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Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity

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(4,114 posts)
Mon May 20, 2024, 09:32 PM May 20

'Stay in your lane!' says KC football player far outside his lane [View all]



Butker sees the government's response to COVID-19 as the most obvious overlap between secular and religious leadership failings. He repeatedly alludes to the refusal of many U.S. bishops to continue in-person Masses during the pandemic. According to Butker, this communicates weakness and that "the sacraments don't matter." As such, he suggests, clergy generally lack public authority because they are too afraid and too content. The average clergyman, according to Butker, is too reliant upon lay leadership while pridefully pursuing "adulation." Don't they know that's what social media influencers are for?

Butker's address holds within it a tension around the public and private natures of spirituality. He argues that both clergy and laypeople must be bolder and more public. Yet, he also asserts that praying and fasting in secret reap far greater rewards than any public platform. His repeated digs at the LGBTQ+ community and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives raise the question: Who is allowed to be public? Who and what are expected to stay private?

We hold these questions in mind as Butker transitions to a discussion of gender. It is these comments that have launched his speech into the internet spotlight. He insists that women have been lied to, and that while many of the female graduates are likely thinking about jobs and promotions, those things are far inferior to the call of "homemaker." The most important thing a woman does, according to Butker, is to support her husband in his professional pursuits and remind him of the importance of family. At no point does he say women should not work, only that their work should be subordinate to their marital responsibilities.

While the tonal incongruence of devaluing women's professional pursuits at their own college graduation is aptly attended to in the video's virality, this is not a new belief. More and more, "tradwife" values are being spread by Catholic influencers. What most astonishes me about this speech is the utter hypocrisy of insisting upon a traditional Catholicism while undermining the authority of clerical leadership. He goes so far as to say the average American bishop leads an "inconsequential existence." Setting this disregard of intrinsic human dignity aside, would not a traditional Catholic perspective be to submit to your bishop's catechetical authority?

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