Men have a vocational responsibility as providers

The blowback to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s commencement speech at Benedictine College shows how much our culture has changed in the last generation.

Comments that would have been non-controversial just 20 years ago, now have him targeted for cancellation, and as expected in today’s environment, the official “we don’t support his views” type of comments from several of Butker’s associated organizations and teammates have ensued.

Rather than just inhaling the reaction to Butker’s comments, I hope everyone went and listened to this upstanding young man’s entire speech.

As would be appropriate with any commencement speech, Butker discussed the Class of 2024’s “potential to live a legacy” and encouraged them to live out their vocations.

With the discussion of vocation, he then addressed women specifically. He said he understood many of the graduates were looking forward to their careers and the associated advancement opportunities, but he continued, saying he would “venture to guess, that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and about your children that you will bring into this world.”

He then brought it home, talking about his own wife, and how, if asked, she would say her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. He said she leans into her vocation and embraces one of the most important titles of all – “homemaker.”

The comment received rounding applause.

Butker said his wife was the primary educator to their children, keeps him focused on his responsibility as husband and father, and through their marriage they will both attain salvation.

Rather than push the graduates toward the grind, focused on the stereotypical ladder of success, he suggested they would experience the most happiness when they “disregard the outside noise and move closer and closer to God’s will in their life.”

The leftist media, who seem to want nothing more than to cultivate the emasculation of men, especially Godly men, have pitched headline after headline of conceived outrage even while everyone associated with Butker has supported him as a person of high moral integrity.

What has not been discussed with Butker’s speech, but is possibly one of the most important elements of it, is the challenge he lays down to men.

He said it is “imperative that this generation must stop pretending that the things we see around us are normal.”

He said men set the tone of the culture and they need to “be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men.”

Butker has three Super Bowl rings, but didn’t use a sports metaphor when encouraging men to pick up their traditional mantle. Because men also have a vocation and using a sports trope isn’t necessary to ask men to be manly.

“Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy.”

Men do need to be challenged. Especially now. Because things have become very strange with masculinity in our culture.

At what point in history did men quit feeling responsible to be the breadwinner of the family unit? When did we decide it was not a failure  of our position as husbands and fathers to share that title, forcing wives into supporting the family budget and contracting out child-rearing responsibilities to daycare providers?

I’m hoping there were many young men who heard the controversy and went and listened to Butker’s entire speech, instead of just conflagrated snippets on TikTok that they saw while scrolling on their phones, while laying on a couch, eating chips, searching for ideas for manly new tattoo designs.

Why does the media promote the concept of women abandoning a vocation as wife and mother and ignore the concept of the men being responsible for providing for the family?

We need more Harrison Butker speeches in society today, but our reaction needs to be one of contemplation of our responsibilities, man or woman, and not of some new woke ideal for today’s culture.

Dan Thalmann is the owner/publisher of the Washington County News and is a Past President of the Kansas Press Association. He has won numerous journalism awards in many categories over the years, including multiple awards as the best mid-sized weekly newspaper in Kansas.