Michael Sam didn't measure up, so the St. Louis Rams refused to do business with him. If the Rams can discriminate against a homosexual because his behavior doesn't meet their standards, so can bakers, florists and photographers.
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Michael Sam is now, at this writing, being blatantly discriminated against by all 32 NFL teams (although the Dallas Cowboys are apparently thinking of adding him to their practice squad).*
The out, loud and proud homosexual was drafted by the Rams, and after giving his boyfriend a big, wet, sloppy kiss on national TV, he became an instant nationwide celebrity.
But the Rams have high standards of conduct and behavior, standards of performance, that Michael Sam did not reach.
As a result, they cut him. In other words, they fired him. In still other words, they refused to do business with him. In still other words, they discriminated against him.
Was it because they didn't like him? Was it because they hated him? Of course not. They loved him. They couldn't stop talking about what a great guy and teammate he was. He was the belle of the ball. Oprah wanted to follow him around 24/7 with a camera crew.
It wasn't even about his "orientation." His athletic "orientation" was to play football in the NFL. But his orientation was irrelevant to the Rams' decision. Their decision was based purely on conduct.
This discrimination had nothing to do with him as a person. It had everything to do with his behavior, his performance on the field. The Rams certainly have deeply held convictions about the kind of performance standards that must be met before they will do business with a potential player.
These standards mean so much to them they will discriminate against even a homosexual player who fails to meet them. That's how much those standards matter. They are non-negotiable standards, standards they won't sacrifice for the sake of political correctness. The Rams' coach even said flatly "it wasn't a hard decision."
Now if Michael Sam and his boyfriend decided to get "married" and came not to the St. Louis Rams but to a Christian wedding vendor, he would and should be treated in exactly the same way. Wedding vendors might like him, even like him a lot, but be unable to do business with him because they have deeply held standards of behavior that they will not compromise for the sake of political correctness.
Would this mean that the wedding vendor would be discriminating against Michael Sam? Of course it would. Just like the St. Louis Rams discriminated against him, and for the same reason: deeply held convictions about behavior. In the Rams' case, it's athletic behavior. In the case of the wedding vendor, it's sexual behavior.
The Bible's standard on homosexuality applies equally to everybody, just as the NFL's standards of performance do. If a potential customer's behavior falls below the professional standard of a wedding vendor, that vendor should be able to take that into account in business and personnel decisions just like the NFL does.
If the Rams can discriminate against a homosexual because his behavior doesn't meet standards, so can bakers, florists and photographers.
Some will object to this parallel on the grounds that it's apples and oranges. But it's not. It's precisely parallel. In both cases, business owners are deciding whether to enter into a business arrangement with someone and making that decision based on clear, objective standards of behavior.
If the Rams can do it, in the name of fairness and equality, wedding vendors ought to be able to do it.
And if someone objects that one case is far more important than the other, I would certainly agree. Sexual behavior is a far more significant issue than athletic performance. And God's standards are far more important than the standards of a football league.
* Since this column was posted, the Cowboys have signed Michael Sam to their practice squad.
Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. He hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central).
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