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If American Institutions Were Morally Neutral, Harrison Butker Wouldn’t Have Struck A Nerve

The backlash to Harrison Butker’s commencement speech makes it abundantly clear that neutrality within a given political order is a myth.

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Harrison Butker, a devout Catholic and professional kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, has stirred up a major controversy with remarks made during a commencement address at Benedictine College, a small Catholic institution located in Atchison, Kansas.

In his speech, steeped in traditional Catholic beliefs, Butker took aim at a variety of untouchable tenets of liberal orthodoxy — including “Pride Month,” which he called a “deadly sin,” while warning about the threat from “dangerous gender ideologies.”

After praising his wife, Isabelle, stating that she “would be the first to say that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” he had the gall to suggest that the women in the graduating class could also aspire to assume “one of the most important titles of all, homemaker,” instead of climbing the corporate ladder. 

Not content to stop there, he turned the heresy dial up to 11 when he told men to “be unapologetic in your masculinity” and fight “against the cultural emasculation of men.”

Predictably, leftists across the nation lost their collective minds at these assertions. Butker’s employer, the NFL, once known for its masculinity, condemned his speech and stated that “his views are not those of the NFL as an organization” and that the “NFL is steadfast in its commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

It’s important to note that Butker’s speech did not just offend the personal preferences and behaviors of various individuals, groups, and corporations; rather, it was nothing short of blasphemy against our state-sanctioned religion of wokeness.

Contrary to popular belief, the famed “separation of church and state” has always been a lie. The left, with the assistance of many “classical liberals” within the conservative right, has used Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists as a cudgel to beat traditional Christian values out of American society to make room for our new rainbow religion.

What started as a drive for “inclusivity” and “equality” within the fringes of society has now grown into a quest for supremacy within American culture. Of course, this was always inevitable. While conservatives have been preaching “limited government” and “neutrality” within the marketplace of ideas and our laws, the left has spent decades amassing power and brainwashing the masses.

By now, it should be abundantly clear that neutrality within a given political and legal order is a myth.

This fact will be painfully clear as we approach June, when both government and private corporations across the country openly endorse the ever-expanding “pride” movement, revealing how contemporary, “secular” perspectives have assumed religious attributes.

Numerous public and private entities, along with educational systems nationwide, have not only embraced LGBT ideological principles but integrated them into state curriculums, along with other leftist ideologies such as critical race theory, radical gender ideology, “environmental, social, and governance” standards, “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and “social and emotional learning.” 

While many in the woke congregation are true believers and endorse these concepts as sacraments, others feel compelled to pledge fealty to avoid potential repercussions for noncompliance, such as firing, legal ramifications, public backlash, or a company’s diminished standing on the Corporate Equality Index.

Does any of this sound “neutral” to you?

Despite recognizing the detrimental effects of “woke” ideology on society, many conservatives, out of fear of the backlash Harrison Butker is receiving right now, remain hesitant to advocate for an alternative worldview. Rather than directly addressing morally questionable ideas and fighting to implement a culture consistent with conservative values, conservatives have traditionally advocated for impartiality and a “private” form of conservatism.

But this has always been a fool’s errand.

If a devoted Catholic can’t espouse Catholic values within the walls of a Catholic college without mass condemnation, there is no place to which conservatives can retreat where the left won’t find them and make them conform.

So what’s the way forward? As Founding Father John Adams rightly understood, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” and anything falling short of that standard risks the collapse of not only self-governance but our culture at large.

Unfortunately, today, it is safe to say that America is no longer inhabited by a moral and religious people.

To reinvigorate and reshape American politics, the right must adopt strategies similar to the left. They must actively champion and safeguard their moral values and promote a more assertive brand of conservatism that directly confronts and engages the tenets of leftist culture.

Conservative politicians should not only emulate the rhetorical style and substance of figures like Butker but also translate such rhetoric into positive political initiatives. For example, while you cannot make someone become a homemaker, incentivizing Americans to have children like Hungary has attempted to do can turn right-wing platitudes about the importance of family formation into concrete legislation and, hopefully, positive results.

Contrary to recent conservative (particularly libertarian) perspectives, politics and law have the capacity to influence culture. Laws have always shaped morality to some degree. Consequently, governments within red states must not shy away from legislating right-wing cultural values.

Neutrality within our society has always been a myth because a specific moral framework or understanding of societal well-being inevitably influences a state’s actions. Therefore, simply opposing the status quo through rhetoric is inadequate for those on the right. They must articulate their vision and demonstrate the political will to enact conservative policies throughout America, understanding that any effort to speak out against the prevailing liberal order or, heaven forbid, regulate individual choice or “freedom” through legislation will be seen as authoritarian or “fascist.”

But threats from the Democrat outrage mob shouldn’t stop American conservative politicians from doing everything they can to repair America’s moral fabric. Now is not the time for conservatives to retreat into the comfort of fictional neutrality.

Let Harrison Butker’s example be a call to arms to assertively champion conservative values and reshape our political landscape.


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