Part 2 of Rep. Sheila Butt interview
This is Part 2 of an interview with Rep. Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) on Wednesday. For Part 1, click here.
Butt recently came under fire for posting controversial comments on Facebook. In recent days, the Tennessee black caucus has denounced Butt’s words, while several members of the House leadership have defended her.
SB: This is absurd and it saddens me that we’ve come to this point that everything we look through that lens, especially I guess when it comes to a Christian conservative is looked at first could this be construed as racism instead of looking at the comment that said, ‘Hey, everyone should be included at the table.’ So we’re missing the point of what can fix America by trying to look through this single lens of racism of every single comment. We must get past that.
AA: Representative, I do have to ask, forgive me for being forward but I would be remiss if I didn’t ask. Some people are wondering your feelings on Islam and Muslims. Do you have preconceived notions on the religion?
SB: I wouldn’t say that I do. No, I don’t. I can say that I don’t have preconceived notions about the religion.
AA: Do you–
SB: –I can’t say I’ve studied it deeply, I just don’t know.
AA: What prompted you, I guess, to respond to that open letter from CAIR? It was a letter that was asking presidential candidates to eradicate Islamophobia and take Muslims into consideration. What was your reasoning behind posting?
SB: My reasoning behind that was that the Christians should also be able to send a letter and say, ‘We hope you are amenable to Christianity and will learn about us.’ That other organizations could write and say, ‘We hope you know about us, too.’ That’s all the comment was.
AA: Jeff, do you have anything? …. Is there anything else? Do you think this will blow over?
SB: I’m sure it will. I imagine this is just the news of the day. I mean I really feel that way because there was absolutely nothing intentional in the comments whatsoever.
AA: Would you be willing to have some sort of meeting with CAIR? The Muslim community? About this?
SB: We’ll see if that comes about.
AA: Well, if there’s nothing else, I appreciate your time.