UK’s Daily Mail still dishing up silly claims – AD vs CE


The headline for the UK’s Daily Mail screams

BBC turns its back on year of Our Lord: 2,000 years of Christianity jettisoned for politically correct ‘Common Era’

The BBC has been accused of ‘absurd political correctness’ after dropping the terms BC and AD in case they offend non-Christians.

The Corporation has replaced the familiar Anno Domini (the year of Our Lord) and Before Christ with the obscure terms Common Era and Before Common Era.

The BBC’s religious and ethics department says the changes are necessary to avoid offending non-Christians.

Apart for the fact that it is not actually a big deal because the majority of the UK population are not religious, there is one other tiny little flaw here. I’ll get to it in a moment, but first, here is a sample of how readers have reacted in the comments to that Daily Mail article …: (I’ve removed the names to protect the stupid, but if curious, the link has it all) …

Im a christian and am offended about the removal.. loss of history and loss of tradition… do I count?

Ridiculous. Surely though by refusing to use ‘BC’ and ‘AD’ they are offending Christians? This is a Christian country afterall. Absolutely absurd.

A bigger reason to stop the licence fee cannot be found

the Beeb, ought to spend more time and effort on making decent programs and less time being politically correct.

Offend other religions, I am a British citizen I am offended! The way the British system is going now, frightened to offend any body. We should be standing up & being proud of what we are. I now am becoming ashamed to be British because of the cowardly ways!

This country has lost the plot!!

I’ve picked the above, not just because they are truly silly, but also because thousands of people have clicked on the above comments and given them a thumbs up.

OK, so what is the tiny little issue I have with all this? Well, it turns out that it is not true at all, and is complete fiction.

Ah“, you say, “so those folks have not gone back to the BBC and checked“. Actually no, what I’m saying is that they have not read the entire article, because at the end of that same rant, somebody from the BBC is quoted as saying …

The BBC has not issued editorial guidance on the date systems.

‘Both AD and BC, and CE and BCE are widely accepted date systems and the decision on which term to use lies with individual production and editorial teams.’

In other words, while the article is complete fiction, it has beenĀ  suffixed with a tiny little honesty clause at the very end, and so it obviously has been crafted to sell papers by stirring up a reaction, which is indeed what they got.

Now seriously, given a choice between BC/AD or BCE/CE, apart for the “offended” christians, does anybody else actually give a toss. However, what I do care about is that the Daily Mail is apparently manufacturing fake stories, but then that is not really news and is just the latest of a very long string of similar examples.

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