Candace Cameron Bure in If I Only Had Christmas (2020)

Why Don’t We Call Candace Cameron Bure’s ‘Traditional Marriage’ Projects Identity Politics?

Full House actress Candace Cameron Bure left her long term arrangement with the Hallmark Channel in order to work with the Great American Family (GAF). GAF is a network that she says will “keep traditional marriage at the core”—a dog-whistle for straight and (usually) white couples. Bure’s Evangelical faith is no secret and she does, technically, have every right to go to her own network and perpetuate whatever unseasoned culture she would like. But why is this not treated like Identity Politics?

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Identity Politics and the term “woke” has been used to ridicule those of us on the left side. And while there is certainly room to criticize how identity can be and sometimes is weaponized, that doesn’t erase that the other side also works around identity politics. They want to define the identity of marriage. They call their version “traditional” because it is their traditions. It doesn’t help that whenever any pushback happens against their ideology they are allowed to talk around the topic.

For example, Bill Abbott, who runs GAF and is another Hallmark expat, said on the topic of same-sex couples, according to PEOPLE: “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.'” But do you believe in the right for gay people to be married? Because you can “have” same-sex couples, while still uplifting that there should be a difference between “marriage” and “civil unions.”

Bure said to the Wall Street Journal: “My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them. I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.” When asked about Hallmark she said that it was a “completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership.”

They are focusing on Christmas and “those traditional holidays,” saying that “you can’t do everything at once.” Abbott says that “spiritual or faith-based content is grossly underserved,” but we know he means Christianity. And that is the issue. We should have a diversity of faith-based content. There is no reason we can’t celebrate Christmas and “put the Christ” in it. But let’s not retcon the way Christianity has treated and been used to oppress people. There is a fundamental (lol) lack of wanting to understand that if you are not a white straight Christian, you might have complex relationships with Christianity and Faith in general.

I don’t need a Christmas movie to engage with that, but for the people behind the network to at least show a sliver of self-awareness. And if they won’t, to be honest about their politics and just say LGBTQ and non-Christians need not apply. When you treat diversity like an ugly word, you say that to Christians who are not white, not straight, and not cis. This is their identity politics and the more we allow them to act as if they are the “norm” and we are deviating from them, we give them power and an ability to pretend that everyone on the left of them is an extremist.

(via PEOPLE, image: Hallmark)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.