The terms BC and AD are being dropped from textbooks as part of Australia’s new politically correct national history curriculum.
The curriculum will replace BC (Before Christ) with BCE (Before Common Era). And AD (Anno Domini – which means ‘in the year of our Lord’) will be replaced with CE (Common Era).
But Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, has branded the move as an “intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history”.
“It is absurd because the coming of Christ remains the centre point of dating and because the phrase ‘common era’ is meaningless and misleading,” he said.
And Reverend Fred Nile, an MP in the New South Wales parliament, described the changes as “an absolute disgrace”.
Revd Nile added: “The direction of the national curriculum is towards almost a Christian cleansing to remove from our history any references to the role Christianity had in the formation of Australia and still has today.”
The controversial change has also angered some members of Australia’s opposition Liberal National Party.
Christopher Pyne, the opposition’s education minister, said: “Australia is what it is today because of the foundations of our nation in the Judeo-Christian heritage that we inherited from Western civilization.
“Kowtowing to political correctness by the embarrassing removal of AD and BC in our national curriculum is of a piece with the fundamental flaw of trying to deny who we are as a people.”
However, a spokesman for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, said that the new terms were to be introduced because this was an increasingly common standard for the representation of dates.
The new curriculum was due to have been introduced next year, but has been delayed.