The UK’s BBC media giant has found itself in the middle of a cultural conflict after its decision to drop the use of the traditional Christ-centered dating method which uses the initials B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, or Year of the Lord), replacing them with the secular terms B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) in many television and radio broadcasts.
In an official statement the BBC explained that because it is “committed to impartiality, it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.” The broadcaster said that B.C.E. and C.E. represented a “religiously neutral alternative to B.C./A.D.”
The Washington Post reported that the move “drew immediate accusations that the network was guilty of political correctness run amok as the BBC’s phone lines were jammed with irate listeners and readers.” Some critics pointed out that the new method still used Christ’s birth as a historical reference point.
One British evangelical leader, retired Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali (pictured), told the British press that the change “amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language, and history.
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