Thursday, February 03, 2005

Is this really that major an issue?

"Will you stand?" This is the question asked at this website in regards to keeping 'B.C.' (Before Christ) and 'A.D' (Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord) in school textbooks as opposed to B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era). Will you stand to keep these Christian-specific terms in place to designate eras in our world's history? From the site:

"Our goal is to get “Common Era” and “Before the Common Era” completely removed from the Ohio Academic Content Standards. The A.D. Calendar has been a part of our history for several hundred years. If “Common Era” and “Before the Common Era” remain in our Academic Content Standards, I fear “B.C.” and “A.D.” will not be a part of our history or a part of our curriculum.

Therefore, we must strongly stress to the members of the State Board of Education that “Common Era” and “Before the Common Era” be completely removed from the Academic Content Standards."

What is interesting about this website is that the reasoning behind fighting the good fight to keep these designations in place is never given. "My fellow Christians, friends and citizens, the ramifications and significance of this is too severe for us to not take action. " But the 'ramifications and significance of this' are never shared. The mere suggestion that elsewhere in our society people are trying to remove references to God should be, it seems to be assumed, enough to raise the ire of concerned Christian citizens.

I've written elsewhere about my feelings on the pledge, and this seems to be more bad stewardship of time and energy. What is the significance of keeping 'Before Christ' and 'Anno Domini,' besides 'that's the way it's been?' What are the ramifications of using 'Before Common Era' and 'Common Era?' What exactly is the attack on Christianity here? Why is it so important to stand on this issue? The site doesn't say. Some may view it as a further slippery slope down the mountain of there being no God in public places.

There are plenty of ways to put God in public places. There are plenty of ways to mention Christ in school, government, and the workplace. Love your neighbor. Pray for those who persecute you. Proclaim release to the captives. Make peace. Serve the poor, the orphan and the widow. Feed the hungry. Visit the sick. Ask how the 'least of these' may be helped to realize a better life.

Jim Wallis writes that there are many places in which faith may influence your politics and, more generally, your public life. 'God,' he writes, 'is personal, but never private.' And there are many more productive ways to bring one's faith into the public realm than lobbying for letters in a textbook.