“Year of Our Lord”

The San Antonio Express News reports that some Trinity University students are trying to get the university to drop “In the Year of Our Lord,” on the theory that “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,’ it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.” They are apparently not trying to get the university to drop “Trinity” from the diploma, on the theory that “Trinity” directly references the Trinity, and not everyone believes in the Trinity (one of whose members is Jesus Christ).

But beyond this, the problem with this argument — and the flip side argument that the Constitution is a Christian document because it too mentions “the Year of our Lord” — is that it takes things far too literally. “The Year of our Lord” in a date is about as religious as Providence, Rhode Island, or Corpus Christi, Texas. The meaning no doubt stems from Christianity, as so much in our culture stems from Christianity. Yet all the terms have acquired secular meaning, and using them does not require belief in the theology from which the terms originally stemmed.