by Jonathan Petre & Chris Hasting | DailyMail.com
Schools across the country have stopped using the terms BC and AD in religious education lessons for fear of offending non-Christians. The traditional terms BC, Before Christ, and AD, Anno Domini, are being ditched for BCE – Before Common Era, and CE – Common Era.
The new terms still denote the periods before and after the birth of Christ.
Local authority committees drawing up religious education syllabuses say the old terms may upset minorities or non-believers. But critics blasted the move as a ‘capitulation to political correctness’. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the rulings by the religious education committees were a ‘great shame’.
Muslim and Jewish leaders were also mystified, saying they were not offended by the familiar terms. Local authority committees – known as Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs) – from Brighton and Essex are among a growing number urging heads to ditch BC and AD.
The syllabus for schools in East Sussex, for example, reads: ‘BCE and CE are now used in order to show sensitivity to those who are not Christians.’ Lord Carey said: ‘I have never met a Muslim or Jewish leader who is offended by the Gregorian calendar’ while leading Imam Ibrahim Mogra said: ‘I don’t believe it causes Muslims offence.’ A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: ‘I don’t think anyone would mind if in mainstream schools they use BC and AD.’ Chris McGovern, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: removing BC and AD ‘is a capitulation to political correctness’.
National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education chair Paul Smalley said: ‘Individual SACREs and schools can make a judgment over which form of dating is appropriate.’
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