Naming a child is a great responsibility, and one that most parents weigh very carefully. Of course, sometimes you mess up … I accidentally gave one of my daughters the same name (first and middle) as a character in a children’s series, for example, and I had to talk my ex-husband out of naming my other little princess “Pythagora” (he wanted to name the baby “Pythagoras” but then we found out she was a girl).
Still, even Pythagora is far better than Adolf Hitler. Or Jocelynn Aryan Nation. Or Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie. Yup, those are in fact actual names given to the three children of Heath and Deborah Campbell of New Jersey.
It should come as no surprise that the children were removed from their parents’ custody. The only surprise as far as I’m concerned is that they had enough time to continue this madness after naming their first child Adolf freaking Hitler.
The Appeals court ruling overturned a family court decision, and found that the parents suffer from unspecified physical and psychological disabilities. Heath and Deborah Campbell were victims of childhood abuse and neither “have received adequate treatment for their serious psychological conditions,” the ruling stated. The parents “recklessly created a risk of serious injury to their children by failing to protect them from harm and failing to treat their disabilities,” the judges ruled.
They cited a typo-riddled note written by Adolf Hitler’s mom and slipped to a neighbor warning that her husband had threatened to kill her, reports AP. “Hes alread tried it a few times. Im afread that he might hurt my children if they are keeped in his care,” wrote Deborah Campbell, who later called the note she admitted writing “a lie.”
You know, sometimes I feel really badly for the legal system. I really and truly do. I think it must be very hard not to say, “They’re freaking bananas, take the kids away, next!” in a case like this.
Obviously, parents have the right to name their children whatever they want. With that said, though, some thought really should be given to how that name is going to be received since a child has to carry its name around forever.
My mother had a friend named Mrs. Daniels. When she was pregnant and they were trying out names, she loved the name Jack. She thought it through and ultimately crossed “Jack” off the list, much as she liked it. It just would have just been grossly unfair to saddle a kid with the responsibility of going through life as Jack Daniels.
Naming a child “Adolf Hitler Campbell” is a hundred times worse than contemplating naming a kid Jack Daniels. There is a connotation there, obviously intentional, that is ridiculously unfair to throw onto a kid’s shoulders.
Of course, a look at Deborah Campbell’s note shows that being a racist bigot whack job isn’t her only problem. I mean, I’m “afread” of what the world has in store for a child name Adolf Hitler.
There are still some that doubt the veracity of the Holocaust, and I suppose it’s their prerogative to bury their heads in the sand. I think it’s utterly asinine (as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words), but people are entitled to their opinions. I suppose.
What haunts me is the gross disregard these parents had for the future and well-being of their children. I mean, both child welfare groups and the media caught onto this sad, sad story when the local grocery story refused to write, “Happy Birthday, Adolf Hitler” on a cake. The kid was three at the time.
And realistically, whether it’s fair or not, a child is often judged on the actions and beliefs of his or her parents. It’s one thing for there to be rumblings of racism or Aryan Nation connections or whatever, but doing something as in-your-face as naming your child after Heinrich Himmler (“Honszlynn Hinler” is a feminine derivative of Hitler’s right-hand man) or arguably the most purely evil human being to walk the earth in hundreds of years is just cruel.
And for that cruelty, for the heat those children are going to take, for the warped view they are probably going to have of the world, those parents absolutely deserved to lose custody of them. It is irresponsible parenting to shamelessly promote Hitler’s Nazi ideals through little kids that aren’t even old enough to talk and certainly falls under the guidelines of such.
I can’t think of a much more effective way to “create a risk of serious injury to their children.”