State Sen. Stacey Campfield under fire for online post comparing

State Sen. Stacey Campfield under fire for online post comparing Obamacare to the Holocaust

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State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, is once again coming under fire, this time for remarks seemingly comparing the Affordable Health Care Act to the Holocaust. State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, is once again coming under fire, this time for remarks seemingly comparing the Affordable Health Care Act to the Holocaust.
"It was not my intention to trivialize anything," Sen. Campfield said. "I'm not even really making light of their deaths. I'm really pointing out the loss of freedom that we're having which to me I think a lot of people in the Jewish community see that." "It was not my intention to trivialize anything," Sen. Campfield said. "I'm not even really making light of their deaths. I'm really pointing out the loss of freedom that we're having which to me I think a lot of people in the Jewish community see that."
Rabbi Alon Ferency with Heska Amuna Synagogue said inappropriate comparisons between the Holocaust and political policies are becoming far too common with the use of social media and passage of time. Rabbi Alon Ferency with Heska Amuna Synagogue said inappropriate comparisons between the Holocaust and political policies are becoming far too common with the use of social media and passage of time.
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, is once again coming under fire, this time for remarks seemingly comparing the Affordable Health Care Act to the Holocaust.

On his website Monday, Campfield posted the following comment:
"Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for 'train rides' for Jews in the 40s."

Campfield defended his remarks to 6 News Monday, saying the purpose was not to harm, but rather to warn people about the effects of the ACA.

"It was not my intention to trivialize anything," Campfield said. "I'm not even really making light of their deaths. I'm really pointing out the loss of freedom that we're having which to me I think a lot of people in the Jewish community see that."

Lawmakers fire back

The Tennessee Democratic Party issued a statement calling Campfield's remarks "outrageous, pathetic and hateful."
“Senator Campfield’s blog post this morning is just the latest example of Tea Party Republican extremism. To compare attempts to save American lives through access to healthcare with Nazis killing European Jews is outrageous, pathetic, and hateful.

“Sen. Campfield and other Tea Party Republicans ought to look at the 5,000 Tennesseans who will die within the next 3 years because Tea Party Republicans refused to take the 100% federal funding to expand Medicaid and have denied working Tennesseans access to healthcare.”

Members of his own party are speaking out against the remarks.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney also issued a statement Monday condemning Campfield's remarks:
"While Stacey Campfield routinely makes remarks that are over the top, today's comments are ignorant and repugnant. No political or policy disagreement should ever be compared to the suffering endured by an entire generation of people. Those comments have no place in our public discourse. He should offer an apology to members of the Jewish faith immediately."


Campfield responds to criticisms

Campfield himself is defending his remarks, saying people were missing his point:
"I regret that some people miss the point of my post. It was not to offend. It was to warn.  To draw attention to Obamacare and the slippery slope that I see occurring in the lives of myself, my constituents, and the rest of the country with the continued taking of freedom by the federal government.

"In no way was my post meant to diminish or detract from the pain, suffering and loss of human life that occurred during this dark time in human history. Instead the post was meant to draw attention to the loss of freedom that we are currently experiencing. I stand by my steadfast opposition to Obamacare.

"My position and record on the sacredness of human life and protecting that life speaks for itself. 300 million Americans are at risk from government bureaucrats deciding who should be given life saving medications and who should be denied. Every citizen now faces the possibility of their tax dollars going to pay for a government funded abortion. At no point in our history have we ever faced a federal government and administration with a lower regard for human life, and that is something that I cannot and will not allow to go unchallenged.

"I will continue to stand up against the government takeover of the nations healthcare. I will continue to support freedom and life."


Knoxville Jewish community reacts
 

Members of the Knoxville Jewish community told 6 News the comments were offensive and showed signs of a lack of knowledge on the event in history.

“Foolish comments like this tend to trivialize the Holocaust,” Executive Director of the Knoxville Jewish Community Center, Jeff Gobitz, said.

Rabbi Alon Ferency with Heska Amuna Synagogue said inappropriate comparisons between the Holocaust and political policies are becoming far too common with the use of social media and passage of time.

"Of course it's offensive and it also reads to me as foolish hyperbole," Ferency said. "It's offensive or at the very least disconcerting. It concerns me that people have so little understanding of our people's history and culture, so little understanding of world history and the tragedies that have occurred that they could lift a policy they disagree with to the level of global tragedy."
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