The European Union Bans Christ

It finally happened. The radical secularists of the European Union have banned Christ. Henceforth, the EU mandates that "Jesus Christ" must be spelled "Jesus christ." "Christ" must be "christ." There can be no uppercase "C" used to spell the name/title "Christ."

The rationale behind this is not obvious. I have seen commentators blaming political correctness, which seems likely. But, still, what is the justification? If it is treated as a name, as millions use the phrase, then "Jesus Christ" seems most appropriate. If treated as a title, as historians and many other do, then "Jesus Christ" still seems appropriate. Is there some grammatical usage of the name or title of a person that justifies a lowercase "c"? Not of which I am aware.

Lest we think that only Christians are being picked on, the EU also decreed that "Judaism" as a race may use the uppercase "J", but dare you refer to "judaism" the religion then only a lowercase "j" can be used. Does that mean that anti-semites in Europe now must be clear if they are condemning "the Jews" as a race or "the jews" as a religious group?

Update: According to this press release, the regulation is not an EU one, but an initiative of the Netherlands and Belgium:

According to a new grammar rule in the Netherlands and Belgium, the name "Christ" will soon be written with a lower-case "c", as stipulated by an orthography reform published last Friday.

According to the agency, the new spelling rules also will stipulate that the Dutch word for "jews" (joden) be spelled with a capital "J" when referring to nationality and with a lower-case "j" when referring to the religion. The changes will be mandatory starting in August 2006.

Not quite as bad as I feared, but still pretty indiciative of trends in Europe. Afterall, Brussels is the heart of the united Europe (which is likely what lead to confusion among earlier press reports).


Steven Carr said…
I see Layman's research is as careful as ever. The EU has done no such thing.
Layman said…
I reported what the article stated. I linked to the article at issue. I welcome any correction or clarification to the article. Did I sit in on the EU meeting myself?

No, I did not. Guilty.
Weekend Fisher said…
I think we ought to give the good folks in brussels, belgium -- and of course the netherlands -- all the respect that they deserve. LOL. What silliness.
Steven Carr said…
Weekend Fisher is right, we ought not to try to work out what the logic behind Dutch spelling is.

It is just one of the mysteries of life.
Layman said…

If there is a grammatical explanation unique to the Dutch language that is at issue, I'd be interested in seeing the explanation.
Steven Carr said…
I'm sorry Layman, but the idea of finding consistent sets of rules in Dutch spelling is not one I want to contemplate.

Have you seen the language written down? Ugh!
Weekend Fisher said…
Given the ... er, "changing attitudes" about religion (against) in Europe, and that the changed spellings seem to 1) target religious topics and 2) systematically downgrade respect for the same ... Er, if non-religious items weren't similarly disrespected (?), I'd still think this sounds like anti-religious prejudices becoming a matter of mandated usage ...

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