Campfield Bill Called a "Challenge" to Religious Freedom

Aug 15, 2013

Senator Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, District 7 — Part of Knox County

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — State Representative Stacey Campfield has filed a bill that he says would assure students and teachers they could wish others Merry Christmas.

The Knoxville Republican says his bill would stop what he called silly lawsuits.

“It’s never been a big problem in the past, but suddenly everybody – there’s a lot of people who’ve become anti-Christian and things along those lines and are really trying to push it to where no one can ever say even ‘Merry Christmas’ to someone without being scared of a lawsuit.”

Hedy Weinberg of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says she’s puzzled by Campfield’s bill.

“This is not a problem in our state or anywhere across the country, and language that’s being used – sort of the war against Christmas – is a creation by those who really are trying to challenge religious freedom.”

Campfield says he got the idea for the bill from a Facebook post about a similar bill in the Texas legislature, but isn’t aware of any related lawsuits in Tennessee.

Weinberg says Campfield should take Governor Bill Haslam’s advice that legislators should focus on the “serious problems that confront this state and the people of Tennessee."