From BC to PC: Erasing Jesus from the historical timeline

Church leaders have branded the decision to use politically correct terms – which do not mention Jesus Christ – for dates BC and AD in the new Australian national history curriculum an act of Christian cleansing.

BCE (Before Common Era), BP (Before Present) and CE (Common Era) are the new neutral terms to replace the historical terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini). The Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, commented that the removal of BC and AD from the curriculum was an “intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history”:

“It is absurd because the coming of Christ remains the centre point of dating and because the phrase ‘common era’ is meaningless and misleading.”

He continued to add that removing BC and AD was analogous to calling Christmas the festive season.

The birth of Jesus will no longer be used as a reference point in Australian school history books

The Reverend Fred Nile has described the change as ‘an absolute disgrace’. He continues:

“The direction of the national curriculum is towards almost a Christian cleansing to remove from our history any references to the role Christianity had in the formation of Australia and still has today. This is the final insult to remove BC and AD which are still recognised around the world.”

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the independent authority responsible for the development of national curriculum, said BCE and CE were to be introduced because this was an increasingly common standard for the representation of dates. The focus of ACARA is, after all, on creating programs that support 21st century learning for Australian students. A spokesman for ACARA explained that the little known term BP (Before Present) will be used when dealing with “very ancient history and archaeology, and allows for the teaching of more sophisticated understandings of representations of time.” A spokesman for Adrian Piccoli (Education Minister) said the minister was not concerned about the changes as the terms BCE and CE were now commonly used.

Christopher Pyne of Australia’s Liberal National Party, representing Federal Opposition, has joined with religious leaders in criticising the government’s desire to implement this change:

“Australia is what it is today because of the foundations of our nation in the Judeo-Christian heritage that we inherited from Western civilisation. Kowtowing to political correctness by the embarrassing removal of AD and BC in our national curriculum is of a piece with the fundamental flaw of trying to deny who we are as a people.”

Never mind the history of the term ‘Common Era’. It has only been around since the sixth century, traceable from the Latin vulgaris aerae and been used in popular English since the early 1700s. The abbreviation was re-popularised by Jewish academics in the nineteenth century and has been adopted as standard practice in most academic and scientific publications since the late twentieth century.

The curriculum was due to have been introduced next year but has been delayed by the controversy that is ongoing.

The Church appears to have neglected Romans 13:1 again:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Related Articles

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2033225/Australia-goes-PC-ban-BC-Birth-Jesus-removed-reference-point-dates-school-history-books.html

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https://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/tag/nativity-scene/

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Politics, Law

Author:Mary-Ellen L

Lives at www.animadvert.co.uk. Lecturer in Literature and Philosophy, Poet and Professional Cynic.

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8 Comments on “From BC to PC: Erasing Jesus from the historical timeline”

  1. September 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Australia is not on the way to becoming an overly PC nanny state, it already is one. It really is the main shame I have for this country of mine. To me the BC vs BCE issue is a small one, but the Archbishop is right: dating does continue to be from when Christ was born. So inevitably when a child asks “So, why does Common Time start 2000 years ago?” what can a teacher say if they’re not allowed to say “Well, that’s when Christ was recorded as being born and the dating system therefore stems from the Christian church”?

    Sure, let athiests and other religions do what they want in non-Christian schools, but at the same time, what is with this deliberate heads in the sand thing? Dates and festivals are historical after all, and should be taught for their historical impact if not for their religious.

    My major concern is this: What the hell has Australian Christianity become in the last 10 years? We are basically being bullied out of being allowed to even claim our holidays. Europeans get to play carols on their radio stations, still have angels atop their Christmas trees on television and still sell cards with the nativity and references to Christmas predominantly in the shops. Easter is widely recognised as being a Christian resurrection festival rather than some sort of Coles and Woolworths joint venture with Cadburys. The “festive season” is such bullshit. I totally agree with Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen. What’s more, it takes the Anglicans to have the balls or the passion to even speak up. Where on Earth are the voices of general Christianity or even Catholicism and it’s steadfast traditions?

    It’s sad and embarrassing that a religion is allowed to be muffled and stifled in this country, and I don’t mean any disrespect to atheists but what it does is condition the still-predominently-Christian nation to be ashamed of practicing their faith. Slowly but surely we’re stamping out the GOOD religious values that teach peace, love and living a worthwhile life. Soon the only religious values that will remain, are the hostile, immovable ones. I think the community is fighting religion at the wrong front.

  2. September 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    One is never so liberated as to live within safe boundaries. Ask a young person what liberates him or her the most and invariably, the answer is – knowing where one is at and where one is heading. This comes about from knowing exactly where the parameters are and what lies beyond.

    We are where we are today because of the path our forefathers have paved for us, the foundation of which is belief that God should be God and we, well we are not. Remove God from the world and we really have nothing. I don’t know why we fear living with there being a God, when we are taught God is love and really wants the best – His best – for us.

    Removing BC and AD may be just another point in this trajectory of telling God we don’t want HIm – not as God – but it is a point which confirms and tragically pushes us along this trajectory to meaninglessness and nowhere. That is not freedom, it is a shackle I do not want around me.

    • September 24, 2011 at 6:02 am #

      Teetwoh, I totally agree with you. Religion is a dirty word these days, and people simply need to harden the fuck up and stop getting offended by harmless aspects of Spirituality and history. BC is a label, a calendar convention. People should live with it and stop preciously trying to protect their children from even accidentally stumbling across the word “Christ” like it will sully their being. Everything is so damn PC. PC should be the abbreviation that is removed from today’s world.

  3. September 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Where is the freedom in following the path of the fathers?

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