We Are Not Amused.

The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act says names can be declined for causing offence, being over-long or “without adequate justification” resembling an official title or rank. 

Other names that were queried but later accepted included Fanny, Jnr, Shady and Nevaeh (heaven backwards, which, curiously, was the 31st most popular girl’s name in the United States in 2007). 

Though Lucifer and Messiah were rejected on taste grounds, the Sunday Star-Times struggled to find anyone offended by the names. 

Judy de Leeuwe, an atheist at the Rationalists and Humanists Association, said she was not offended and she did not know why Births, Deaths and Marriages would reject them. 

Lyndsay Freer, spokeswoman for the Catholic Church in Auckland, said some Christians could object to the name Lucifer, but since millions of Spanish speakers called their children Jesus, she did not see how the name Messiah could be offensive. 

Lucifer comes from a Latin expression meaning “light-bearer” and was the name given to the dawn appearance of the planet Venus, which heralds daylight. There was originally no connection to the devil.

What I find sad is that there has been no reported comment on the effects of bizarre names on children in the above article. No comment whatsoever (unless the journo involved, Ian Steward, decided to omit any such references in his article.)

Call me “old fashioned (actually, don’t) but I tend to believe that lumbering children with weird names is not conducive to their mental and emotional wellbeing. We all know (or, should know by now) how nasty children can be to each other. Giving our little darlings “extra ammo” to use in harassing each other does not seem sensible or desirable.

I’m reminded of this similar instance,

Embarrassed’ girl, 9, gets court protection in New Zealand to change her name from ‘Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii
24th July 2008. What’s in a name? Quite a lot if you’re called Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

That’s the unfortunate appellation a girl was given by her parents  –  but now a New Zealand judge has ordered that the nine-year-old, who is at the centre of a custody battle, should become a ward of court until she can choose a name she really likes.
The girl’s lawyer said she told people her name was ‘K’ because she feared being mocked and teased.
Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt said: ‘The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name. It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.’ More.

I can’t get into the minds of parents who would do this to their children. It is as if they have taken all leave of their sense, and decided to use their children to “make a statement” or “thumb their noses”.

Children. They are not our chattels. They are not to be used in regards to any “issues” we might have with society.

With children, such parents should consider their obligations, rather than any perceived “property rights”.

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