C.E. and A.D.

by Glenn Fairman  7/23/14

The terms B.C.E. and C.E. are an attempt to wash the stain of Christianity from historical memory. However, this merely begs the compelling question of what event served to sever the “historical common era” into two directions. The blushing academic and the self-absorbed anti-theist must then further explain that it was the birth of a child — a singular event that they hold as both arcane and hateful. In discarding B.C. and A.D., one does not so much transmute history with the wave of a secular wand, but close a people’s eyes to the crowning lightning strike orienting the human drama, and attempt to bury links to a civilization under the detris of modernity’s impudence. Such arrogance shall not go unanswered when our metaphysical poverty is one day revealed.
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Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at arete5000@dslextreme.com.


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28 Responses to C.E. and A.D.

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    And — dammit — bring back Pluto as a planet. Yes, I’m serious (but not Sirius).

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I don’t think I’ve had this come up, but suffice it to say that if I have the time (that is, if I am able to read through an entire submission), I will most likely change “B.C.E.” to B.C. and “C.E.” to Anno Domini. Editor’s privilege.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Anno Domini means “Year of the Lord”, so it’s reasonable to change that for members of an occupation that certainly doesn’t require adherence to any belief that considers Jesus Christ the Lord. But BC merely refers to “Before Christ”. Changing that to BCE for “Before the Common Era” is merely a christophobic way of pretending that this split in time has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity. Otherwise, they could just as easily use the Hegira as a split — but they don’t, because far fewer people use AH than AD. (This may change, given that many nominal Christians don’t have children whereas many Muslim groups breed likes flies, and also given the militant jihadism around the world. But right now, Christians vastly outnumber Muslims.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Anno Domini means “Year of the Lord”, so it’s reasonable to change that for members of an occupation that certainly doesn’t require adherence to any belief that considers Jesus Christ the Lord.

      I don’t see what’s so reasonable about it, especially because we know that such changes are not motivated by some kind of neutral pursuit for scientific accuracy. It’s rooted in a Marxist-infused hatred of our culture and the desire to overturn it.

      Changing from “A.D.” would be analogous to the Taliban in Afghanistan blowing up those Buddhist statues. *I* might not be a Buddhist. But who am I do come in and change that just because it seems reasonable?

      Our language is being blown up daily by people whose motives are not good. I think it’s quite reasonable for a scholar to have much better things to do than to engage in Orwellianism. Leave the A.D. alone.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        My point is that AD expresses the view that Jesus Christ is actually the Lord, whereas BC only indicates that his birth was a major event. Since the BCE usage actually agrees, I see no reason why it should be used. (Note that I use AD myself; I just don’t reject CE the way I do BCE.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          My point is that AD expresses the view that Jesus Christ is actually the Lord, whereas BC only indicates that his birth was a major event.

          No doubt there are hundreds of words that come from other religions, from myths, or whatever. As much as I despise Islam, I wouldn’t want to don the hat of the Cultural Marxist Revisionist who goes around deciding what is a “correct” word and what is not.

          A certain amount of deference must be paid to simple tradition. And, again, if you can show me one example of someone who consciously changed the “A.D.” to “C.E.” and did if for completely neutral purposes of scientific accuracy, then I’ll concede some points to your argument.

          But we would be foolish indeed if we did not recognize that the trend toward revising language does not generally stem from a desire for accuracy but is driven by a Leftist political ideology.

          A.D. is good enough for me and for any scientist.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Whether or not one believes Jesus is Lord, A.D. has been in usage for over a thousand years in the West. It has become tradition and many people no doubt have no idea of its meaning. Thus to try and change its usage can be reasonably seen as an attack on tradition, our heritage and system, as well as on Christianity.

          Something similar was tried by the radicals of the French Revolution when they came up with the so-called Republican Calender.

          Day one of this calender started on Primidi Vendemiaire which was the old Sept. 22, 1792. The names of the months were changed to Brumaire, Thermidor, Messidor, Fructidor, etc. Instead of seven days per week, there were ten beginning with Primidi and ending with Decadi.

          This was forced upon the French by anti-Church bigots and “rationalists” who knew better than the rest of the people. The imposition of BCE and CE comes from much the same impulse. Heh dummies, we can start the world anew! And this time, there is the “multicultural/diversity” angle.

          One might believe the argument about AD or CE is a small point, but it is by losing thousands of small points, that we have lost so much in this country.

          I think there is such a thing as being too reasonable when dealing with the Left. And I firmly believe we must stop falling into the trap of letting the Left define the language and set the agenda.

          The Left are not subtle and do not try to use refined discussion when speaking to the crowd or attacking their enemies. I think it is about time conservatives figure this out and go on the attack. In this sense, I am somewhat in favor of Chambers’ “being a man of the right”, than Buckley’s “conservatism”, at least in the sense of going on the offensive. To hell with being “reasonable” as the Left defines it. It is a quagmire from which we will not escape.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, you have a point there. I did say that I use AD myself. It’s a sad day when someone is more hostile to the Left than I am!

