Monday, July 05, 2010

'Lord' Stricken from High School Diplomas

One person didn't like the phrase “in the year of our Lord.”

School superintendent: “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.”

-- From "New Haven high school diplomas drop phrase ‘in the year of our Lord’" by Abbe Smith, New Haven Register Staff 6/23/10

It’s a small change that could easily go unnoticed, but Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo feels it was a necessary one.

This will be the first year without the language. For example, diplomas from last year state that the diploma was awarded “this twenty-fifth day of June in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Nine.”

Mayo said the original complaint was made last year by former Alderwoman Ina Silverman, D-25, who had a daughter at Wilbur Cross High School at the time.

While the change to diplomas is relatively minor, school districts across the country are facing challenges to graduation traditions that include any form of or link to religion.

The phrase, “in the year of our Lord,” comes from the Latin “Anno Domini,” which was abbreviated A.D. and traditionally placed at the beginning of a year to indicate the number of years since the birth of Jesus, as in A.D. 2010.

While it is rarely used today, the phrase was commonly used many years ago. One notable instance is in Article VII of the U.S. Constitution, which is dated to “Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven,” or Sept. 17, 1787. It also appears in White House proclamations.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Connecticut School Removes Lord Reference in High School Diplomas" by Todd Starnes, 6/23/10

“It removes the bias toward Christianity and puts all New Haven students on an equal plane without religious bias,” Bob Ritter, a staff lawyer with the American Humanist Association, told FOX News Radio.

But the move has outraged a number of people across the city – especially in the Christian community.

Local resident Betsy Claro called the decision “hideous.”

“I do believe that it’s a travesty to keep removing the Lord’s name,” the mother of three told FOX News Radio. “I believe that our nation was founded on the principles of belief in God, and our Founding Fathers made sure it was incorporated into every document that they produced.”

“To base this decision, in part, on the need not to ‘offend anyone,’ is disingenuous – it offends beyond belief the vast majority of Americans,” [said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League].

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.