The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has just announced that it will be discouraging the use of Christian dating references in its programming. Anno Domini (the year of Our Lord) and Before Christ can now be replaced for the “religiously neutral” Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCE).
The reason given for the broadcaster’s partiality toward the new terms is the BBC’s “commitment to impartiality” and a desire not “to offend or alienate non-Christians.”
The new policy is a sad commentary on our modern world’s offensive against Christ. Christophobia has now reached such a point that even the remote reference to Christ of our dating system must be discouraged. The desire not to offend is so great that the BBC feels it necessary to offend one billion Christians worldwide. Our Lord Jesus Christ Who came into this world to redeem mankind is now spurned once again by the world with the desire to erase from public memory any reference to His existence.
However, such efforts are exercises in futility. For 2000 years, men have at least had the intellectual honesty to admit that a great event marked history which was the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, we have the designation B.C. and A.D. There is no way to deny this.
Even the cynical promoters of the new date designations are forced to admit that some unnamed great event divides history which corresponds to the time of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They are forced to admit it was so extraordinary that all else becomes common. After Christ, they designate as the Common Era. Before Christ, it appears there was another common era which is only distinguished by the fact that it came before the present Common Era. The center of this distorted designation is still Christ, albeit not identified.
However, if the BBC and so many others were honest, we would hope that they would at least have the originality and imagination to find a simple designation of their own. Maybe they could find something that would not be offensive to anyone.
Alas, perhaps the egalitarian “common” is the best designation, since by leveling everyone to the level of common, no one can claim to be more than any other. Yet by offending no one, they offend everyone. We must all accept the ignoble “common” as a testimony to our own insignificance. Our history (or evolution) is thereby reduced to a confused jumble of random events where nothing should stand out.
If a simple designation is not possible, perhaps they could choose some extraordinary event or person before and after which all is divided. Here again, we run into problems. We must automatically exclude all religious and ancient calendars for the same reason that the Christian calendar is being excluded.
In this case, we should hold the BBC and its political correct allies to the standard of finding a calendar based on their own secular non-offending events or people. Perhaps we might suggest B.B.C. (Before Being Challenged) or perhaps A.D. (After Diversity). Even A.D. (after Darwin) or B.F. (Before Freud) might be suggested.
However, this would be yet another exercise of futility. Political correctness is hopelessly unpopular beyond academia and government bureaucracies. No other calendar so conquered the world than that of Christ. Christianity, like the calendar, spread all over the earth to bring the Good News of the Gospel to all peoples. Indeed, He conquered the world and His kingdom shall have no end.
In fact, the whole debate is pointless. One day when the history of our era will be written, historians will refer to our confused times and mention these little incidents in their footnotes referring to our neo-pagan times and the preceding Christian era — maybe with B.B.B.C. — Before the BBC.