Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Kitna targets men at Pierce County Prayer Breakfast

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on May 4, 2012 at 11:27 am with 39 Comments »
May 5, 2012 10:10 am
Jon Kitna when introduced as Lincoln High's football coach in January.

Jon Kitna, the former NFL quarterback now teaching and coaching at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, challenged men Friday at the annual Pierce County Prayer Breakfast to become spiritual leaders in their homes and communities.

“America is under a curse,” Kitna told the crowd of 1,600 in the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. “It’s the curse of fatherlessness. The track we’re on is the track of destruction.”

After a 15-year professional football career, Kitna, 39, now teaches math and is the head football coach at Lincoln, where he once studied and played sports. He lives in Lakewood with his wife, Jennifer, and their four children.

With nearly 200 high school and college football players in the audience, Kitna delivered an unapologetic, fiery challenge for men to address the void of fathers who aren’t present in homes.

“We have young men that have no idea what it means to be blessed and affirmed, to hear the words, ‘You have what it takes, my son. You’re a man’s man,’” Kitna said.

That role for men includes husbands leading their wives and teaching their children, making sure they understand the Bible, Kitna said.

“These are all things the Bible never apologizes for,” Kitna said. “That’s our job, men. Your first job is to lead your home, to disciple them, to make sure they understand the word of God.”

But Kitna didn’t stop there. With fathers absent from many homes, Kitna said, “You need to reach out and disciple others, too.

“Our young women are growing up today without any men to choose from,” Kitna said. “And so they settle for less than what God has for them or they turn to alternative lifestyles.”

Kitna said he can speak around the country and tell stories about NFL players. “But as soon as I want to bring up the name of Jesus, (people say) ‘we really don’t want to hear that, sir.’

“And that’s just too bad,” Kitna said.

“I can’t help but tell people about what I’ve seen and heard in my own life,” he said. “I was a thug, an idiot, a man without direction, who had no hope in life until Jesus Christ intersected my life.”

David Fechtel, a senior at Cascade Christian High School in Puyallup, was one of nearly 200 high school and college football players who listened to Kitna’s message as guests at the 34th annual Pierce County Prayer Breakfast.

“I thought it was really inspiring,” said Fechtel, 18, a center for Cascade Christian’s football team. “The community really needs men to step up and bring the youth to Christ.”

Caleb Wolf, 17, a junior guard at Tacoma Baptist High School, said he liked Kitna’s message.

“It shows what we feel and reflects what’s happening in our lives,” Wolf said.

Kitna drew a standing ovation at the end of his 40-minute talk at the breakfast, sponsored by the Greater Tacoma Christian Laymen’s Outreach.

Afterward, he posed for pictures with Cascade Christian and other high school teams, who were presented NFL footballs signed by him.

Football players attended from Life Christian Academy and Bellarmine Preparatory School as well as Cascade Christian, Tacoma Baptist, Emerald Ridge and Franklin Pierce high schools. Pacific Lutheran University football players also attended.

Kitna quarterbacked the Central Washington University Wildcats to a share of the NAIA national title in 1995 and graduated the next year with a math education degree.

After a long NFL career with Seattle, Cincinnati, Detroit and Dallas, he retired in January to start a new career at Lincoln, where he graduated in 1991.

Leave a comment Comments → 39
  1. TwoFiveThree4me says:

    Way to brainwash the youth, Kitna.

  2. dtacoma says:

    Why is it that those who were “thugs, idiots, men without direction, and who had no hope in life until Jesus Christ intersected their lives”, feel compelled to “disciple” to everyone else? It’s like alcoholics running around singing the praises of their twelve step program, not realizing or caring that 95% of their audience doesn’t have a problem with alcohol, and could care less about their twelve step program.

    One does not need to be religious to be a “man’s man”, to have ethics and morals, or to lead a healthy, joyful life in service to others. I think that message is just as important to youth as the one Kitna is preaching.

  3. Gandalf says:

    dtacoma and 253, just how does Kitna giving a speech (which he was invited to give) to a group function that you didn’t attend = “95% of the audience”? Further, how does his giving this speech bother you in any way? Did he come to your home and give it? Did he give it to you against your will? Did you ask him to talk about football, and instead he gave you this speech instead?

    In other words, you’re simply complaining that someone that has some convictions that don’t agree with should shut up and not say anything because someone somewhere, like yourself, will be offended by it. Intolerance, anyone?

  4. JustPhil says:

    @ Gandalf: Gee, I think your remarks could be used by a lot of people that feel the same way about how the right feel about gays. How does anyone being gay bother you in any way? Do they come into your home against your will? Do you ask them to talk about carpentry and they give a speach about being gay instead? In other words, if you don’t agree with their lifestyle, then shut up. They are not bothering anyone.

  5. Fedupnow says:

    It’s about time our young men get a lecture on being men and manning up. Too many fatherless homes and single moms certainly aren’t teaching their male children how to be men because they aren’t able to teach what they don’t know. God in the homes would definitely help in giving direction to the mothers, fathers and the children. Two Five Three4 me would you rather brainwash them to rely on the government? These kids need personal one on one to be raised as American Patriots now government pawns.

