I’m surprised it has taken this long for some nut to suggest, but now a computer programmer in Sacramento, working on fixing the Y2K bug, says a partial solution is changing the calendar to the Year Zero.

Before all you techies out there write to say that starting the count of time over beginning in the year 2000 won’t fix the problem, let me agree. I know it won’t work. Even the progenitor of this concept admits its applications to solving the harrowing computer calamities we face in the next two years are, at best, minimal. It might even complicate the confusion, given the billions of dollars and millions of man-hours already invested in converting mainframe computers to four-digit calendar years.

Yet it’s a plan I would expect to be embraced by radical secularists determined to eradicate any evidence of the power of Christianity as a civilizing force in the world.

Thus, given its hideous brilliance, Alan Dechert’s ignoble idea has received scant attention from the anti-Christian crusaders.

“Most people in the world are not Christian,” he says. “Many feel that a numbering system that is not based on any religious event would be more reasonable and fair.”

Dechert proposes that the Anno Domini, or A.D., designation be replaced by N.E., for New Era. Furthermore, he suggests that starting the calendar anew after 1999 will mean less confusion over the beginning and ending of decades and centuries. Yeah, I know what you mean, Alan, I always get so confused at the turn of the century.

Dechert, you might have guessed, is a Unitarian Universalist, the preferred church of atheists. And I have no illusions that his little movement will actually be successful. For one thing, his website http://www.go2zero.com is one of those pages too wide for a normal-size computer screen. For another, about the only luminary who has publicly endorsed the campaign to date is Paul Kurtz, self-professed leader of the world’s “humanists.”

“Human consciousness is now global,” explained Kurtz. “We need a new planetary ethics expressing this and transcending the chauvinistic (read: Christian) divisions of the past.”

But what if someone more persuasive, more charismatic, more powerful than Messrs. Kurtz and Dechert hijacked the idea? What if leading world experts agreed that the time to reinvent time was nigh? Is the notion really that far-fetched?

After all, as Chris Stamper of World Magazine recently wrote, “Year zero sounds like a fringe movement, but so is every other piece of political correctness: Christmas break is now winter vacation. The traditional calendar makes Jesus the center-point of human history, but the new calendar would erase the past and start history from scratch. The new beginning of human history would be the advent of the computer age.”

I might add that the ideas that prayer could be removed from schools, that the Ten Commandments would be torn down from courthouses and that Thanksgiving could be reinvented into a holiday revering Indians were once unthinkable. Don’t put anything past those who are in rebellion against God and His laws. They will go to any length, propose any harebrained scheme and use any means necessary to achieve their elusive Godless utopia.

When you hear such ideas, be they couched in terms of intellectual dishonesty such as “separation of church and state” or “multiculturalism” or “global brotherhood,” they are what they are — that proverbial road to hell paved with good intentions.

In one of my favorite “cult classic” movies, “Panic in the Year Zero,” the advent of a nuclear war is the excuse for resetting the calendar. I am also reminded that the movie “Rosemary’s Baby” makes reference to re-establishing the count of time.

When the character played by Mia Farrow gives birth to the antichrist, the leader of the Satanists yells: “God is dead! Satan lives! The Year is One! The Year is One!”

Just as life often imitates art, evil forces, wicked ideas and unrighteous people often imitate God. About 2000 years ago, God sent His only begotten Son into the world to express His love for us. He allowed Him to suffer, be crucified and die to pay for our collective and individual sins. His power caused Him to be resurrected so that we might have a chance for eternal life and fellowship with our Creator.

That’s reason enough for me to look forward to the year 2000 and all it may hold for humanity. Not surprisingly, given the nature of man, there are many who dread it.

I predict we have not heard the last of this Year Zero idea.

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