Conservapedia talk:Commandments/Archive 1

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BC/AD, BCE/CE Debate

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CE and BCE are not "anti-Christian." They are merely not Christian.

In point of fact, AD and BC are just counts from an arbitrary starting point. They do not measure years relative to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who was born in 4 BC.

AD and BC reflect an historical tradition in the part of the world once known as "Christendom." England no longer has an established church and the United States never had one. To some Christians, they are a pleasant tradition that reminds them of the special status Christianity once enjoyed. There's no reason for people who like them not to use them.

'England no longer has an established church'? Last time I checked, the Church of England, with Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Regina Deo Gratia, was alive and kicking. Niwrad 00:26, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

And if the people running Conservapedia prefer them, fine. It is a matter of preference, and you're entitled to honor your own preferences on your own site.

That's no reason to label CE and BCE as "anti-Christian." They're just neutral, that's all. Dpbsmith 16:43, 19 December 2006 (EST)

First of all, thank you Dpbsmith for your polite and thoughtful postings, which have usually conformed to the simple rules here. I've enjoyed several of your edits very much, such as the one about the Nicene Creed.

Thanks. Dpbsmith 18:42, 19 December 2006 (EST)

In response to your comment above, CE and BCE are "anti-Christian" just as calling President Bush by some other title would be "anti-Bush". It's a fact that our dates are based on the birth of Jesus. We have a recent entry explaining the small error that you mention above, which does not change the undisputed fact that Jesus's birth is the source of the dating.

People may not like Jesus, but it's anti-Jesus and anti-Christian to deny the basis for our calendar dates. Anti-Christians are free to invent their own dating system, but if they use 1492 after the approximate birth of Christ then it's anti-Christian to deny what that 1492 means. --Aschlafly 16:56, 19 December 2006 (EST)

P.S. The entry explaining the dating error is Dionysis the Little --Aschlafly 16:57, 19 December 2006 (EST)

Reply Although America has no established church, Christianity plays a huge roll in our longstanding culture. e.g. Christmas and Easter, BC and AD. It is against these Christian roots that modern-day political correctness is fighting, against established traits of america such as "Under God" in the pledge of allegence and "In God We Trust" on our money. To replace AD and BC with something else is decidedly anti-Christian


You can make out a case for America's roots being theist or deist or something of that sort. Our money indeed says "In God We Trust."
What it does not say is IHS or In Hoc Signo Vinces, and with all the various symbols on various coins and bills you will not find a cross or a fish. The flag of the U. S. bears no religious symbols. The Declaration of Independence makes reference to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," and "the Creator," but not to Christ or Christianity. The Constitution does not mention God at all, in any way, and mentions religion only to say "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The Pledge of Allegiance originally did not mention God at all; at the behest of the Knights of Columbus, the words "under God" were added, but notice that even the Knights of Columbus did not suggest adding anything about Christianity to the pledge.
Christianity is certainly part of the cultural heritage and tradition of the United States. And as far as that goes, AD and BC are widely used in public documents. CE and BCE are generally used in academic contexts, by historians. I'm not sure what Wikipedia's policy is currently, but I believe it's the same as for U. S. versus British spelling: there's no overall rule; it's whatever is used by the editors who first bring the article up to reasonable length. The only rule is not to change the usage in an established article. I think that's right, but it's not anything I need to know much about so I haven't double-checked the relevant policies lately.
Actually, yeah, the policy is just what I just said
Anyone who goes around changing BC/AD to BCE/CE en masse is just as much of a jerk as anyone who does the reverse.
Reply: You say above that "What it does not say is IHS or In Hoc Signo Vinces" But in reality IHS was a symbol of the knights templar and not Christianity.

