Self Explanatory- AO
AD and BC become CE/BCE
By Indira Das-Gupta Last updated at 00:00am on 19.02.02
In what could be seen as their greatest victory to date, politically correct campaigners have succeeded in getting schools to scrap the Christian calendar.
Breaking with centuries of tradition, the terms "BC" and "AD" are to be replaced with a system known as the Common Era. The two dating schemes are identical and both use the birth of Christ as their starting points, but the secular version does not acknowledge this.
The Latin term Anno Domini, meaning in the year of our Lord, becomes Common Era, or CE, and Before Christ becomes Before the Common Era, or BCE.
The term "common" refers to the fact that the Christian calendar is the most frequently used around the world. The move has sparked outrage among Church leaders. The Rev Rod Thomas of Reform, the Church of England's evangelical network, said: "What they are attempting to do is educate children into believing there is a way of measuring our calendar that takes its dates from an event, the significance of which, they are trying to deny.
"The whole of the Western calendar has been based on BC and AD. To change that for no good reason is to do a disservice to our youngsters."
Colin Hart, from the Christian Institute, said: "This is ridiculous. Between three and four per cent of people in Britain are of a non-Christian faith. This is about white liberals imposing political correctness in schools to ensure children are cut off from the past, for fear of upsetting someone.
"Of course, it is perfectly acceptable to offend the vast majority."
Panels comprising teachers, councillors and religious representatives advise councils in England and Wales on religious education syllabuses.
But defending the change, a spokesman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said: "It's not a question of one way is wrong and one is right, more a question of which is most commonly used.
"CE/BCE is becoming an industry standard among historians.
"Pupils have to be able to recognise these terms when they come across them."