BC-AD VS BCE-CE
BC-AD VS BCE-CE QUESTION from Mitch on January 20, 2004
I have seen some religion books from my childs Catholic School that now have B.C.E and C.E. instead of B.C and A.D. I questioned one of the sisters about it and she said that the Church is now using Before Common Era and Common Era so as not to offend people that are not Christian. Another teacher said that it actually means Before Christian Era. I have read some sites that the use of BCE and CE started with some masons. I personally dont see, if the Church is getting rid of BC and AD, why She has to apologize for being Christian. Is the Church really changing or is this another ploy of liberals in the Church to compromise? Not only that but the religion book uses inclusive language for example one sentence says that ..God wants us to love God instead of saying God wants us to love Him. The whole book was missing the references of God as a male figure.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 26, 2004
I am not aware of any Church policy changing the designation of BC/AD to BCE/CE.
BCE means Before Common Era and CE means Common Era. These designations were invented to avoid the Christian reference. The designation is part of the politically correct inclusive language movement to sanitize anything Christian.
The argument is that the new designation is more polite to those who are not Christian. That may sound logical, but in my opinion, it is just another form of improper plausibility and is rather hypocritical.
The fact of the matter, if we are to call this year, 2004, then we are using the birth of Christ as a starting point of our numbering system. To pretend this is not the case is hypocritical. There are other calendars. The Jews, the Chinese, and other have there own calendars. For example, in the Hebrew Calendar today, January 26, 2004 is for them is the 3rd of Sh'vat, in the year 5764.
The Gregorian Calendar and its adjustments happens to be what caught on as a common date designation for most of the world, just as English as emerged as the universal language. Greenwich, England happened to be the spot where the world begins with zero Longitude or meridian. This sets the starting point for coordinates for Longitudes that are required in navigation to determine coordinates; it is also the starting point for the world's Time Zones.
It is no more disrespectful to use the centuries established Gregorian Calendar as it is to use English as a universal language or have Greenwich, England as the starting point for Time Zones and Longitude lines. Especially today in a global economy and community there must be some settled upon system of dates, times, navigation, and language that we all commonly use; otherwise there would be mass chaos.
I know that you will never find me using BCE/CE.
God Bless,Bro. Ignatius Mary