Preaching to the Choir

Let me get this straight.

The placekicker for the Kansas City Chiefs gives a commencement talk at a Catholic college and speaks to his Catholic beliefs including his deep respect for his wife’s life as a mother and homemaker and gets ripped for it.

Are you kidding?

Years ago he would be celebrated for such an impassioned talk on what matters to him.

The audience was made up of students who made the choice to attend Benedictine College in Kansas.

To use a well-worn cliche, he was speaking to the choir.

But he was met with an outcry of protests, many of them cruel and obscene.

Harrison Butker is the Chiefs outstanding kicker who commands the unwavering respect and support of his head coach and teammates. They are with him for most of the year and they know who he is and what he is all about. They say they may not agree with all or any of his beliefs but they back up his right to say them.

I read every word of Butker’s address and I came away with the utter intelligence, use of vocabulary and his determination to express his strong opinions.

I had to ask someone what the word “woke” meant.

I now know what it means.

What I want to know is who decides what is worth expressing?

Who makes the determination that what is said is wrong?

I do know that the NFL has distanced itself from Butker’s views.

I do know that the NFL avoids commenting on the players who have continually  committed crimes and broken the law for things I won’t take the time to enumerate.

You can look it up.

It’s a laundry list and then some.

So it all starts with them.

The NFL which quickly disavowed Harrison Butker’s beliefs in a commencement address accept the criminal actions of many of its players with a negative word.

The media, to no one’s surprise, attacked Butker relentlessly.

Maybe they should have read the address.

He never criticized women who have chosen careers rather than stay at home.

He simply praised his wife for her role.

Wife, mother, and homemaker.

He has strong Catholic beliefs that are apparently contrary to the opposite views of many citizens.

Why can’t those who disagree accept his right to his opinions.

No, he must be “canceled”, another new-fangled term that has come into our lives.

A Kansas City official called for Butker to be fired, or “canceled” as it is called.

The official, himself, was fired from his post.

I guess he was “canceled”.

I have to say I am not happy with what I see in our country.

I see gross language used as if they are common every day words, and it’s become popular to laugh when you hear them. I see insults and cruel statements as we saw in the Tom Brady Roast, for example.

What has happened to simple decency?

And I see fear.

Fear by people who don’t want to risk saying out loud what they really think. So they express it in other ways.

Harrison Butker’s #7 jersey has been the top-selling KC Chiefs jersey.

That’s right, above Patrick Mahomes’ #15, and Travis Kelces’ #87.

To me that speaks volumes.

I sense the vast majority thinks along the lines the way I do.  Memorial Day has come and gone. But its meaning endures 365 days a year.

It’s a salute to those in the military who fought and lost their lies to protect our wonderful country.

Is it perfect?  Heck, no.  Are their problems?  Heck, yes.

America is special because its foundation is about freedom, and the right to speak your mind with the fear of reprisal.

Reading the attacks on Harrison Butker, after his commencement address to the graduates of Benedictine College,  a Catholic institution, struck a nerve.

Disagreement is part of our fibre, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

Taking a step back, what we’ve seen in the Butker story isn’t the America our brave soldiers, sailors, and airmen fought and died for.

Just learned of the passing of my good friend Bill Walton, the legendary basketball figure.

So this has hardly been a pleasant week of writing.

I will have more on Bill next week.