The vandalizing convention of our time is to divide history into Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCE). But what is it that makes the era common? It is, of course, the Event that bisects time, memorialized around this season of the year and celebrated by such artists as George Frideric Handel, J.S. Bach, and other famous church organists. The charade of pretending that we are not organizing our dating conventions around the life of Jesus while continuing to organize our dating conventions around the life of Jesus is typical of our primitive, superstitious thinking: If we don’t acknowledge the thing, the thing ceases to exist. We could define the Common Era as beginning with the birth of Isaac Newton or Charles Darwin or Taylor Swift, about whose dates we have better information than we do about those of the embarrassing Messiah. We could use any of the traditional calendars of the world, though, if I understand correctly, the Mayan one has run its course.
But we don’t do that. We don’t do that for the same reason we don’t create campy, homosexualized, resentful, Muslim-immigrant-identity-politics remakes of the rich literature composed in Southern Tutchone. And we’re going to keep not doing that.
Partisans of the cultural tendency that defines itself in opposition to European Christian civilization broadly understood will, in all likelihood, continue to fail to produce a high culture equal to the achievements of that civilization, even as we moderns excel what we used to call Western Civilization in technology — theirs, Dante, ours, Twitter. It probably will be Christian scholars, a millennium or two hence and perhaps returned to the monastery, who write the definitive history of our high-tech barbarian civilization, poring over old photos of Whoopi Goldberg dressed as a nun and Ricky Gervais posed as Saint Sebastian.