Monday, December 22, 2008

Politically Corrected Christmas Carols

It's a close call, but for years mainstream Protestant churches have run second only to college faculties as purveyors of politically correct outrages.   This came home to me vividly when a parish priest, during a sermon, referred to a particular year in Biblical times as being "around 100 C.E."   Instantly my political correctness detector went off, as I realized the fulfillment of a prediction I had made in high school, that eventually we'd get around to purging "B.C." ("Before Christ") and "A.D. " ("Anno Domini", in English, "In the Year of Our Lord") from contemporary usage.   The church?   Episcopal.   (Did you really have to ask?)

C.E., you see, stands for "Current Era."   Isn't that so much clearer than counting a number of years back to a specific point in time?   And since apparently the numbering of years is the same in "C.E." usage, as under the disfavored "A.D." nomenclature (today, apparently, is still December 22, 2008, whether you call it A.D. or C.E.) even the "C.E." convention refers back to that inconvenient and embarrassing business about the birth of .  .  . well, let's spare sensitive feelings by avoiding it.

And if this is "CE", what do we call the years we used to call "Before Christ?" -- why "B.C.E.," meaning "Before the Current Era."   Get it?   "Current Era" and "Before the Current Era."   An Orwellian perfection, just like the dumbed-down English language, "Newspeak," that Orwell described in 1984.   It retained the word "good," but replaced "bad" with the Newspeak word "ungood."   Good - Ungood; Current Era - Before the Current Era. Oh brave new world!

Heaven forbid that a contemporary "Christian" cleric would employ the nomenclature "Before Christ" -- who in the official theology of today's trendier-than-thou church may or may not have existed, may or may not have done or said or been any of the things traditionally attributed to him.   In contemporary theology, the only thing today's relevant, happening church can say for certain about Christ is that, if he existed, he was a swinging gay socialist who was active in Nazareth's Democratic Party.

Now, it turns out, churches are censoring and Bowdlerizing traditional Christmas carols to render them politically correct.

[T]he Rector of Blandford Forum in Dorset has banned his congregation from singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” for fear that its lyrics – referring to sweet stillness – are far removed from the anger, violence and tension he noted on a recent Holy Land visit.

Politically corrected Christmas carols are being catalogued by the website Ship of Fools:
[W]hat's wrong with O come let us adore him?   Is it too gender-specific?  Jesus wasn't hermaphrodite, or a girl.

Listen to the Bowdlerized Christmas carols if you want to.   Here in the Archiepiscopal Palace we'll watch a video.   Our choice:   Raquel Welch, starring in One Million Years B.C.ELeroy Yentuar

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