CE/BCE is Stupid

There’s a move afoot to replace the terms ‘B.C.’ and ‘A.D’ to denote years with the terms C.E. and B.C.E meaning ‘Common Era‘ and ‘Before Common Era’. Anybody who’s been to school knows B.C. means ‘before Christ’ and A.D. means ‘Anno Domini’, Latin for ‘In the Year of Our Lord’. That ‘B.C.’ is based in English and ‘A.D.’ in Latin seems incongruous at best, but they’ve been used for the duration of the Gregorian Calendar and frankly serve their purpose just fine.

C.E. and B.C.E. are simply euphemisms to cover up the fact that the calendar used in most of the world is based on Christianity, specifically the birth of Jesus Christ (or Yoshua of Nazereth for the historically-minded). The Gregorian Calendar was imposed by, who’d’a thunk … Pope Gregory, and who would you think he’d base his calendar around? (Obviously the name of the calendar system will be next on the block).

There are many good arguments against the Gregorian Calendar, but that’s what we’ve got. The competing calendar standards (e.g. Mayan, Chinese) have fallen to the Gregorian, and there’s likely no turning back that tide. So, there’s no utility in trying to cover up its origins, and the cost of implementing such changes is without return. At a minimum anybody expected to ever read any historical text would have to be trained in both systems, so at best it’s a net increase in cost. If somebody wants to tackle the implementation of a better calendar, perhaps a sidereal one, go for it. You can even call its days a ‘stardate’ if you must. But until that time, nobody can claim offense at B.C. and A.D. until we take care of the ‘Tyr, Odin, Thor, Freyja, Saturn’ problem, OK?