Historically Senseless Hypocrisy
Lucetta Scaraffia

The BBC and the calendar

The news that the BBC has decided to revise the reference to the Chronological dating: BC, Before Christ, and AD, Anno Domini, to the generic "CE", Common Era, in order not to offend believers of other religions, has not elicited much reaction except from the very many non-Christians who have let it be known through various spokespeople that they did not feel in any way offended by the traditional dating.

Yet these composed and respectful voices did not move the directors of the British news station, as has happened before in similar cases. In fact, it is now very clear that respect for other religions is only an excuse, because those who wish to erase every trace of Christianity from Western culture are only a few secular Westerners.

It is certainly not the first time. The attempt to change the traditional dating occurred during the French Revolution, which introduced a new calendar in which time was calculated from 14 July 1789, the day said to be the start of the Revolution, and invented new names for the months, obviously cancelling Christian feast days and substituting them with "revolutionary" ones. In order to eliminate Sunday, the week was made up of ten days. The calendar was short-lived, cancelled in 1806 by Napoleon: the new dates appeared somehow false and ridiculous even to the proudest followers of the Enlightenment.

The second attempt was made by Lenin, who revised the calendar to begin with the date of the coup d'etat: 24 October 1917. This calendar, which was used from 1929 until 1940, replaced the week with five days and naturally abolished Christian feasts, replacing them with revolutionary dates. This also met with little success, given that the Gregorian calendar was used at the same time in order to maintain relations with therest of the world. A similar fate awaited the calendar imposed by Mussolini which began with the March on Rome, the beginning of the Fascist Era, but it did not aim to replace the traditional calendar, rather to stand beside it.

In sum, the idea of removing the Christian calendar has very bad antecedents, with numerous failures in its wake. It should be noted that this time the BBC has limited itself to changing only the description, rather than the computation of time, but in doing so, it cannot be denied that it has made a hypocritical gesture: the hypocrisy of those who pretend not to know why years began to be counted precisely from that moment.

To deny the historically revolutionary function of the coming of Christ on the earth, accepted even by those who do not recognize him as the Son of God, is great nonsense. And, from an historical point of view, Jews as well as Muslims know this.

How can one pretend not to know that only from that moment was the idea affirmed that all human beings are equal because they are children of God? A principle upon which human rights are founded, and on the basis of which people and leaders are judged. A principle which, until that moment, no one had supported and upon which the Christian tradition is based.

Why should it not be recognized that from that moment the world was changed? That taboos and material impurity disappeared and that nature was liberated from the presence of the supernatural precisely because God is transcendent? Out of this was born the possibility for European peoples to discover the world and for scientists to begin the experimental study of nature that led to the birth of modern science.

Why, then, deny even the cultural debt that civilization owes to Christianity? There is nothing more anti-historical and senseless, as Jews and Muslims have clearly understood. It is not a question of faith, but of reason. Once again.


Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
12 October 2011, page 1

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