Wisconsin state senator wants references to Christ back in texts

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There's already a debate over whether to say "Happy holidays" or "Merry Christmas." The next step of the controversy could be whether textbooks designate ancient years as B-C or B-C-E.

State senator Tom Reynolds has introduced a bill that would prevent the state's school boards from adopting textbooks unless the books use the B-C designation.

B-C stands for "before Christ." Increasingly authors and historians are using the religiously neutral term B-C-E, which stands for "before the Common Era."

Reynolds says schools shouldn't use books that use the revisionist dating method. His bill would impose a fine between 25 and 100 dollars.

Madison School District spokesman Ken Syke says schools have more pressing needs to deal with.

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Lorraine Paul - 12/23/2005

This also denies the evidence that the birth of Christ was chosen as an arbitrary date because the newer Christian religion was determined to eliminate the pagan festivals (see also Easter) by co-opting them as festivals of Christianity.

Why are you all pussy-footing around this? Is the fear of the Christian right so strong in the US?

Jonathan Dresner - 12/23/2005

...but it's wrong. The historical Jesus was born, if the historical evidence of the Gospels bears any relation to the events of the near east as we've uncovered them, somewhen between 3 and 8 years before the year "1" which supposedly marks his birth.

This is the real reason, ultimately, that BCE and CE will win out: Christians won't want to cling to a dating system that makes them look like idiots.

If Reynolds is really serious, he should insist that the textbooks not only use the religiously loaded terms but that the entire Western World revise it's dates according to the actual birth of Christ. Otherwise, it's just perpetuating an error.