Connecticut’s New Haven Register newspaper reported on June 23 that, “All it took was one complaint for the school district to make a small but significant change to diplomas that will be handed out at graduations this week. For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, diplomas for New Haven high school students were printed without the phrase ‘in the year of our Lord.’”
It began in that area last year when the original complaint was made by former Alderwoman, Ina Silverman (D-25). At that time she had a daughter at Wilbur Cross High School. Silverman brought her objections to Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. The Board of Education then made the change at his request.
Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo supported the move, saying, “It’s a religious thing. I’m surprised it took this long for someone to notice it. We certainly don’t want to offend anyone.”
The Founding Fathers did not seem to worry about offending anyone. In the last article of the U.S. Constitution – Article VII – it is written:
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. (Emphasis added.)
And the first signature to follow was … George Washington – President and Deputy from Virginia.
Ironically, even presidential proclamations issued by President Obama employ the same language, e.g.: "IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth. BARACK OBAMA" (Emphasis added.)
The term “B.C.” stands for “Before Christ.” The year before the first Christmas is therefore “1 B.C.” A.D. stands for the Latin “Anno Domini” — the Year of the Lord (or Our Lord). Since the year of the first Christmas is A.D. 1, thus we now are in A.D. 2010. — the Year of Our Lord 2010. — It is both religious history and American history. But even without any version of the actual (offending) A.D. reference, the number 2010 standing alone is still used. And we all know from where it came — though the secular "Planners” have figured out a new system already in use by many institutions, that substitures C.E. ("Common Era") for A.D. and B.C.E. ("Before Common Era") for B.C.
The new system is not without opposition, however. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention has criticized the use of B.C.E. and C.E. as being the result of "secularization, anti-supernaturalism, religious pluralism, and political correctness" and encourages its members to "retain the traditional method of dating and avoid this revisionism."
Regarding the issue today, though, a city spokeswoman said the change was “based on the fact that it was really an unnecessary descriptor for a public document being that none of our other public documents have such a descriptor.” In a city as old as New Haven that is hard to believe. But if she meant a public document generally, she evidently has never read the Constitution of the United States.
Fox News recounted that:
It’s not the first time the phrase has generated controversy. This year, a Muslim student at Trinity University in San Antonio petitioned to have the words removed from diplomas. The university, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of America, decided to keep “in the year of our Lord.”
But the New Haven Register reported:
State Department of Education spokesman Thomas Murphy said he had not heard of other districts having similar issues with diplomas. However, he pointed to the Enfield school district’s attempts to have graduation at a large church. He said the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut filed a federal complaint claiming that holding public school graduation in a church would be a violation of the tenet of separation church and state.
“The ACLU prevailed so there was an injunction to keep the school district from going to the church facility for graduation,” Murphy said.
The school district decided not to appeal the decision, for now.
Another high-profile example is the case of a high school valedictorian at Greenwood High School in Indiana who filed a federal lawsuit to prevent prayer at graduation. The student, who was helped by the Indiana chapter of the ACLU, won the case, according to local newspapers. But the incident stirred much controversy among students and community members, many of whom thought the traditional graduation prayer should be allowed.
We see the usual foxes at work here in our religious henhouse. How far will it go? What else will be thought of? Where else will God be spotted and targeted — our traditions both religious and patriotic upended? Holy Scripture says the descendants of Seth, the good son of Adam and Eve, were called “the Sons of God.” The descendants of Cain, their bad son who killed Abel, were called “the Sons of Men.” The world was full of the strife between the two, the “Sons of God” being holy — the “Sons of Men,” evil.
In the year A.D. 2010, it seems that, all over the land, the strife goeth on.