Written on: 29. 9. 2011 in the category: Featured news

No offence, but let’s end this god-awful nonsense

LISTEN to the Irish rugby players in New Zealand. They don’t speak any more of “lads” or “fellows” or “chaps”. Nowadays, to my mind tragically, they’ll only say “guys”. For Australians, the word “bloke” was once a defining term of their identity. Now it’s all “guys guys guys”.

This week I got an email from the Broadcasting Authority on the subject of food advertising for children, asking all “stakeholders” to offer their opinions. And no, I have no idea what a stakeholder is, but I do know that the arrival of such words in our language is proof of unintended verbal movement. And usually, there’s not much we can do about this. Language mutates the whole time, and often enough without explanation.

But when we are being subject to ideological diktat over language usage, we should beware. An accidental cold is one thing: deliberately inculcated syphilis, quite another. The BBC is now advising its broadcasters to abandon the terms BC, as in Before Christ, and AD, as in Anno Domini, and to replace them with Before the Common Era and Common Era.

The years themselves, of course, remain the same, because they still date from the birth of Christ. But BBC broadcasters have apparently to pretend that the calendric years are actually unrelated to this, and instead are intimately bound to some miraculously conceived Common Era that, by a happy coincidence, began at precisely the same time as the old Christian Era.

The BBC statement — if the whingeing and unprincipled mewling of a spineless weasel caught in the gin-trap of political correctness can be so dignified with such a term — said: “As the BBC is committed to impartiality, it is appropriate that we do not use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.”

Excuse me: how does the use of the Christian calendar possibly offend non-Christians in what is still a Christian country, one which celebrates the birth of Jesus with two bank holidays, and commemorates his death with another one, whose head of state is also the head of the established church, whose army goes forth to battle with Christian chaplains, whose laws, music, traditions and language are infused with Christianity, whose popular names like Christopher, Mary, George, Patrick, Peter, Paul, Veronica, Anne, David, Andrew, Matthew, Luke, Mark, John, Elizabeth, and even — God help us — Kevin achieved their original eminence through their possession by Christian saints?

What next? An abolition of “goodbye”? After all, it is a contraction of “God Be With You”, and is clearly offensive to communists, secularists and polytheists. A prohibition on theist language, such as “gospel truth” or “cor blimey”? An abolition of church bells?

Once the culture of “offendedness” begins it never stops. A Catholic priest in Britain was recently told by two Muslims to remove a statue of Jesus and the Virgin Mary from his 150-year-old church because they found it “offensive”.

These immigrants clearly believed that they could arrive in Britain and not merely be entitled to be instantly “offended” at what they’d found, but could also productively complain. Ideological secularism had created an expectation of native meekness, apology and compliance. Which, of course, is not quite the response in Iran and Egypt and Pakistan that visiting Christians — there are of course no immigrants: I wonder why — would get if they complained about the din of the muezzin.

The nonsense of de-Christianising Christian feasts began in the US — presumably to conciliate Jews, who anyway weren’t complaining, probably because they were too busy writing Christmas songs.

So in some places Christmas became the “holiday” — which is, of course, a Christian term, meaning “holy day”, confirming the utter cretinism of such linguistic and calendric engineering. Oh, and as for cretin, it’s derived from the latin for “Christian” — the Ancient Romans thinking the species stupid.

Not so stupid, actually, for it was Christian societies that made the modern world, as in: equality before the law, division of church and state, women’s rights, empirical godless science, unhindered commerce, power stations, mobile capital, the welfare state and copyrighted technological invention, all overseen by accountable democracy. This totality was not devised by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or Confucians, and modern non-Christian states succeed only by copying the institutions devised by Christians.

Almost no social device invented by non-Christian societies in the past thousand years has been copied by anyone else — not even simple things, like collared shirts, biros, tracksuits, runners, codified sport, neckties, weekends, bras, paperbacks, two-piece suits, paper-clips, trains, film, television, computers, cars, public parks, national flags and pop music.

And we Christians aren’t offended that our months and days still commemorate the pagan gods Janus, Mars, Woden, Thor and Saturn, or that Easter is named after the goddess Eostre.

So, what would cause Christians to deny the simple truths about who and what we are? Why, none other than the kind of dogmatic secularism that led the EU to refuse to acknowledge within its Constitution its historic debt to Christianity, and which is now behind the BBC’s half-witted language guidelines.

In the land of Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid, and most especially Saint Kevin, I trust nothing further on this subject needs to be said.