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Author POSTED: Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Remnant News Watch

(May 15, 2010)


In the Name of Tolerance,

“In the Year of Our Lord” Comes Under Fire


Mark Alessio

New York Correspondent

(Posted May 14, AD 2010 Trinity University's board of trustees announced Thursday they will “not grant a student group's request to drop the phrase ‘our Lord’ from diplomas, saying that while Trinity welcomes all religions, it is right to honor its Christian roots,” reports Melissa Ludwig of the San Antonio Express-News (Apr. 23, 2010): “The board's decision reflects its desire to continue a Trinity tradition, and the words ‘in the year of our Lord' are appropriate for the diploma, given Trinity's history and heritage,” said Walter Huntley, vice chairman of the board and an Atlanta businessman.

According to the Associated Press (Students Want Trinity to Drop 'Our Lord' from Diplomas – Mar. 29, 2010): The debate started last year when Isaac Medina, a Muslim convert from Mexico, noticed the wording on pre-made diploma frames. "I honestly feel like nobody actually noticed it before," Medina said. "Now that it has been brought up, the institution is trying to find its own identity. Are we or are we not a religious institution?"

When Medina applied to Trinity, university staff told him it wasn’t a religious institution and that it maintained only a historical bond to the church. He said he’d always felt welcome at Trinity, where the campus chaplain caters to students of all religions and the university recently dedicated a Muslim prayer space.

So the reference on the diploma "came as a big surprise," said Medina, who graduated in December. "I felt I was a victim of a bait and switch." An effort to remove the phrase “the year of Our Lord” from Trinity diplomas was spearheaded by Sidra Qureshi, a Muslim student and president of the Trinity Diversity Connection, a chartered student organization which claims to “promote cultural diversity, raise awareness of and support under-represented minorities on campus.”

Comment What is the importance of “roots” to the diversity crowd? If you look at the Trinity University website, you will find the Trinity Diversity Connection (TDC) listed alongside such entities as the Asian Subcontinental Association, the Chinese Culture Club, the Gaelic Cultural Society, the Latino Exchange, etc. In fact, these groups – which are dedicated to the history, culture and traditions of the countries and people they represent – are highlighted as members of the TDC. Yes, the TDC appears to respect cultural roots, at least until those roots point back to Catholicism or Protestantism.

In the year 1869, Trinity University was founded by Cumberland Presbyterians (a sect founded in 1810), and has since occupied three different locations in Texas. Developed from the remnants of three small Cumberland Presbyterian colleges that had failed during the Civil War, the university became affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church in the USA in 1906. The school boasts that its history “is rooted in the vision of a few hardy Texas pioneers who believed in the transforming power of higher education.”

Given the institution’s history, Trinity President Dennis Ahlburg believes that the wording on the diplomas is appropriate, and that the school should not deny its cultural and religious roots. “The fundamental issue is not so much what is on the diploma," he said. "The fundamental question is, ‘Is Trinity a place that is accepting and supportive of all faiths?’ "

Apparently, the answer to Mr. Ahlburg’s question is yes. Student Isaac Medina admitted that “he’d always felt welcome at Trinity, where the campus chaplain caters to students of all religions and the university recently dedicated a Muslim prayer space.” So, What happened? He noticed the wording on the diploma – wording which was completely consistent with the history and tradition of the school!

Welcome to the age of the “manufactured crisis.” Christmas decorations in public schools, public displays of the Ten Commandments, “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, “in God we trust” printed on currency, and now “in the year of Our Lord” on a diploma – in a world falling apart at the seams, it is these inherently harmless, innocent things that have become notorious.

Of course, manufactured crises do not appear by accident. They are planned, and done so with specific targets in mind. They are given a rationale (i.e., tolerance, inclusiveness). They are also couched in terms of the “enlightened” vs. the “narrow-minded.” Note the words of Isaac Medina regarding the “in year of Our Lord” wording on his diploma: “I honestly feel like nobody actually noticed it before.” You see, the enlightened are sensitive to the “big picture,” the “world view.” The rest suffer from an entrenched mentality, locked into, and failing to notice, their own provincial view of reality.

To state that the targets of choice for the “manufactured crisis” agents are Catholicism and Protestantism would be to belabor the obvious. In the case of “in the year of Our Lord,” these agents continue to expose both their agenda and their ignorance.

It was in the 6th century that the monk Dionysius Exiguus developed a calendar which designated the time of the birth of Christ as the year one, with the years following being reckoned as years “of the Lord” – i.e., Anno Domini. Although it took centuries for this usage to become commonplace throughout Europe, it eventually did so. Here in America, we also find the usage gracing our most famous documents. The United States Constitution was ratified “the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.” The Emancipation Proclamation is dated “the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three."

The use of the phrase “in the year of Our Lord” (Anno Domini) is a part of the social and linguistic patrimony of Western civilization, and calls for its deletion can not construed as mere innocent pleas for diversity. While everyone who uses A.D. or B.C. may not subscribe to their religious implications, these designations provide the framework for so much of our history.

Of course, there is a bigger picture. These designations will always remind passing generations that Jesus Christ, indeed, changed the world forever. Many atheists have tried to soften this fundamental implication by saying that we don’t know the exact year of Jesus’ birth. They miss the point. The designation “A.D.” does not imply that the year of Jesus’ birth is the crucial element. It proclaims that the Time of Expectation did, indeed, give way to the Time of Fulfillment when “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” It aligns our terrestrial calendar (a calendar that once reflected life after the Fall of Adam) with an eternal one (which proclaims the Redemption of the human race) – like fixing a broken watch, so that it will then reflect the proper time.

One can date a document “October, 2010” or make a doctor’s appointment for “July, 2011” without pondering theological implications and, let’s face it, that is what we all do. The proponents of the foolish designations “C.E.” (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before Common Era) waste their time trying to wipe “Anno Domini” off the map.  When the Pharisees wanted Jesus to silence the praise of the multitudes as He entered Jerusalem, He replied, “I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.”

The year one, as we reckon the year one, will ALWAYS point to the birth of Jesus. When one rejects Anno Domini, there is always an ulterior motive, a motive beyond “diversity.” It is no coincidence that the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the sacred scriptures of the French Revolution, eschews Anno Domini and lists its date only as “1792.”

In the case of the Trinity College fiasco, something smells a bit off. The Koran teaches, “They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God” (Sura 5:73). Why, then, would a Muslim student attend a Presbyterian-founded school named Trinity University (of all things), graduate from said university, and only then “notice” (and make an issue of) some harmless religious wording on his diploma? This sequence of events does not make much sense.


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