14 January 2009

Followup: Adolf Hitler Campbell removed from home.

If you remember the mid-December story about little Adolf Hitler Campbell's birthday cake, you may be interested to learn that he and his similarly unfortunately monikered siblings have been removed from their home by New Jersey social services. The Campbells have insisted the kids were not taken, but also postponed a scheduled hearing about the kid's living situation because they needed time to seek a private attorney. 
I smell a Constitutional challenge.
Do parents have a right to name their children anything they like? I'd argue that they do not. The First Amendment doesn't say that you can say or do whatever you want, whenever you want, without the slightest regard for the consequences of such action. Consequences are always a relevant legal consideration, hence the classic example "you can't yell 'FIRE!' in a crowded theater."
The father concedes that his particular brand of attention whoring has brought death threats.
The Campbells insist that they selected their kid's Nazi-themed names because those names were "unique" and honored their German ancestry. That may be true (it isn't), but it casually ignores the contempt such names draw upon the bearer, compelling children to bear, at a minimum, the near-universal derision of the parents' politics.
It is difficult to ignore the fact that the parent's names are the utterly ordinary Heath and Deborah. Obviously they didn't believe strongly enough in the importance of their unique German ancestry to change their own names to something Nazi-themed. Nope, they chose to foist that crap on their children. 
That's not "protected speech." It's just irresponsible parenting and a cowardly form of attention whoring.

2 chimed in:

Tammy B said...

It's interesting that in Germany (the land the proclaim to honor), the name you give our children has to be a 'valid' name - ie. one from a list of names.

cliff1976 said...

So, whose job should it be to check to make sure people born in the United States aren't named Edie Ameen or Pole Pott or Joe Stallin?

It's just irresponsible parenting and a cowardly form of attention whoring.

I totally agree with you there, but I'm not in favor of hiring a name approver in maternity wards. Even if that results in a whole lot of people named Khrystall.

I want people to just be smarter and nicer, dammit.