Australian Schools to Banish B.C., 'Before Christ,' in Textbook?

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By Jeff Schapiro, Christian Post Reporter
September 2, 2011|5:06 pm

Christians in Australia are outraged over changes to the national school curriculum that would remove the use of Before Christ (B.C.) and Anno Domini (A.D.) in school textbooks in favor of more politically correct terms.

London-based Daily Telegraph reports that the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) wants to replace B.C. and A.D. (Anno Domini is Latin for “the year of our Lord”) with less religious terms like BCE (Before Common Era), BP (Before Present) and CE (Common Era).

Christopher Pyne, an education spokesperson for the Federal Opposition, says that the changes are “trying to deny who we are as a people.”

“Australia is what it is today because of the foundations of our nation in the Judeo-Christian heritage that we inherited from Western civilization,” he said.

BCE and CE are not new inventions. The terms were created in 6th century and gained popularity in the late 20th century as a means of describing time in a way that has a more universal appeal.

Though the terms would be changed in the new curriculum, the phrases still apply to the Gregorian calendar under which B.C. and A.D. were created.

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Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, calls these changes an “intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history.”

“It is absurd because the coming of Christ remains the center point of dating and because the phrase 'common era' is meaningless and misleading,” he said in an interview with the Sydney Daily telegraph.

BP is probably the least known abbreviation out of the three. It means either “Before Present” or “Before Physics,” and is used by scientists when making reference to the time before 1950, when the use of reliable carbon dating technology became available.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph reports that certain textbooks, like the student teaching book Teaching And Learning In Aboriginal Education by Neil Harrison, had already begun using BP in anticipation of the curriculum changes.

A spokesperson for ACARA says that the changes were made because BCE and CE are increasingly becoming the standard abbreviations used to representing dates.

The curriculum, which was supposed to have gone into effect next year, has now been delayed.

 

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