Posts filed under ‘Religion’

Religious atheism and the calendar

Every once in awhile I’ll happen onto an online discussion about atheism. I usually avoid commenting in such discussions because atheists are the absolutely most fanatical people on the face of the earth and if you say anything the least little bit upsetting to them they attack you with the virulence of a jihadi attacking a synagogue full of Jewish people.

Preparing myself, I put on my cast-iron cup and I’m ready for the discussion. While the dictionary definition of atheism doesn’t admit of it being a religion, some atheists treat it as such, all the while declaring their contempt for anything to do with religion.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that atheism, in and of itself, is a religion – just that some of its adherents act as if it were. They have their books of prophets (which vary depending on the individual) that they consult and when confronting someone will quote their religious texts with the same fervency as a fire-and-brimstone preacher of Christianity.

I observed the phenomenon lately in a discussion about using ce – common era and bce – before common era instead of AD – Anno Domini and BC – Before Christ

I have no problem with people who wish to use those terms. In days of yore it would not be unusual for two coins minted in the same year in two neighboring countries to bear two different dates, each one counting the years of the reign of their respective monarchs.

If you want to use those terms all you have to do is come up with your own dating scheme. Do you want to start your calendar on the birth of Michaelangelo, fine – do it. Want to start your calendar on the date of the first explosion of the atomic bomb – feel free. Want to steal the Christian dating scheme and call it your own? Hold on there chuckles – that one is taken, do some work and make your own calendar.

I’ve heard the arguments for using ce and bce and they just aren’t persuasive. Yes, the names of the months and the days of the weeks were adopted from other cultures and religions but that doesn’t make the Christian calendar unique, a lot of borrowing is done that way. As far as that goes you could call the days of the weeks by first day, second day, etc., as some Christian sects have done. You could do the same with the months.

No, what makes the Christian calendar Christian is that it starts at the birth of Christ (as best as could be determined all those centuries ago.) If you want a calendar that doesn’t reflect a Christian heritage the only way to do that is to set a start date in a different era than Christs birth.

I’ve heard proponents of ce and bce say “Well you could just sort of think of them as Christian Era and Before Christian Era.” But they are just trying to sneak the camel’s nose under the tent with that kind of argument. They know that if they can get Christians to ignore this and let them get away with it before long they won’t allow any deviation from their usage and saying Christian Era will be outlawed.

There was a time when I would have thought such a statement as I made in the previous paragraph was paranoia run wild but then in the past 10 to 15 years I’ve seen atheists crap all over the United States Constitution in their efforts to eradicate all traces of Christianity from our country. What they forget is that the world is cyclical and the pendulum swings both ways. When the pendulum swings the other way atheists are going to rue the day they started this war, for war it is.


August 10, 2008 at 11:08 pm 27 comments


Legal mumbo jumbo

Fair Use This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.