Belfast Telegraph

No offence, but for the love of God, stop this PC idiocy

By Kevin Myers

Listen to the Irish rugby players in New Zealand. They don't speak any more of ‘lads’ or ‘fellows’ or ‘chaps’. Nowadays, 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’.

I got an e-mail this week 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.

But when we are being subject to ideological diktat over language usage, we should beware. 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 BBC statement 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?

And 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?

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 weren't complaining anyway, 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, ballpens, 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.

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