Wingnut: Using C.E. and B.C.E. is Persecution of Christians

Myra Adams, owner of the Jesus Store, where you can buy “divinely inspired Christian jewelry” (with lots of diamonds, of course, because what says praise the lord better than a gem that gets people killed and oppressed to procure), is clutching her pearls over what she terms the persecution of Christians that takes place when people use CE and BCE rather than AD and BC:

Daily headlines prove that Christian persecution has reached epidemic proportions, creating a global humanitarian and political crisis, most notably in the Middle East and Africa.

Concurrently, all Christians throughout the world are experiencing another form of persecution. On the surface it is peaceful and silent, but underneath just as deadly as the physical kind sans the torture, beheadings and refugees. This subtle form of Christian persecution is so quiet that Christianity’s 2.4 billion followers are largely unaware that it is even happening. The “persecution” to which I refer comes from pressure by society and popular culture to abandon traditional B.C./A.D. time dating in favor of B.C.E./C.E dating now quickly gaining worldwide acceptance. For those unfamiliar, let’s define all the terms.

B.C. stands for Before Christ and A.D. represents Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of our Lord.”

B.C.E. stands for Before the Common Era, while C.E. means Common Era.

Given my religious background as a Jewish convert to Christianity since 1975, I feel compelled to take a stand against this “time dating persecution,” which is also a de facto war against Christianity and one Christians are slowing losing…

Given my religious background as a Jewish convert to Christianity since 1975, I feel compelled to take a stand against this “time dating persecution,” which is also a de facto war against Christianity and one Christians are slowing losing.

For me, it all started back in 1963 when my 8-year-old ears first heard the historic dating terms B.C.E. and C.E. while attending Hebrew school at our local temple.

After asking my teacher what the initials B.C.E. and C.E. represented, she mouthed the words, but neglected to define “Common Era” itself. I remember wondering why, if this Common Era was so “common,” I had never heard of it – not an unreasonable thought considering that I attended public elementary school where the term “B.C.” was always associated with ancient history – especially dinosaurs and cavemen.

As the 20th century progressed, and throughout my education and adult life experiences, the terms B.C. and A.D. reigned supreme as the demarcation line separating ancient from “modern” history.

Now, 15 years into the 21st century I have begun to notice a vast increase in the use of those old Hebrew school terms B.C.E. and C.E. in museums, online, in print and on television.

Not only are Christians being oppressed and persecuted by the use of CE and BCE, they’re being oppressed by the Jews. Oh, sweet irony. 1800 years of Christian pogroms against Jews that resulted in vast numbers of them maimed, exiled and killed and this dolt thinks a dating system that does not reference her religious beliefs, used by those who don’t share those religious beliefs, is persecution. I don’t know how you parody this stuff, folks.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Saad

    Does she realize it’s still using the same reference point as BC and AD? It’s still all about Jesus, Myra. Calm down.

  • Holms

    Concurrently, all Christians throughout the world are experiencing another form of persecution. On the surface it is peaceful and silent, but underneath just as deadly as the physical kind sans the torture, beheadings and refugees.

    One of the most idiotic passages I have ever read. Sure, nonviolent non-persecution is just as violent as violent persecution …once all the violence has been ignored.

  • John Pieret

    She has a point! Now, if she reads something about history, she will have to contemplate the fact that not everyone kowtows to her Christian faith. Oh, the horror!

  • dingojack

    Except, of course, your preferred dating system has as much relevance to Jesus as dating the beginning of the United States of America to 1800…

    @@ Dingo

  • shadowwalkyr

    You don’t. It’s self-parodying.

  • whheydt

    Wonder what she’d do if someone gave a date that ended with “A.U.C” (ab urbe condita)?

  • eric

    Another example of a fundie completely getting the concept of ‘tolerance’ backwards. Tolerance here would be reading for content and ignoring the author’s choice of dating system. It does not mean forcing all authors to use your dating system.

    Ironically, Wikipedia tells me the CE designation was invented by monks in the 17th century and used interchangeably with AD because it referred to “Christian Era.”

    is also a de facto war against Christianity and one Christians are slowing losing…

    Actually I think you’re winning this one. While I know the Jews use it, IMO at least in Europe and the US, CE and BCE have never really caught on outside the confines of academia, and I doubt they ever will. Because most of us care as little about AD referencing Christ as we do July referencing Julius Caesar.

    I remember wondering why, if this Common Era was so “common,” I had never heard of it

    What a complete idiot. The people who use CE are giving historical acknowledgement to the fact that Christianity has dominated the western world so much that the entire world now uses the calendar they adopted. And yet, because that acknowledgement of historical placement doesn’t say Jesus Jesus Jesus, its still not good enough for you?

