Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's In A Name?

The world is full of personal-liberty conundrums these days. Here's the latest.

On one hand, doesn't taking kids away from someone because you object to their political beliefs seem a little bit, well, fascist? On the other hand, naming a kid "Adolf Hitler Campbell" can be seen as dooming the child to a life of social ostracism and thus as a form of child abuse...

This government crap is harder than it looks, folks.

(Side note: could Social Services simply demand that the couple change the kids' names? And can a court reject a baby name because it's ridiculous?)

5 comments:

Mike said...

I dunno, I can't see taking a kid away from his parents based on what they name him, let alone what their political beliefs are. It sounds awfully thought police-ish. As unfortunate as it is that children are sometimes raised in such family environments, I'm not sure I see how the government can reasonably remove those children. Parents name their children things like "Agatha" or "Alphonse" without fear of retaliation. Hell, what if your parents had named you "Givesgood"? (That would have been hilarious.)

Then again, every day requiring people to pass a test and acquire a license to procreate seems more and more like it could be considered "acceptable fascism". :-P

Pierce said...

I remember when the cake story broke, but this was the first I heard of this new development with this family. The article says "family services did not tell police the reason the children were removed," though, so it seems like it's a bit premature to assume that their crappy names and parents' political beliefs were the sole justifications.

Matthew B. Novak said...

I think it's silly to remove a child because of a parent's beliefs, especially since odds are good the kid's gonna rebel anyway...

Mike said...

Good point Matt. Given many kids' propensity for rebellion against their parents, especially as teenagers, maybe we should be removing the kids who have anti-Nazi parents. :-P

Ben said...

I'm with Pierce on this one. (Miracles do happen!) The only things we know about the case are the kids' names and the fact that the government took them away. We know nothing about the manner in which these children were raised or even the state's reason for taking them away. Just because we know about their names doesn't mean that's the reason they were taken away.

So, yeah, I'd say it's a bit premature to pass judgment on what happened here.

That said, IF the sole reason for taking the kids from their parents was because of the names, the state's action is unconscionable. As horrible as those names are, the names alone don't come nearly close enough to the kind of neglect or abuse that justifies government interference in the parent-child relationship.