            I remember that the suffixes of the Revolutionary months were based on the season, with “aire” being used for winter months (such as Vendemiaire and Brumaire) and “or” for summer months. And of course they started with the year I. After Napoleon took over he restored the calendar used by everyone else in Europe (though the days didn’t always match because the Eastern Orthodox areas still used the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian).

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I noticed you personally use AD, and are very anti-Left.

              I just wanted to make a historical point as it is pretty clear from history that the Left cannot be reasoned with or even negotiated with for any period of time.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                This is why alert conservatives resist any compromise so much. We know that all a compromise really means is moving the Overton window leftward, not resolving an issue, and see no reason to do that. In that sense, AD vs. CE can be seen as just another example; there’s nothing wrong with CE per se, but it’s an unnecessary concession that leads to junking BC for BCE (much less justifiable), and then eventually to other changes.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Mr. Kung, you pulled that last post out of a depth of wisdom that is so missing from today. Well said. In a perfect world where we all had the time (and money) that we needed, that would to extended into a full-length book — or at least an article for wide distribution.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Thanks. If we are ever to make gains against the Left, we must understand their history and mindset. Then we must be conscious of the fact that they twist, lie and bend everything to their ends. Truth, facts and experience mean nothing to them. In spite of all their pious platitudes about helping the poor and oppressed, their main motivation is a hate for the established order and Western culture in particular.

              How else can one explain B. Hussein’s muttering
              about remaking America? The same holds for the aim of starting the world anew.

              Why would anyone wish to remake America if one loved America? Why would anyone wish to start the world anew if one loved the present world?

              The primary underlying impulses of the Left are hate, grievance and revenge. When such ugliness is what motivates a group, we should not be surprised that morality is not part of their platform.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Hate is certainly a defining characteristic of the Left, as SEIU’s reaction to the Koch brothers’ contribution to the United Negro College Fund shows clearly. But one can’t ignore their will to Power. That is their true purpose. O’Brien in 1984 is their model.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    For what it is worth, I refuse to bend to the P.C. crowd and will never use B.C.E. or C.E.

    BC and AD were good enough for about 1,500-1,600 years and they are good enough for me.

    The Japanese use a duel system whereby they use our Western numbers, but they also count years according to the reigns of emperors.

  5. Anniel says:

    I made a cross stitch sampler using Psalms 19:1 and a rendition of a spiral galaxy. When I put my name and the date of the project at the bottom someone told me I “must” use CE instead of AD. I smiled as I removed the AD and put in Anno Domini instead. I still smile when I look at it, and at the blue ribbon the sampler won.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Interesting that you would include an image of a galaxy. Some may remember that in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, in the scenes in which the angels (presumably including Clarence) discuss George Bailey’s life, they show various images of galaxies (no doubt to suggest their heavenly provenance). Is that why you chose the image?

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I removed the AD and put in Anno Domini instead

      This is sad confirmation that the people who demanded CE instead of AD are poorly educated thus do not understand irony when they see it. I guess that sums up the American Left.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I smiled as I removed the AD and put in Anno Domini instead.

      Perfect. That is what you call . . . oh, I can’t use those words in the presence of a Lady. But you got them where they lived. Well done.

  6. Anniel says:

    Timothy – it was one of those flukes, I was looking through Hubble photos for The Great Wall or maybe the Horsehead Nebula, when I turned a page and there was a photo of a spiral galaxy with trails of suns being pulled away by gravity from another galaxy in what looked like strands being flung into space. It was absolutely perfect. The whole project felt inspired to me.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One thing that is not widely known is what those newfangled initials stand for. Let me illuminate:

    B.C.E. = Before Cannabis Era

    C.E. = Cannabis Era

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Like, whoa Dude. Where did you read that? Cough, cough.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Is that one of yours, Mr. Kung, that I’ve inadvertently Joe Bidened?

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          No, it was a failed attempt to make a joke about the dope smoking Libertarian crowd who wouldn’t have enough knowledge to know that A.D., B.C., B.C.E., and C.E. are acronyms used to date events and people in a historical context.

  8. James says:

    It is a remarkable admission from the left that the birth of Christ brought a commonality to the human race.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It is a remarkable admission from the left that the birth of Christ brought a commonality to the human race.

      Good point. Ultimately changing “A.D.” to “C.E.” because “A.D.” has a Christian heritage makes as much sense as wanting to change the word “algebra” because it is of Islamic origin.

      Glenn’s initial evaluation is spot on. It’s “an attempt to wash the stain of Christianity from historical memory.”

      Dear Progressives: Things have happened in this world before you graced us with your almighty presence. Get used to it. And when you are gone, you will not be missed because you ultimately were a menace to thinking men.

  9. faba calculo says:

    Even as a pretty committed agnostic, I’ve got to say that the whole BCE/CE things has always struck me as pretty stupid for exactly the reasons given in the article.

    Well done.

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