  6. dtacoma says:

    @Gandalf: the sponsoring organization obviously invited the press to cover Mr. Kitna’s speech. By doing so they invited public comment on Jon’s message. If comments critisizing his message bother you so, don’t read the comments section.

  7. sara518 says:

    Does the truth hurt that much? Thank you Jon for standing up and saying what needs to be said.

  8. dtacoma says:

    @Fedupnow – morals, ethics, belief in ones self, and a sense of responsibility to ones community need to be taught in the home – and Business Ethics courses. Believing in mystical beings is not necessary in order to be a American Patriot, either.

  9. stopcomplainin says:

    Thanks Jon, time for men to come to Jesus, do what is right, take responsibility for their lives, and not expect others to support you or your mistakes. To all of you who are bashing Christianity, why? What have Christians done to you? Do something positive with your time, not negative. If you need to talk bad about Christians and their beliefs….well, just don’t talk.

  10. dtacoma says:

    @stopcomplainin – Challenging ridiculous assertions made in the public square is doing something positive. Some use beliefs in mystical beings as a crutch; some of us are simply here telling interested readers that not everyone requires a crutch in order to stop being thugs, idiots, or men without direction.

  11. JustPhil says:

    Truth? You mean the made up stories in the bible? Fairy tales are just as believable as anything that comes from the bible. And to stopcomplainin: I ask the same question. Why do christians bash the gay lifestyle? What has a gay done to you?

  12. dtacoma says:

    @justphil – you know the answer – unless you’re “right with God” you can’t be ethical, moral, an American Patriot, love others, or serve the greater community in a leadership role. And have no doubt, these “kind, loving God fearing folks” will do everything in their power to ostrasize those who don’t believe exactly as they do.

    When they ask “What have Christians done to you?”, that tells me they know nothing of history – and have no interest in learning. They simply believe what they’ve been told to believe. The fact that most of them wish to instill that ignorance in yet another generation is what motivates me to challenge them.

  13. ozdaddy says:

    Nice work, Jon. I’m proud of you for being strong in your convictions, and helping with some positive words for our youth. It would appear more than a few people in this comment section could have used someone like you at some point in their lives.

  14. JustPhil says:

    Oh, please. I was born into a catholic family, went to church every Sunday and even had family prayers at night in our living room. Also, went to school when prayer was still allowed in public schools and I learned over time that god is a fantasy. But if that’s what you want to believe, fine. Just don’t try to push your belief on me or others that don’t care to hear it. Pray in your church or your home – don’t try to bring it into a public setting where I may be.

  15. ozdaddy says:

    No one is trying to push their beliefs on anyone. I’m sure not, anyway. It sure doesn’t appear that anyone in the audience was forced to attend either. Your disdain for religion will not suppress it, and will only further amplify it’s view to the public eye. One Nation, Under God.

    I don’t see, “Not in public” anywhere.

  16. intelligiant53 says:

    Kitna worry about your own family and leave the rest of us independent people alone,Quit telling boys they are supposed to lead their wives, a bunch of crap period.

  17. intelligiant53 says:

    Ya Ozdaddy under whose God? Just yours? Freedom of religion means all religion not just Christian.

  18. intelligiant53 says:

    Fedupnow, the 18th century has come and God, you zealots are on the downslide, get used to it, your idea of religion and God has already trashed this country.

  19. ozdaddy says:

    A bunch of crap for men to lead their wives? Hmmmm… Someone’s got daddy issues it would appear.

    You are correct on freedom for all religions. That doesn’t mean hide away and stay out of the public eye.

  20. intelligiant53 says:

    The 18th century has come and gone and your idea of God and your patriarchal culture have already failed, women are the future and nothing you zealots do will make us go backwards, get used to it. God is love period.

  21. intelligiant53 says:

    And to all the so-called Christians out there, SEX has not ruined society GREED has so the further repression of all things sex will fail like it already has. God is love and that is all.

  22. intelligiant53 says:

    Oz buddy You know nothing about me but Yes religion was manufactured to control women and society and culture so these patriarchal cultures have made God in the male image all a crock of course so if your little women want to be controlled by the men let it happen just quit trying to shove it down the rest of societies throats.

  23. dtacoma says:

    On balance, organized religion has done far, far, far more damage to civilization than good. Setting aside all the murderous histories, just look at their behavior in small town America. Try being a Lutheran in a small Texas town that’s predominantly Baptist; or being a non-Mormon in a Wyoming, Colorado or Utah town dominated and run by Mormons. Members of the dominant religion are downright cruel, heartless and pure evil to not only adults who don’t believe as they do, but to the children of those adults. It’s appalling behavior, and by no means limited to a small number of believers. And make no mistake, that same pack behavior would be occurring right here if clear thinking adults don’t keep these people in check.

    There’s a reason this is one of the best places to live in the country – the majority of residents avoid organized religion.

  24. ozdaddy says:

    You can manipulate the truth however you like. Your state of mind is obvious, which makes you lack any creditablility with your inflammatory statements. Billions have lived happy lives with religion, men and women alike. You, on the other hand are without any faith, and consequently seem quite unhappy.

