He said, she said. That’s what it all comes down to in cases of rape and incest, according to Tennessee State House Representative Sheila Butt. The Republican Majority Floor Leader who represents the 64th House District in the state made her comments that rape and incest are not “verifiable” in debate on an amendment to an onerous anti-abortion bill. The amendment, which was ultimately defeated, would have exempted rape and incest victims from a 48-hour waiting period imposed by the bill.
Dear Butt, however, is no stranger to controversy this year. In February she responded to a letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations urging Republican candidates to reach out to American Muslim voters. She said in a Facebook post (since deleted), “It is time for a Council on Christian Relations and an NAAWP in this Country.” One can only assume that by the term “Christian relations” she does not mean standard missionary-position sex only for procreation. “NAAWP” has been used by several white supremacist groups as “National Association for the Advancement of White People.”
According to Butt, however, she means ” National Association of Advancement for Western Peoples.” As if that makes any difference. “Western Peoples” = “White People.” Anyone who has made it through third grade and has an IQ above that of a potato can figure that out. Yet another fine example of conservative codespeak, which Urban Dictionary defines as “The annoying tendency of our mainstream political/ news/entertainment industrial complex to have it’s talking heads deliver thinly veiled messages of class warfare and bigotry.”
Butt was offended by all those non-white people being offended. In a garbled statement during a newspaper interview, she said, ” There’s nothing in that post that applies to race. Nothing. I guess I’m offended that all of these things are predicated on something that they, apparently, the (House) Black Caucus, thinks I said or thinks I thought or thinks I insinuated. Not anything that’s true.” Later in the interview, she said, “The Lord knows what I meant when I wrote the post,” so that makes it all okey-dokey.
And we all know she isn’t racist! Why she had black friends when she was growing up! In the same interview, she told the reporter, ” I had as many black children at my birthday parties as white children.” Now isn’t that special!
A Facebook page was set up at the time of the controversy to ” show support for TN representative Sheila Butt and her comments about the need for advocacy groups for white people and western culture.” Because, you know, white people of European descent have suffered under the yoke of systemic oppression for so very, very long. Since Maury County, where her district is located, is over 80% white, expect no backlash from her constituents. It’s the sort of district where everyone knows that the “R” behind a candidate’s name means they are Real Lovers of Guns and Jesus, as opposed to the “D” candidates which are Disciples of the Devil.
Her official State Representative website is another wondrous example of conservative codespeak, with the “Issues” tab leading one to award Butt a huge A++++ for staying on message with the typical Republican textbook messages worded just so and repeated like mantras.
But wait! There is so much more to Butt! Besides being a member of Maury County Right to Life, Tennessee Right to Life, the National Rifle Association and a self-described “Bible-believing Christian,” she is a climate change denier. This jaw-dropping video is from 2011 and simply highlights her ignorance on a highly complex issue. You had to give up Aqua Net hairspray and it was a life-altering experience? Really?
Our illustrious Butt is also the author of two frightening “Christian” children’s books, “Everyday Princess: Daughter of the King” and “Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies?”
In “Everyday Princess: Daughter of the King” Butt’s life lessons include “…posting nude photos online could get you murdered, Girl Scout camp can lead to strip poker and you might die in a car accident if you skip church for basketball practice.” She also warns girls that if they date outside their race then boys of her own race won’t date her. Charming.
“Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies” ventures even farther into hatred and religious bigotry. Of course, Butt just knows that being gay is a choice (unlike religion) and is caused by “Satan, ‘a bad sexual experience with members of the opposite sex’ or a mom who didn’t ‘encourage her son’s masculinity.'” In her lovely book, good Christian twins have a new friend at school who has *gasp* two daddies, one white and one black. She had to get that in there as something of a half-witted religious bigot twofer. As one reviewer posted, “It’s hard to tell if the author objects more to Michael’s dads being a gay couple, or an interracial couple.” The same reviewer goes on to say, “What the author implies is that Michael’s family is only LIKE a family, not actually a real family. Michael is not a real son, and his fathers aren’t real fathers. This book reveals more than a prejudice against gays, it reveals a prejudice against foster and adopted children.”
What more can one say about yet another clueless uber-conservative Republican state legislator, one who describes herself on her Facebook page as ” Christian, Minister’s Wife, Proud Mother and Grandmother, Author, Unapologetic Conservative Representing Tennessee’s 64th House District?” While she busies herself in the legislature with accusing rape and incest victims of lying to get access to quicker abortions, gun issues, oppressed white people, interracial dating, homophobia, and Aqua Net, almost 11% of the people in her county live below the poverty line and per capita income hovers around $20,000 below the national average. Women in her county earn over $14,000 less annually than the men who live there do. Apparently, these things do not matter to the voters of Tennessee’s 64th House District. Or are they simply not paying attention, having been distracted by social issue nonsense instead of economic matters? After all, that IS the Republican way, is it not?