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #4

    Well, Yeshua ben Yusef of Nazareth, if he ever existed, was probably born a few years either before or after Year 0. Likely before, maybe as early as 7 BCE.

  • Larry

    Now here is someone who needs to get laid as badly as any one in history.

  • Nemo

    @Saad #1: Yes, she mentions that towards the end of the piece, if you follow the link. (“However, even if Jesus and the works he inspired are demeaned through increased use of Common Era dating, one must still acknowledge that Jesus is the Common Era.” I read the whole thing, looking for the part where the term “persecution” was justified. But that never appeared.)

    Personally, I’d love to accommodate her, by changing to an era that’s not based on her silly old myths at all. But the Common Era seems too well-entrenched, at this point.

  • Nemo

    @colnago80 #8: There is no Year Zero in either the B.C./A.D. calendar or the identically-numbered B.C.E./C.E. calendar.

  • wreck

    “just as deadly as the physical kind sans the torture, beheadings and refugees.”

    Just like water, but without the wetness. What a moron.

  • jedibear

    Persecution of first-year History students, maybe. Christians, though?

    It’s a bit much to ask non-Christians to say Anno Domini.

    Personally, I’d rather go to a calendar based on Unix.

  • dingojack

    SLC – probably between 748 & 750 a.u.c, between the 22nd & 24rd Year of the Imperium of Augustus, between the Consulships of Decimus Laelius Balbus/Gaius Antistius Vetus & that of Gaius Calvisius Sabinus/Lucius Passienus Rufus (Consul-suffecti: Gaius Caelius [Rufus?] and Galus Sulpicius), between the 3rd year of the 193rd Olympiad & the 194th Olympiad, between 3755/6 & 3757/8 in the Jewish Calendar…

    and a shit load of others that this wingnut has also probably never encountered either*! @@

    Dingo

    ———

    * 6bce – 4bce, based on evidence (such as it is) in the Gospels

  • rietpluim

    When a wingnut speaks of a de facto war you may be confident that there is no war at all. Her argument implies that the Christian calendar is persecution of virtually any other demographic group on the globe. Given her background, does she think that the Jewish calendar is persecution of christians too?

  • brucegee1962

    A few years back, I was part of a discussion group with John C. Wright (he of the current Hugo flap), and he brought up much the same complaint. I pointed out how loudly Christians would be complaining if, due to the vagaries of history, we were using “Before Mohammed” and “After Mohammed” as our numbering scheme.

    He pointed out that we do use pagan gods for a similar purpose: Thor’s Day, Wodin’s Day, etc.

    But I think there’s a big difference when we’re talking about dead religions vs. live ones. I think my point still stands, though, if we had “Ali’s Day” and “Aisha’s Day.”

  • caseloweraz

    She does say all profits from The Jesus Store go to charities like Cross International. But her claim about B.C.E. is dumb.

    And so is this:

    Concurrently, all Christians throughout the world are experiencing another form of persecution. On the surface it is peaceful and silent, but underneath just as deadly as the physical kind sans the torture, beheadings and refugees.

    Peaceful persecution? It might work as a band name, not otherwise.

    On the other hand, maybe she means the kind of torture the Piranha Brothers used: sarcasm… simile and metaphor and [gulp] litotes!

  • busterggi

    “Given my religious background as a Jewish convert to Christianity since 1975”

    And did she mind Christians persecuting the Hebrew calendar into virtual non-existance?

    The Roman calendar?

    The Chinese?

    etc.

  • raven

    Maia Maiestas, Goddess of Spring, Maia, Majesty, earth …

    www. thaliatook. com/OGOD/maiamaiestas.html

    Maia is the Oscan Earth-Goddess, and an ancient Roman Goddess of springtime, warmth, and increase.

    Just to help Myra Adams along with her delusions of persecution.

    Today is the Moon’s Day in the month of May, named after the Roman (or Oscan) Goddess of springtime.

    The Roman Pagans could always claim that the xians stole their monthly naming system. Except that the xians persecuted them into nonexistence over several centuries.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    brucegee1962 “I think my point still stands, though, if we had “Ali’s Day” and “Aisha’s Day.””

    But since the Muslins took over Britain, it’s exactly like that over there! Every year now, they take time off work, hook a caravan up to the car and go on Allahday!

  • vmanis1

    `They’re calling me silly! Help, I’m being repressed!’

  • llewelly

    Little do they know C.E and B.C.E are only the beginning of a much larger plan. In place already are the technological and engineering details of Red Matter and Time Travel. We will soon go back in time and Change History Forever so that Christians Never Existed At All!

  • dingojack

    MO – especially that bloody Cliff – his going on Sumer Allahdays are famous!

    Dingo

  • grumpyoldfart

    A link to her Jesus Store. She will be delighted.

