Carey on BC/AD: 

The BBC has been cited as using, on occasion, the BCE/CE (before Common era/common era) dating references in preference to the BC/AD (before Christ/Anno Domini {in the year of our Lord}) system. Now, this also happens in books, and it largely depends on the subject matter of the book and the preference of the author as to which system is used. One can assume that it would be the same with the BBC, in that it is governed by the content of the programme and the inclination of the makers. However, all that aside, the two systems are interchangeable with the numbers which designate the years being equal to each other in both cases. 

This really should not cause too much of an issue; it certainly should not cause concern or offence to anyone if an astronomy programme, presented by a non theist scientist, referred to BCE/CE, and the programme which follows happens to be religiously based and chooses to use BC/AD as a reference. We would all understand the meaning, and should hardly be upset by it. Well, all accept the Lord Spiritual and former Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey that is: 

His response to the use of the BCE/CE terms is hysterically funny! 

“Whether or not the changes in terminology are made, the Gregorian system remains the basis of our calendar and that is founded on a calculation of the birth of Jesus Christ.” We must point out to Mr Carey, that there is no proof this character actually existed in history, let alone knowing when he was born! 

“It is a cop-out to avoid words that embarrass. The ‘Common Era’ is simply a made-up phrase that, in trying to unite us all in one common humanity, deprives a whole people of a point in history that most of us regard as pretty crucial.” The ‘Common Era’ is a made up phrase; really! And the virgin birth is factual? ‘Anno Domini’ is also a made up phrase Mr Carey; it was made up by Bede in what is now termed 731 AD, or CE; please choose whichever term you are comfortable with. 

“The worst example I can recall is when I was Archbishop of Canterbury in the run-up to the Millennium celebrations. It became apparent that our Government and civil servants envisaged the date only as the rolling of 999s into 000s and had forgotten that this was an anniversary of the birth of Christ” Actually the Romans did not start to use the current year counting system in the Julian calendar until after what is now termed 525; and Britain’s earliest record of its use is from Bede circa 731. So the year 2000 in Britain only really marked the 1269th anniversary of our last change of calendar; and the last of many throughout history to boot. So, if the BCE/CE concept happens to ‘catch on’ and becomes the de-facto standard it would not be an unusual phenomenon, it would be an extremely common one. It is a phenomenon that has occurred many times in history due to changes in public opinion, social trends and political influence or coercion. 

“At least 70 per cent of us still profess to be ‘Christian’ even if many do not attend church.”  Oh my! This is once again using the term ‘Christian’ as a pseudo nationality. However, it is not a pseudo nationality; it is a fictitious theological belief system. The amount of people in the country who consider the Christian belief system to be factually based - real Christians - amounts to no more than a mere 5%. 

“The creeping use of BCE and CE is a rejection of 1,500 years of use and a reminder of the long association of this nation with its faith.” The association referred to here is the enforced faith of the minority despotic ruling classes of Britain from the last 1500 years; not the faith freely selected by the population at large. Our ancestors did not believe from choice, but from necessity; and the most malignant enforcer of this compulsory belief system was an organisation known as the ‘Church of England’, with a character at its head known as the ‘Arch Bishop of Canterbury’.  

Please do get comfortable with the terms BCE/CE Mr Carey; they are terms I feel you will be hearing more and more if the trend of rejecting ancient myth as fact continues at it current rate. It is called progress, as opposed to regress.