By CHRIS BLANK
Associated Press Writer
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Legislators have started a fight with Father Time — at least with his name tag.
Worried about a push to take the religious references out of time, a state senator has filed a bill that would mandate the use of B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini or “Year of our Lord”). Many historians and textbook publishers have switched to B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) as a nod toward non-Christians.
And that’s a problem, said Sen. John Loudon.
“There is an effort to sort of scrub our public institutions of acknowledgment of God,” said Loudon, R-Chesterfield. He said it would be costly to change dating systems — both financially and culturally.
He’s a Republican. <sarcasm>There’s a surprise.</sarcasm>
Loudon’s bill, which was also filed last year and this year has also been filed as a constitutional amendment, would make B.C. and A.D. the “official dating standard” of Missouri. It would also bar the state and public employees from using any other system in official capacities.
That would also seem to include public schools, which could set up a debate about whether textbooks could be used if they use B.C.E. and C.E.
Which may be a key motivation behind this insane legislation.
A spokesman for the Missouri School Boards’ Association said the group is uncertain how the measure would be interpreted. Brent Ghan said the requirement would have little affect if it were limited to documents created by school districts. But policing textbooks would be a different story.
“If that were the case, it could potentially be a costly item for school districts,” Ghan said.
Loudon said he’s not sure whether the bill would affect the textbooks school districts use but doesn’t see a problem with requiring books that use B.C. and A.D.
Loudon is unsure? He introduced the bill!
“Publishers that want it used in Missouri should stick with current standards,” he said.
Using B.C.E. and C.E. are the current standards!