  • Taz

    I had never heard of it – not an unreasonable thought considering that I attended public elementary school where the term “B.C.” was always associated with ancient history – especially dinosaurs and cavemen.

    Who can forget the story of Plato coming out of his cave to ride the ideal dinosaur.

  • peterh

    But, of course, forcing societies which are heavily Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, etc. to have their dating systems proclaim BC & AD would be just peachy fine . . . . .

    If these nutters are going to make themselves out to be persecuted, can’t they put a little imagination into it?

  • PatrickG

    @ Modusoperandi:

    You’re always a joy in these comment threads, but this:

    Every year now, they take time off work, hook a caravan up to the car and go on Allahday!

    was probably your best work recently. I almost ruptured my gut!

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    A rare example of CE appearing in popular culture was 2030 CE, a Canadian sci fi TV series that aired on YTV in Canada and Showtime in the US in 2002.

  • samgardner

    And here I was hoping we’d be getting to persecute them with Vogon poetry.

  • Saad

    Modusoperandi,

    Every year now, they take time off work, hook a caravan up to the car and go on Allahday!

    If you weren’t taking the caravan, I’d have recommended the Ramadan Inn.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Why not humor her and call the current era PJ and the prior period BJ?

  • flex

    Let’s not tell her about BPE.

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/716199715156984/ Myra Adams

    The Jesus Store does not sell any jewelry with diamonds. But I know facts are inconvenient, just as reading the entire piece and not taking it out of context is also too much trouble.

    “Myra Adams, owner of the Jesus Store, where you can buy “divinely inspired Christian jewelry” (with lots of diamonds, of course, because what says praise the lord better than a gem that gets people killed and oppressed to procure)”

  • observer

    Myra, it appears that Ed was wrong about the diamonds, and he should correct his error. But I read your column as well as his post, and he most certainly did not take anything you wrote out of context.

  • pwuk

    Gawd sake, still good job that things like days of the week aren’t named after non christian deities.

  • StevoR

    Hmm .. Maybe we should all switch to using the Jewish calendar instead – it does after all have priority!

  • StevoR

    See :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar

    We’re living in the nicley palindromic and mathematical symetrical year 5775

  • StevoR

    Anno Mundi. Which should be in Hebrew not Latin but still.

  • http://helives.blogspot.com heddle

    We’re living in the nicley palindromic and mathematical symetrical year 5775

    Whose prime factors include only the first 4 (odd) prime numbers: 5775 = 3 x 5 x 5 x 7 x 11

  • yoav

    Just imagine how prosecuted she would feel when encountering the common practice among the more conservative groups of orthodox jews (at least in israel) to use “according to their count” instead of either BC or AD.

  • dingojack

    Stevo – the years 5177 & 5993 will be of greater mathematical interest in an odd way.

    (So will, in the sum of things, be the year 5193).

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    Stevo – the years 5777 & 5993

    D’oh!

    Dingo

  • http://helives.blogspot.com heddle

    DJ and Stevo,

    Off topic, but since we playing with numbers, my last birthday of the last millennium: Nov 19, 1999 has something special about it that won’t happen for over a thousand years. Can you figure it out?

  • Kermit Sansoo

    Hello, Myra. Error of fact noted. Ed rarely responds to the comments, however.

    .

    “On the surface it is peaceful and silent, but underneath just as deadly as the physical kind sans the torture, beheadings and refugees. This subtle form of Christian persecution is so quiet that Christianity’s 2.4 billion followers are largely unaware that it is even happening.”

    .

    I’m not sure what “just as deadly [but without the physical manifestations]” would mean.

    .

    And I would like to state for the record that i personally would prefer that if I were to be persecuted, that it be in a manner that I was “largely unaware that it is even happening.”

    .

    Also, too, in my opinion, being prevented from being totally dominant (as opposed to merely dominant) is hardly persecution. Grow up, and stop whining. You have no moral nor legal right to demand behavior from other people when you do no grant them the same privileges over you. Morality is how you treat other people, not a list of arbitrary rules from an imaginary and magical king.

  • raven

    Xian persecution is like their god.

    It is totally invisible and effects nothing!!!

    Myra Adams, like a lot of xians, has a hard time telling the invisible from the imaginary. The invisible and imaginary do though, look very similar.

  • raven

    Pharyngula today PZ Myers:

    Atheists need to abandon Bangladesh

    A third secular blogger has been viciously hacked to death there: Ananta Bijoy Das has been added to the list of folk murdered for godlessness in Bangladesh,

    I’m sure that Myra Adams is still in full flight from reality.

    But this is a teachable moment.

    Persecution isn’t using CE and BCE. It is being hacked to death by men with machetes for being an…atheist.

    Atheism is a death penalty offense in 8 countries. In Europe up until a few centuries ago, the xians did the same thing with stacks of firewood and torches.