Dumb parents, unconstitutional ruling

I’m the first to make fun of parents who, for the life of me I don’t know why, decide to give their children the dumbest names. I don’t have to name off a list, everyone knows what I’m talking about.

But mocking and ridicule are a giant leap away from ruling that someone, under penalty of law, must change their baby’s name. Cue the crazy judge from Tennessee who just crossed that line, from the local NBC station:

A Newport mother is appealing a court’s decision after a judge ordered her son’s name be changed from “Messiah.”

. . .

“The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,” Judge Ballew said.

Martin [the father] responded saying, “I was shocked. I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God and I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs.”

According to Judge Ballew, it is the first time she has ordered a first name change. She said the decision is best for the child, especially while growing up in a county with a large Christian population.

I agree that strange names can cause problems for children as they grow up. But as much as I hate the name, it isn’t our place to force the parents to change it. From a legal stand point this Judge doesn’t have a pulpit to stand on. I don’t know if she missed the day the First Amendment was covered in law school, but she may want to take a refresher course.

It is also worthwhile to know that, according to Slate, 700 children where named Messiah in 2012, and the world didn’t come to an end. I guess when some people speak of the freedom of religion, what they really mean is the freedom to impose their religion on you. I find this also comes with an amendment; they get to make up the rules as they go along.

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We can’t feed poor kids but we should try real hard to make everyone pray to the same god

Allow me to offer a piece of advice to Republicans trying valiantly to change their image and increase the size of their political tent; start supporting food programs for poor families and health care coverage for the sick instead of trying to pass laws to force everyone to pray to the same invisible man you pray to.

In North Carolina, lawmakers have introduced a resolution that ignores the First Amendment of the Constitution and several Supreme Court rulings and establish a religion for the state.  WRAL has the details:

A resolution filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.

The resolution grew out of a dispute between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.

It’s not as if North Carolina doesn’t have real problems to solve, like the 9.4% unemployment rate, 2% higher than the nation as a whole. Maybe they could spend some time figuring out what to do about the 1.6 million folks in the Tar Heel state that don’t have health insurance, half the population. How about dealing with the 25% of children who live in poverty and the 600,000 children living with the risk of hunger, according to NoKidHungry NC.

For many of us, establishing a state religions sounds wacky, but to the lawmakers of North Carolina it isn’t. Article VI, Section 8 of the North Carolina declares that “any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God” shall be disqualified from running for office. While blatantly unconstitutional, the language still exists and is right up there in craziness with Kentucky’s oath of office which includes:

“I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.”

A commentary in Forbes nails it:

I would call these ‘cheap’ political points but there is nothing cheap about the bills the state will rack up as they work to move their faulty legislation up to the United States Supreme Court in order to make their point.

For me, the overriding question presented by this latest effort to subvert the Constitution is just how long it will take for those who self-identify as strict constitutionalist—typically people who also identify as Republicans—to understand that their taxpayer dollars are being squandered by the millions by their elected officials.

When public servants have come to the point where they are desirous of turning their backs on citizens of their state whom may not subscribe to the same religious beliefs of those elected officials, we are on the road to an America that the Founders would neither recognize nor approve.