Can the Government Tell You What to Name Your Child?

Mommy knows best.

Or, in this case, it’s the State.

In Iceland, a 15 year-old girl is suing the Icelandic State for the right to be called by her name.  When she was born, her mother named her “Blaer”, which means “light breeze”.  The priest who baptized her allowed it, but later admitted he made a mistake.  The Icelandic State lists her on legal documents as “Stulka”, or “girl”.  Now, Blaer is suing for the right to have her real name back.

The Icelandic State, like a handful of other countries, provides a list from which new parents can choose names.  Their reasoning is that

…names that fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment. Parents can take from the list or apply to a special committee that has the power to say yea or nay.

Here we have a government that has decided it must protect children from embarrassment.

The role of government, at least in America, is to provide for its citizens the ability to seek “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  People can manage well enough on their own to determine what life and liberty and happiness is.  When government oversteps its bounds of providing for the common good of its people and, instead, dictating to them what is best, it ceases to be government.

Or, at least free government.

1 Comment

Filed under Commentary, Politics

One response to “Can the Government Tell You What to Name Your Child?

  1. katys

    I really don’t know what type of government system is there in Iceland that is to say democracy or dictatorial type.But even in dictatorship I’ve never heard such a thing, it truly is a very peculiar thing and also the most undemocratic thing. It reminds me of the old times when church was the most powerful institution, it was due to there despotic nature that thinkers like J.S. Mill emerged who proposed minimal function of the state, now we can very well imagine why he proposed such theory, be it the state, government or church they have time and again proved that what is going to be the result when you place too much of power in their hand. Now with the emergence of international organizations like United Nations and media we are in a better position as power holders always try to hide what they are doing, the best way to curb them is to reveal their unjust acts, half the battle is won there and then.

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