tweeted out, "Harrison Butker winning Super Bowl representing his Catholic Faith by wearing the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. God bless him!" John-Henry Westen exulted, "Harrison Butker was used by Our Lord to bring to the world the Good News." And Michael Matt also hopped in and proclaimed, "God bless Harrison Butker!" 

Why were traditionalists so excited? Well, Butker's a strong proponent of the Traditional Latin Mass, as Westen made sure to let everybody know: "Did you know that Harrison Butker is a Catholic? He is a Latin Mass going Catholic." Great. I attend the TLM myself. But why are these trads, who rightly complain nonstop about the morally degenerate culture that we live in, not calling their brother in Christ to step up and do what every person of goodwill is waiting for him to do? The holiness of man is not reckoned by his liturgical preference; rather, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "the vocation of the holy people," is to "bear witness to their God who is the truth and wills the truth" (¶2464). Simply put, a holy man keeps the Almighty ever in mind, for God's glory is his sole mission in life.

Drawing from St. Thomas Aquinas, German Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper once said that a cowardly omission is the antithesis of the saintly disposition: "Nothing is more alien to it than this: to be silent out of fear for what is true" (A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991], 39). The holy man never compromises the Great Commission — not even if that compromise means lesser goods are being achieved. The holy man is magnanimous and has a "thorough calm of a fearless heart ... submit[ting] himself not to the confusion of feelings or to any human being or to fate — but only to God" (ibid.). This is the only kind of man truly worthy of Catholic praise. 

 
Mic'd Up Report: Catholic Analysis of Sports
 

My advice for Harrison Butker: Think less about the Chiefs' kingdom and more about Christ's kingdom. In June, the NFL will do even more than it did last year to support sodomy in pride month. There will be nonstop gay propaganda aimed at, among others, children; and all the teams, including his own, will fall in line like they always do. This would be the perfect time for Butker to protest his corporation's errors, especially when June is really the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Image

Chiefs players linking arms during the Black national

anthem on Sept. 10, 2020

(Photo: Jamie Squire

You've got a platform for a reason, Harrison, and if your cause really is to "push Jesus Christ," as you claim, then man up and do it. And do it with the righteous anger Our Lord had when He overturned the tables in the Temple and when He called the Pharisees "hypocrites" and when He rebuked His own chief Apostle. Plot something with your fellow Catholic teammate and captain Tommy Townsend. Maybe instead of linking arms in fake solidarity for the "Black national anthem," you ought to kneel in protest for the real genocide that's taking place against Blacks in the womb. Heck, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says that players should do their part in "combatting social injustice." Goodell's even gone so far as to urge players to become activists, encouraging them to "speak out and peacefully protest." True to this mandate, a couple years ago, Patrick Mahomes and Tyrann Mathieu called on the NFL to support the Marxist BLM movement. So what's stopping Butker (or Townsend) from calling on the NFL to support the pro-life movement, a movement that would actually, you know, help Black lives? Why won't they call on the Chiefs and the NFL to stop mocking Christ with the promotion of perversion? Maybe get the other ostensible Christians in the league to join you this June.  

Back in 2016, the mediocre talent Colin Kaepernick put it all on the line for his racist agenda, and that's what enabled basically all of the woke nonsense we see in the League today. How much more should Catholics be willing to defend the Faith for the sake of Jesus Christ and the gospel? Harrison, be a true leader and do something — anything — about the NFL's pure animosity for Our Lord and His Church. Until then, I'll hold my applause.

Paul Brock holds an undergraduate degree from Hillsdale College and a master's degree (magna cum laude) in moral theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Paul has worked as the producer of Church Militant's Mic'd Up program for the past three years, and also has four years' experience as a high school coach in the archdiocese of Detroit. 
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