Not surprisingly, a New Jersey Court has found Heath and Deborah Campbell innocent of child abuse charges for naming their children “Adolf Hitler” and “JoyceLynn Aryan Nation.”
I agree. The law can’t limit parents’ rights to determine their offspring’s names, which come squarely come under the category of free speech. Unfortunately, these names say “Hate me,” “Shun me” and “Beat me up.” It may be funny to hear a song about a father who names his boy “Sue” to make him grow up tough, but inflicting these names on helpless children is no laughing matter. It is child abuse, there’s no question about it. It is just child abuse that the state has no way to stop. If parents don’t have the sense, fairness, compassion and decency to avoid burdening children with names that virtually guarantee that they will be outcasts, miserable and severely maladjusted, there is no law that can force them to do it. And since parents who think it’s dandy to name a child after Der Führer by definition don’t have common sense, fairness, or decency, the kids are out of luck.
File this one under “Places Where the Law Can’t Help You.” This is a form of child abuse that is horrible, cruel, and as unethical as can be, yet the parents have a right to do it.
Remember this example the next time someone argues that if something is legal, it must be ethical.
Tell them to ask little Adolf what he thinks.