--The Unknown One 19:48, 21 December 2006 (EST)

There's no reason why this any of this should be a big deal. Getting along with good-faith editors who disagree with you should be a lot easier than loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.
And as a practical matter, in terms of influencing the behavior of those who come to edit Conservapedia, I really doubt that it would make much difference in what people will actually do if you were to say
In Conservapedia, please use BC and AD when indicating the era of a date.
As a Christian site, Conservapedia prefers BC and AD, rather than BCE and CE which it regards as non-Christian
rather than
When referencing to dates, you must use BC and AD not CE and BCE, which are anti-Christian.
Dpbsmith 18:48, 19 December 2006 (EST)
Reply: Dpbsmith, you make some interesting points, and I considered agreeing with your suggestion to change the Commandments. But I still feel that BCE and CE deny the factual meaning of the date. Other dating systems are welcome to non-Christians. But dates that use the Christian calendar should give credit where it is due. That's true whether someone is a Christian or not. If I used a Buddhist date then I would acknowledge that.
The Commandments are all written as commands. So while softer language may be more polite or politically correct, it is refreshing when someone directly says what he means. "You must use ..." on this site is clear and accurate.
Wikipedia, like the French Revolution, has become dominated by hostility to Christianity. So while its policy may appear to be egalitarian, in practice it is anything but. Wikipedia policies permit selective enforcement of complex rules.
You might check out my recent entry on Creation.
--Aschlafly 01:26, 20 December 2006 (EST)
Thanks for listening. Dpbsmith 05:55, 20 December 2006 (EST)
Dpbsmith, I reflected further on your criticism, which was well-taken. Accordingly, I have changed the Commandment #4 in response to your criticism as follows: 4. When referencing dates based on the approximate birth of Jesus, you must give appropriate credit for the basis of the date (B.C. or A.D.). "BCE" and "CE" are not acceptable substitutes because they deny the historical basis for the date.
Thanks for your thoughtful contributions to Conservapedia. --Aschlafly 12:33, 20 December 2006 (EST)

I like this wording. It does not sound as negative as the last one yet still makes a strong point.


I propose changing to the following wording.

When referencing any date, you must give appropriate credit for the basis of the date (B.C. or A.D.). "BCE" and "CE" are not acceptable substitutes because they deny the historical basis for the date.

I think the current wording "When referencing dates based on the approximate birth of Jesus" Leaves a loophole for people to reference dates in other ways. All dates should be in B.C./A.D. Format.


I don't know, Tim. I think your version lacks the full explanation of mine. Some other calendar dating systems may be appropriate in certain circumstances, such as which Chinese year we are in now. I don't feel strongly about it, however. --Aschlafly 00:46, 21 December 2006 (EST)
You need to make the statement clear, which I believe it is now, not to close every loophole that an ingenious mischief-maker could crawl through.
If someone reads what is there now and then goes ahead and uses something other than B. C. or A. D., it's not because the instructions weren't clear. Dpbsmith 06:58, 22 December 2006 (EST)

American Spelling of Words

I think we should add as a new commandment that you have to do the American spelling of words. I'm pretty sure it used to be on the homepage, but it must have been removed...I can't find it. What do you guys think? ~Deborah~

