The Family Policy Alliance, a political arm of the Christian-based Focus on the Family, recently compared Christian businesses that refuse to service to gay people to football players who refuse to stand during the national anthem (video below).
In a Sept. 13 video, Stuart Shepard of the Family Policy Alliance thanked the NFL and NBC for making him think about "our right to peacefully protest." Shepard said NBC made a point to show Denver Broncos player Brandon Marshall kneeling during the national anthem.
The Intercept reported that the anthem was written by slave owner Francis Scott Key, and includes this line: "No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."
Shepard went on to say how NBC and the Broncos organization both asserted that players have a right to make a personal decision to protest.
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Shepard said he wasn't going to comment on the subject of the protest -- police brutality against black people and discrimination against African-Americans -- because there are "plenty of people doing that."
Instead, Shepard went over three points: "Government should not force you to betray your conscience," "Liberty may cost you something" and "Businesses should be free to act according to conscience."
Businesses have not been allowed to act solely "according to conscience" since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that "ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin," notes the History Channel.
Some states have added sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, which is what Shepard thinks is unfair.
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Shepard said a Colorado Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for gay couple was protesting just like the football players.
As a matter of record, the football players did not deny their services to their teams or to anyone because of sexual orientation, race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Shepard used the same logic to defend a Christian florist in Washington State who refused to do an arrangement for a same-sex couple, and a Christian photographer who also refused service to gay people.