Posted by Anne Witton on Sunday, October 29, 2017 Under: Reflections
It seems there’s more and more pressure to erase Christianity from history to avoid offending those of other faiths or of a secular worldview.
A recent investigation by the Mail on Sunday found that more schools using BCE and CE instead of BC and AD to avoid offending those of non-Christian faiths.
This strikes me as ridiculous for three reasons:
(1) The terms BC and AD are hardly used in a proselytising way. They’re just a convention in the Gregorian calendar and I’m sure that lots of people don’t even know what they stand for.
(2) Even if the terms were overtly Christian, most people aren’t offended by being confronted by something that has a faint whiff of a worldview that’s different from theirs. In fact, it’s important for all of us to be exposed to things we find challenging or don’t necessarily agree with in order to understand other and evoke our own opinions about the world.
And yet it seems that some people would prefer that the Christian heritage of our country be obliterated to avoid people getting upset.
(3) Even if we concede that being exposed to anything faintly Christian is damaging (which I don’t), then where does this logically lead? There’s an awful lot of our culture that would have to go:
- Every church building in the country, from St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey to thousands of beautiful rural churches on the village green.
- Statues and cenotaphs that have Christian imagery or Bible verses.
- The 17359 Christian charities in the UK including Christian Aid, Tearfund, Traidcraft, Christians Against Poverty, Trussell Trust Foodbanks and City missions. These involve thousands of staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to providing soup kitchens, visiting prisoners, working with the homeless, supporting refugees, running educational programmes, promoting animal welfare, upholding environmental issues and much more.
- Thousands of kids’ clubs, parent and toddler groups, adult literacy classes and community groups across the country.
- Much beloved classic literature like the C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series and John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.
- Most classical music! No more Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s choral music or Fauré’s exquisite Requiem.
- Christmas, Easter and harvest festivals.
- Many every day sayings that originate in the Bible, such as ‘The blind leading the blind’, ‘By the skin of your teeth’, ‘Fly in the ointment’ and ‘Go the extra mile’.
And this is being generous. There is pretty much no part of our rich cultural history that has no Christian influence. Much of our legal system is founded upon Christian morality and it was St. Augustine who pioneered the first schools in the sixth century. (Christians of course have been influential in educational reforms right up to the present day).
Maybe those keen to blot out the Latin phrase ‘Anno Domini’ in case it offends anyone who’s not a Jesus-follower need to go a lot further and blot out most of our history and large chunks of contemporary culture.
I honestly do wonder where this extreme politically correct allergy to anything that could cause offence will end. My prayer is that people of all different backgrounds, cultures and world views will love each other, listen to each other and learn from each other so that we can all be enriched.
In : Reflections
Tags: "political correctness" secularism education history