Pandora’s Box
                                            (Marriage and Family)
As our legislatures and courts contemplate stepping into the business of redefining the
meaning of marriage and family, it’s a little like the opening of Pandora’s Box.  Once the
lid is off, no one really knows what the outcome might be like.
Let’s imagine all this redefinition becomes a reality at some future time.  Family could
become an outmoded term since any combination of people living together would be
considered a family.  And if the term family would be made to include any and all living
arrangements, then would family have any meaning at all?  Perhaps in such a brave new
world we would need to refer to “my group” rather than to “my family.”  Could it even
happen that the term family might become politically incorrect and discriminatory
because of what it used to mean?
Consider all of our current civil conventions which use the standard definitions of
marriage and family.  Once family means any living arrangement, how does this affect
such things as Social Security, insurance, pensions or any matter of legal responsibility?
And then, if marriage and family are redefined, we might also need to redefine all the old
family relationships like husband and wife, mother and father, sister and brother, etc. 
These terms might even be considered an offense in the new society where any grouping
of people in a given housing unit is the new societal nucleus.
Where would children come in?  If you can recall images of communes, that might give
some idea of what our brave new world might be like – children wandering around
wondering who is responsible for them.  In reality, if everybody is responsible, nobody is. 
It may take a village to assist in raising a child, but families as we know them have
always been the heart and soul of childrearing.
Before our legislatures and courts decide to open Pandora’s Box, it would be good for
them to ponder long and hard as to what the consequences might be.  Six millennia of
marriage and family in the annals of human history should count for something.

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