British Schools Ditch ‘BC’ and ‘AD’ to Avoid Offending Non-Christians

A growing number of British schools are removing the historical terms BC and AD from religious education lessons in a bid to avoid offending non-Christians. The traditional terms BC, Before Christ, and AD, Anno Domini (which means ‘the year of the Lord’), are being ditched for BCE – Before Common Era, and CE – Common Era. The new terms still denote the periods before and after the birth of Christ.   “A CAPITULATION TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS” According to the British Qualifications and Curriculum Authority: “It’s not a question of one way is wrong and one is right; more a question of which is most commonly used”. Meanwhile, Chris McGovern, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said that removing BC and AD “is a capitulation to political correctness”.   “SHOW SENSITIVITY TO NON-CHRISTIANS” The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority explained that “BCE and CE were first brought into use in the sixth century and are now used in order to show sensitivity to those who are not Christians”. “BCE/CE is becoming an industry standard among historians. Pupils have to be able to recognize these terms when they come across them”, it added.   FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: “A SHAME” Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has described the change as a “great shame”. “I have never met a Muslim or Jewish leader who is offended by the Gregorian calendar”, Lord Carey told the Mail on Sunday. A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “I don’t think anyone would mind if in mainstream schools they use BC and AD”.   SACRES TO DECIDE WHAT TO USE Religious education syllabuses in most schools are developed by local council committees known as Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs). Teachers in East Sussex and Essex are now among those to replace the terms, an investigation by the Mail on Sunday has found. “Individual SACREs and schools can make a judgment over which form of dating is appropriate”, Paul Smalley, chair of the National Association of SACREs, said.