If We Can Redefine Marriage,
Can We Also Redefine Christmas?

Edmonton - Saturday, December 19, 2004 - by: Ron Thornton Marriage, Be It Same Sex, Same Family, Same Harem


  It is a silly notion, is it not, linking the redefinition of marriage to the thought that Christmas, its traditions and what it represents, might also be vulnerable to being redefined to become more inclusive? A season dedicated to the worship of the Christ child by those of the Christian faith, by its very nature, places non-Christians on the outside looking in. The same logic and the same arguments behind making marriage more inclusive could be made to transform this Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ into a more inclusive event. We could become more enlightened, celebrating goodwill among all mankind, all faiths, and all points of view, complete with gifts, garland, and a festival turkey with all the trimmings. After all, mankind has been holding celebrations around the time of the winter solstice throughout written history, and probably well before, based on a number of origins. Why not return to our more accommodating pagan humanistic roots?
  Marriage, since time immemorial, has traditionally been the union of a man and a woman, though there have been exceptions to the rule limited only by the imagination and desires of its practitioners, and their ability to flaunt social norms. Still, even in societies that have allowed polygamy, a marital arrangement where one person has more than one partner of the opposite sex, the practice was limited when the spouses were held accountable and responsible for their partners and offspring. For example, as one faith advises, if one could not be just or fair between several women, one should have only one spouse. So, even in polygamous societies, human nature dictated that the vast majority of committed relationships were monogamous.
  As for same-sex relationships, no Christian cultures on record, until contemporary times, advocated the marital union of those of the same gender. There is, at best, only debatable evidence of such marriages historically in any culture or any civilization. Obviously, there were homosexual relationships and some cultures even accepted them. However, very few such relationships in all of history, if any, were recognized as being the same as a heterosexual marriage. In simple terms, they were what they were, not redefined into something they were not.
  Which brings us back to examining if the same arguments that can redefine marriage can also be used at some future date to redefine Christmas. Why, with other faiths already blessed with their own holidays and celebrations, would others wish to be included within the festivities reserved for the those celebrating Christmas? Well, considering its established societal, commercial, and economic attributes, transforming Christmas into an inclusive winter festival would prove beneficial for all. It is not as if things would change all that much in the short term. Christians could continue to celebrate their Christmas traditions, just as heterosexual couples could continue to celebrate the raising of the traditional family.


The only thing that would change is that neither Christians nor heterosexual couples could ever again have exclusivity over such traditions or institutions, nor the ability to prevent their evolution into something future generations might witness as being completely different from what exists today. As any corporate raider can tell you, it is far easier to take over an existing institution than it is to create your own from scratch. Does it make the institution better? Well, I guess that depends entirely on your point of view.


Ron Thornton




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