    On that note, have a great weekend. Hopefully weekends weren’t manufactured by some evil belief to undermine weekdays.

  25. dtacoma says:

    ozdaddy, perhaps you should devote a few hours each weekend to boning up on your religious history, and then return so we can have an intelligent discussion.

  26. SkeleTony says:

    Way to go Kitna. I have a new disrespect for you that I usually reserve for child abusers and the like.

    We do not CARE what sort of magical beings you believe exist or what you believe they may have done for you or anyone else. This is the 21st century. They only people seeming to exhibit any real moral character are atheists.

    edit: Ozdaddy; that is exactly the sort of ignorant, thoughtless attack on people that has earned you guys the negative reputation you are enjoying right now.
    Attack our ARGUMENTS and EVIDENCE(if you can)…not our CHARACTER(unless we actually do something immoral).

  27. sonicsboy says:

    So, dtacoma and JustPhil, why is it that those of us who do believe in God should not be allowed to discuss our beliefs in public, but those who don’t believe in Him should?
    And on the amount of harm that some people with religious beliefs have done to others, I won’t argue that a significant amount of inexcusable damage has been done by religious believers. But are you saying that they have done any more harm than those who don’t believe? Murderers, rapists, hate groups, war groups, and any others who cause harm come from all beliefs, not just religious beliefs.

  28. smcelhiney says:

    sonicboy, on an individual basis you are close to correct in that people regardless of faith or occupation do what people do. Religion just makes it easier to get away with, or to coerce others to join in. Much like the Bible codifies the rules of slavery, the rules for how to treat your wives and mistresses, how to make your sacrifices, for what sins to kill or maim others. The domination of women by men this former football player is promoting is part of a religious belief that leads directly to statements I’ve heard that I’ll paraphrase, “I’d never vote for a woman, they are not supposed to be in charge.”

    Watch the documentary on Jim Jones and his followers to see how easily a group of peaceful loving religious believers can be rapidly twisted into mass murder/suicide. Step one… put a higher power in charge and put belief before critical thinking.

  29. mrsbailey says:

    Hmm… 6 commenters outspokenly against Kitna’s message. 1600 attendees at the breakfast who gave him a standing ovation in overwhelming support.

  30. BillieJ says:

    Thousands of people applauded Obama’s nomination while a handful called him an illegal alien.

    It’s called “preaching to the choir”, mrsbailey.

    Nothing new about a bunch of Christians applauding for another Christian.

    They still applaud Ted Haggard.

  31. BillieJ says:

    ““We have young men that have no idea what it means to be blessed and affirmed, to hear the words, ‘You have what it takes, my son. You’re a man’s man,’” Kitna said.”

    It seems that Kitna has forgotten about Lawyer Milloy, his former Lincoln team mate, who made a great life without a father in the home and many times without a mother either.

    Sometimes, all it takes is desire and determination.

  32. BillieJ says:

    “I don’t see, “Not in public” anywhere”

    Start reading your Bible.

  33. TheSlag says:

    How long until we hear the story of another ‘youth coach’ abusing the pupils in his charge? Domineering and control are the first steps in grooming kids for abuse. Beware of this leader, he puts himself first.

  34. derrike33 says:

    First off as a Local Coach, I would hope that most of you understand that the REASON why we have so many Youth that end up Killing each other, or Breaking into your house and killing you or even themselves, is because Parents have become lazy in trying to raise their own kids.

    So Coaches at all levels try to build character, upstanding young men and if John can get 5 kids off the street with his message why not.

    Our communities have to stand behind the coaches at all levels in our state, because they are trying to raise your next door neighbors kids, your brother/sisters kids, and possibly even your own kids becuause you feel that drinking, drugs, a different boyfriend/girlfriend each week or being raised on others dime is the Norm.

    Its not about a GOD thing, its about trying to be part of the Village to raise kids that are going to be productive citizens.

  35. tomwa007 says:

    I had two Dads, I was I doubly blessed ? What would Mr. Kinta say about that.

  36. ItsDarylagain says:

    I sure am glad I did not go! I spent the day helping out the community by picking up Trash. How many Fights where there?

  37. buddyandelliott says:

    I can’t believe that I didn’t know that by choosing to look out for myself that I would become entranced with an “alternate lifestyle”. Oh jeez, if only I had a godly man in my life maybe things would be different. Woe is me.

  38. claudiabranham says:

    To all the negative comments and those who think the Bible is a book of fables and mystical characters…..I don’t where you got that information or idea but I have one question that you may want to consider. What if the Bible is true?????

  39. sonicsboy says:

    smcelhiney: Yes, that is true, for those who have BLIND faith. However, there are those of us, myself included, that actually combine our faith and critical thinking to reach our conclusions about what we believe and how we act. Therefore, I’m not going to follow some preacher who tells me to go kill someone (which, by the way, clearly isn’t a Christian group, even if they say they are, as the Bible clearly says “Thou Shalt Not Kill”), but that doesn’t make me an atheist.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0