  • I agree. --TimSvendsen 19:16, 11 January 2007 (EST)
    • Why bother? You would alienate conservatives who are from Europe. And I am a little biased here because I use British spelling all the time. =D -- Katie 22:44, 18 January 2007 (EST)
      • Because we are an American encyclopedia...not British. PhilipB 22:49, 18 January 2007 (EST)
        • Point: We are an online encyclopedia which can go all over the world, including England. And if a British man had a good point that he put up on the site but used his own spelling, would we ban him? After all, he would be "breaking the Conservapedia Commandments." I just don't think making people spell things the American way should be in the rulebook. (People on this site often make spelling errors anyway)--Katie 23:06, 18 January 2007 (EST)
          • If a British guy starts using British spellings we warn him to stop... if he continues... we would block him. If people refuse to respect our rules they can go elsewhere. PS. Sorry for editing your post... I'm just trying to keep things organized. PhilipB 23:10, 18 January 2007 (EST)
            • British and American are basically the same thing. We should encourage people to use the American spelling but it is ridiculous to "block" them...After all, American is just butchered English --Katie 23:18, 18 January 2007 (EST)
              • We are not debating the issue of blocking someone for disobeying a rule (which is something we have reserved the right to do), we're debating adding an "American spellings" rule. The fact is that were an American encyclopedia so we should remain patriotic and use the American spellings for words. We can't just say that Conservapedia "encourages" or "recommends" this, because we can't enforce that. PhilipB 23:42, 18 January 2007 (EST)
              • We are talking about blocking people because when someone breaks a "Commandment", they get warned and then [perhaps] blocked... Well, I understand that this is an American encyclopedia, but realistically, it seems like such a small thing to actually create an enforceable rule about and you may unintentionally wind up alienating people who wish to contribute to the page, people who are American but do spell things the British way without realizing it (people of older generations for example who were taught that way in Catholic grammar school) If the majority of people want an official rule about this, then that's fine but who is going to go through the entire conservapedia to enforce this?? It will be a monumental task, in my opinion, as you would have to go entry by entry every single week to ensure that this commandment wasn't being violated. --Katie 23:56, 18 January 2007 (EST)
              • If we make a rule about it people will be more likely to use the American spellings. Obviously we will not block specific people without ample warning. We will not have to patrol the pages day and night to make sure... just whenever someone does an edit post on their user page a reference to the rule and they'll stop. PhilipB 00:07, 19 January 2007 (EST)
              • It appears that you are missing my point. If you make a rule about it, people will have to use the American spelling, (not be 'more likely' to) which is unfair, as many people on this site cannot even spell normally. But hey! I am sure that you all have a just reason to make such a petty rule. (Oh, right; "We're American". The homepage doesn't really state that we're American anyway)I'm sure that I am unpatriotic because I spell "favorite" like our Founding Fathers did with a 'U' ... like a Brit. --Katie 08:35, 19 January 2007 (EST)
                • By the way... is everyone aware that most of the differences between U. S. and British spelling are the direct personal work of none other than Noah Webster? U. S. schools used British books, and Webster thought Americans should learn from American books. He published spelling books and dictionaries that were widely adopted, and over the years he gradually changed the spelling, dropping the "u" from "color" and "honor," changing the order of the "r" and "e" in "center," and so forth... Dpbsmith 21:34, 19 January 2007 (EST)

I suggest that when anyone notices a British spelling, they should just change it to the U. S. spelling, with an edit comment like "per Conservapedia style." I think British contributors will get the idea. Brits who are familiar and comfortable with U. S. spellings can do so, those who aren't should just do their best and let others copyedit their work.

On a cooperative project, one has to be prepared to do a certain amount of cleaning up after others.

When a U. S. author is published in England or vice versa, nobody expects the author to rewrite their book in the other national style. The publisher does that for the author as part of the publishing process.

If Conservapedia's stylesheet mandates U. S. spellings, then contributors who use British spelling shouldn't object to having their work copyedited to use U. S. spellings.

Just my $0.02. Dpbsmith 10:46, 19 January 2007 (EST)

Well said Dpbsmith. I guess it would just be best to make a "Conservapedia requests" rule for this... instead of a command. What do you guys think? Thanks. PhilipB 13:47, 19 January 2007 (EST)

  • I agree with Philip and Dpbsmith. SharonS 16:20, 19 January 2007 (EST)
    • Yes, editing is fine, if you so wish it. But making a big rule about it is not necessary, as I've been saying. Dpbsmith has an excellent point. (Had to put my opinion in again) --Katie 21:17, 19 January 2007 (EST)
    • I suggest posting a commandment like "As far as is possible, american spelling of words will be used" and specify that people will not be blocked for violation of this one unless they start changing things away from american spellings, or are clearly deliberatly ignoring that rule. --TimSvendsen 23:48, 19 January 2007 (EST)
      • Seems to makes sense, Tim. --Katie 22:07, 20 January 2007 (EST)

Comment: I agree with Tim on this one; though we may not block people unless they are obviously disregarding the rule, we should definately have it on the rule page.

--BenjaminS 22:32, 24 January 2007 (EST)

Citing Sources

I think we should have a rule that citations are needed wherever possible. --TimSvendsen 09:09, 29 January 2007 (EST)

  • We already do. Rule 2 says: "Cite your sources as much as possible". ~ SharonS 09:11, 29 January 2007 (EST)
    • OOps, Didn't notice. Maybe we should change it to "Always cite your sources" because nobody is citing anything right now unless there is debate about the subject. --TimSvendsen 09:16, 29 January 2007 (EST)
  • That would be better. This will probably be another commandment that is more of a guideline, as it is rather difficult to enforce. ~ SharonS 09:21, 29 January 2007 (EST)