Votes : 0

Historically senseless hypocrisy

Lucetta Scaraffia - Wed, Oct 5th 2011

The news that the BBC has decided to change the descriptions of the dates BC, Before Christ, and AD, Anno Domini to a 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 let it be known through various spokesmen that they did not in any way feel 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 reality, it is by 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 traditional dating occurred during the French Revolution, which imposed a new calendar beginning with July 14, 1789, the day said to be the start of the revolution, and invented new names for the months, obviously cancelling Christian feasts and substituting them with “revolutionary” ones. In order to erase Sunday, the week was replaced with ten days. The calendar was short-lived, cancelled in 1806 by Napoleon: the new dates had something of the false and ridiculous even for the most proud of the Enlightenment.

The second attempt was made by Lenin, who changed the calendar to begin with the date of the coup d’etat: October 24, 1917. This calendar, which was used from 1929 until 1940, replaced the week with five days and naturally abolished Christian feasts, substituting them with revolutionary dates. This, too, met with little success, given that the Gregorian calendar was used in parallel in order to maintain relations with the rest 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 did not aim to replace the traditional calendar.

In sum, the idea of removing the Christian calendar has very bad precedent, leaving 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 Son of God, is enormous nonsense. And, from an historical point of view, Jews as well as Muslims know so.

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 which led to the birth of modern science.

Why, then, deny even the cultural debt that civilization bears 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.

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