19% of Americans Say It’s OK for Judges to Re-Name Children on Religious Grounds

Speaking of Tennessee…a few weeks after Tennessee judge Lu Ann Ballew attempted to change a 7‑month‑old’s first name from Messiah to Martin, Nashville-based Christian organization LifeWay Research asked 1,001 Americans a couple of questions about religious baby names.

Here are the two statements LifeWay asked respondents to either agree or disagree with, plus the survey results.

Q: “Judges should be allowed to change the name parents give their children if there are religious implications to those names that some people might find offensive.”

  • 08% strongly agree
  • 11% somewhat agree
  • 15% somewhat disagree
  • 61% strongly disagree
  • 06% don’t know/not sure

Q: “Parents should be allowed to select names for their children such as Messiah or Christ, even if those names have religious meaning to some people.”

  • 53% strongly agree
  • 21% somewhat agree
  • 11% somewhat disagree
  • 10% strongly disagree
  • 05% don’t know/not sure

So, 19% of respondents think government-appointed judges should have the right to change children’s names on religious grounds, and 21% think parents should not be allowed to choose certain religious names for their children. I find these numbers slightly disturbing, but they’re not as high as I would have guessed, given the religiosity of many Americans (e.g., 46% of Americans are creationists).

What do you think?

Source: Naming a Baby “Messiah” is Fine with Most Americans

4 Responses to 19% of Americans Say It’s OK for Judges to Re-Name Children on Religious Grounds

  1. I went to college with a man named Christ, (He pronounced it “KREEST.”) He was Greek, hence the pronunciation, but I also understood that his parents were pretty out there.

    I wonder what people would think if the Judge wasn’t the same religion as the parents? For instance if the Judge was Native American and they refused to allow the child in question to be named Dakota or Cheyenne? Or a Jewish Judge who refused the name Cohen?

  2. I’m religious (Christian) and can’t comprehend why parents give children names like Messiah or Trinity, but I absolutely think it is their prerogative to do so. As much as “tolerance” is preached nowadays, people actually seem to be getting more and more easily offended. It’s really no one else’s business if I name my child Christ, Buddha or Harekrishna.

  3. @Julie – Good questions.

  4. parents shouldnt be allowed to name their kids names that will make them stand out their entire lives in a negative way, religious or not.

    like the parent that named their kid Adolph Hilter.

    shouldnt be allowed.

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