by James Ray Deaton 2/15/16
I was born A.D. (Anno Domini) 1956, but if the progressives have their way, I’m likely to die sometime in the Common Era (CE). Really, can’t liberals leave anything to do with Western life, tradition, culture and religion alone? Do they have to insinuate their greedy, bony and over-long fingers into every little thing that has served society so well for so long? They have taken away my plastic bags, my Thomas Edison light bulbs, my traditional definition of marriage, my right to make bad food choices (Damn the trans fats — full speed ahead!), my “water-wasting” toilet (everything was gone in one flush), many of my poorly thought out jokes, my short wheelbase, “dangerously” narrow and high-center-of-gravity CJ Jeep, and too many freedoms and choices to remember. As part of a routine physical last month, the “medical” questions included ones about gun ownership.
And now — more and more — the centuries-old tradition of using A.D.(Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord,” ) and B.C. (Before Christ) to date historical events is morphing into the politically correct, liberal and atheist approved, CE and BCE (Common Era and Before Common Era). Why does everything have to be so common? Does everything and the wash machine have to change in our new multi-culti society? Does it all have to change in my lifetime? I guess when you have a president that says America is no longer just a Christian nation, you can’t expect to have a calendar with such Christo-Centric liabilities. Like so many of these horrid PC encroachments I suspect the practice originated in Europe, but was soon embraced by American progressives anxious to emulate their Continental betters.
The Anno Domini system of dating was introduced in A.D. 525 by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus. He calculated (a little incorrectly) the date of the birth of Jesus Christ and numbered years from that date for Easter tables he was preparing. In the 8th century (A.D.) the English monk,The Venerable Bede, used Anno Domini and the Latin equivalent of “Before Christ” in his book “Ecclesiastical History of the English People.” Anno Domini was in widespread use in Europe by the end of the 9th century. A.D. and B.C. have been used in the West in legal and religious documents, most scholarly studies, history books and common language for centuries. Of course, this now must change. CE and BCE have become common with academics and in university presses and with museums. More and more history books and other non-fiction books I read use the new designations. The BBC, in an effort to “not offend or alienate non-Christians,” switched to CE/BCE in 2011. The World Almanac began using the new designations in 2007. It seems most American newspapers and ordinary folks still use A.D. and B.C., but how long can such a non-inclusive and offensive practice continue? When will the PC police make it uncomfortable, slightly racist/nativist/non-inclusive/privileged/boorish to use A.D./B.C.?
And for all the academics is it not just academic anyway since the reference point for both CE/BCE and A.D./B.C. is still the birth of Christ? BCE is still a count-down to the approximate date of Christ’s birth and CE is the time after. The Gregorian/Christian calendar and system of dating is still used world-wide. A.D. 2016 was celebrated around the world from Sydney and Beijing to Mumbai, Dubai, Venice, London, New York and Honolulu. Are the CE/BCE designations a feeble attempt to placate the odd Muslim, atheist or iconoclast who can’t abide living in an Anno Domini world?
As for me, I’m an A.D. kind of guy. If I’m able to muddle on for another 20 or 30 years, I plan to die “In the Year of Our Lord” not in the “Common Era,” thank you very much. Maybe ordinary people can slow and stop this CE/BCE fetish, kind of like we stopped the metric system from conquering America in the 1970’s. For me, Anno Domini is the only way to go.
James Ray Deaton, one of six known conservatives living in Berkeley, Calif., is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
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