Tuesday, April 18, 2006
A.D., B.C., C.E., B.C.E., And The P.C. Wars
The Kentucky State Board of Education, or so they claim, is now going to impose 'academia's political correctness dating. Instead of the culturally correct A.D. (Anno Domini) and B.C. (Before Christ), textbooks will now include C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before Common Era) in addition to keeping our cultural dating traits. This is completely insane. Why are we here in the West (Europe and North America) have to continually erase our proud heritage? Anyways, it's Kentucky where the state motto is "Thank God for Mississippi". Here is something to ponder, if A.D. derives from the Latin abbreviations of Anno Domini, how did we end up using a vernacular term for B.C.? Is there a Latin equivalent? Do they use B.C. in non-English speaking countries?
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And indeed, one could ask what makes the "Common Era" so common? The numerical date isn't changing, after all. It seems to me that the only thing that we can find in the "Common Era" that is common to all of its constituent years is that they all are based on the birth of Christ, and derive their numerical designation from it still.
Mind you, there are a number of other ways to protest the use of "C.E.", chiefest of which is to embrace its use but alter the acronym's meaning. "Christian Era" has the same acronym, and indeed (with common pronunciation) the same number of syllables.
How about, if they want to eliminate the Christian references, we should sue them to abandon the numbering system as well? They can start with the year of the French Revolution, or some other equally secular year. While we're at it, do we still have a copyright on the Gregorian Calendar? Perhaps we should advise them to use some other system for that as well?
Let them revert to a lunar calendar or mating rituals for all I care.
Its sad when papers come back with BC and AD circled in red as if they were mistakes.
No matter how much they may try to obfuscate, there's only one reason why there's a 'year 0' separating the two eras...
If you take Christ out of the picture, the division becomes utterly arbitrary and pointless.
If they're going this far, then why not pick some great battle or important reign as your starting point?
Get your grade to pass. If I could afford getting AD and BC wrong, I would let it stand as my Catholic statement of faith. But if it's a difference between a certain grade or what have you, then I would pray about it further and hopefully God will console me in my decision.
They might offend some minority group, plant, or fish if they would pick a significant historical point.
Not to be nitpicky, there is no year 0 in the Gregorian or Julian calendars, the year 1 AD is read as "in the first year of our Lord", the year 1 BC would be "in the first year before Christ".