Harrison Butker’s Biblical worldview would kick the nation into Christian Nationalist hell

Harrison Butker’s Biblical worldview would kick the nation into Christian Nationalist hell
Harrison Butker delivers the commencement address at Benedictine College Photo: Screenshot Benedictine College

Benedictine College, a Catholic school in Kansas, called in Kansas City Chiefs star kicker Harrison Butker to give the commencement speech to the eager graduates of the Class of 2024 and friends and family on the sidelines.

While most commentators heard the speech as landing far outside of bounds, those present heard it as a holy field goal coming from heaven itself (as evidenced by the passionate and sustained standing ovation).

Rather than sharing the wisdom he has gained over the years, which is typical for any commencement speaker, instead Butker ran the course of his remarks with his misguided interpretation of Christian scripture tucked under his arm. Using this play, he called LGBTQ pride a “deadly sin” and accused President Biden and other progressives of pushing “dangerous gender ideologies.”

What received the most attention, however, was his characterization of women who, he argued, were sold “diabolical lies” about the benefits of working outside the home.

Standing in front of graduates who worked hard and sacrificed much to earn their college degrees, Butker told female graduates that their only course of life is to serve men and to birth and raise children in the institution of heterosexual marriage. His comments were not only insulting and demeaning to women who hope to enter a career, with or without marriage and children, but it also highly hypocritical.  

In fact, Harrison’s mother, Elizabeth Keller Butker, has spent the last three decades working as an accomplished medical physicist — yes, outside the home.

But as we see many conservative lawyers and judges – even on the Supreme Court – defining themselves as “strict constructionists” by interpreting the U.S. Constitution as the founders would have understood it, so too have many conservative Christians – many who could be placekicked into the field of “Christian Nationalists” – also read the testaments as the literal and unalterable words of God.

So, what would be the outcome if these passages were taken literally?

Christian Testaments: On Women

1 Timothy 2:9 – I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 – Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.

1 Corinthians 11:3 – But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:5 – And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head–it is just as though her head were shaved.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35, 37 – As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. . . . what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

Colossians 3:18 – Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Christian Testaments: On Divorce

Matthew 19:3–8; cf. Mark 10:2–9; Luke 16:18 – The Pharisees questioned Jesus when he taught on the permanence of marriage…. Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”

Mark 10:11–12 – Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

1 Corinthians 7:10–11 – Paul’s teaching agrees with this: “To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)— and that the husband should not divorce his wife.”

Romans 7:1–3 – Do you not know, brethren—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during his life? Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Christian Testaments: On Same-Sex Sexuality and Gender Diversity

Romans 1:26 – In consequence, God has given them up to shameful passions. Their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural.

Romans 1:27 – And likewise also the men, giving up natural relations with women, burn with lust for one another; males behave indecently with males, and are paid in their own persons the fitting wage of such perversion.

Timothy 1:10 – For whoremonger, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.

1 Corinthians 6-9 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.

Christian Testaments: On Children

(Does Butker really want us to kill children?)

1 Samuel 15:3 – Now go and smite Am’alek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Christian Testaments: On Slavery

(And what are Butker’s views on reestablishing slavery in the U.S.?)

Ephesians 6:5-6 – Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Colossians 3:22 – Slaves, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

1 Timothy 6:1-2 – Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved.

Titus 2:9-10 – Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.

Luke 12:47 – That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.

1 Peter 2:18-29 – Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. For it is a credit to you, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval.

Christian Testaments: On the Jews

(I hope no Jews attended Butker’s remarks!)

1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 – [T]he Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, the Jews who are heedless of God’s will and enemies of their fellow man….All this time they have been making up the full measure of their guilt, and now retribution has overtaken the good of all.

Matthew 27:24-25 – Pilate could see that nothing was being gained, and a riot was starting [among the Jews]; so he took water and washed his hands in full view of the people saying, “My hands are clean of this man’s blood; see to that yourselves,” and with one voice the people cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children.”

John 8:44 – And Jesus said: “If God were your father, you would love me…[but] your father is the devil and you choose to carry out your father’s desires”

Revelation 2:9 – The Jews…are Satan’s synagogue.

Revelation 3:9 – I will make those of Satan’s synagogue, who claim to be Jews but are lying frauds, come and fall down at your feet.

Galatians 5:1-6 – Christ set us free, to be free men. Stand firm, then, and refuse to be tied to the yoke of slavery again. Mark my words: I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will do you no good at all.

Titus 1:14-16 – And Paul said, “Do not give heed to Jewish fables and commandments of merely human origin that turn men from the truth;…nothing is pure to the tainted minds of disbelievers…. They [the Jews] profess to acknowledge God, but deny him by their actions. Their detestable obstinacy disqualifies them for any good work.”

Well, then, for those of who do not desire to have the United States transformed into a completed evangelical Christian nationalist theocracy — and for graduates of any sex, sexuality, gender identity, religion, class background, etc. — we need commencement speakers who share their wisdom and experience to unite people rather than those who further division by kicking their interpretations of scripture in the cultural war fields.

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