Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Parental Rights- What's In a Name?

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February 12, 2013
What's In a Name?
You already know who in the government loves your child more than you do: no one.

And you know which judge in our country would be more diligent than you are to make the very best decision for your child: there isn’t one.

That is exactly why you support the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and why you oppose the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). By establishing the “best interest of the child” legal standard, the CRC would place government officials and judges in the role of second-guessing the decisions you make for your child.

And that’s just not going to work.

Consider “Girl” Bjarkardottir of Iceland, whose story was recently featured at NBCNews.com.

Her parents didn’t name her “Girl.” They named her “Blaer.” Unfortunately, no one involved at the time realized the name was not on the government-approved list of girls' names. When the error was discovered, she had to forego her own name and use the Icelandic word for “girl” instead.

“Blaer” is Icelandic for “breeze,” and according to the Icelandic Naming Committee, it is a perfectly acceptable name – but only for a male.

Under the CRC, Iceland has an obligation “to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being…and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures…. In all actions … the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” (CRC, Article 3) Apparently, the Icelandic government believes its Naming Committee is a part of fulfilling this responsibility.

And the Naming Committee believes girls need to be protected from bearing the name “Blaer.”

It is true that some parents make bad choices about what to name their child. The New Jersey couple who named their children Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation come readily to mind. But as the U.S. Supreme Court once declared, “The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)

In other words, we don’t punish everyone because a small few do foolish things. To do so is destructive of liberty. Fit parents do not lose their decision-making rights simply because bad parents exist.

On January 31, a district court in Reykjavik finally determined that “Blaer” could be a girl’s name, too. “I’m very happy,” the girl told the Iceland Review Online. “Finally, I’ll have the name ‘Blaer’ in my passport.”

Finally. It’s a right her mother would have given her a lifetime ago.

Action Items
1. Remember Facebook Fan February! We are on course to reach our goal of 30,000 fans on our fan page by March 1. Please visit the page and “like” it if you haven’t already; or post a link to it on your own Facebook timeline so your friends will find us and sign up. Liking our fan page is also a great way for you to keep up with parental rights activity in your own state legislature!

2. Help us pursue our goal of doubling our petition list in the next year. Invite your family and friends to sign the petition at parentalrights.org/petition.

Both of these will greatly increase our voice when it is time to halt dangerous treaties in the Senate and to push the Parental Rights Amendment in the U.S. Congress and in the States.

Together we can protect our children by preserving the rights of fit parents in our country.


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA 20134 * (540)-751-1200 * info@parentalrights.org

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