In Name Only

Israel Considers Baby Name Restrictions

It might be getting a little bit harder for Israeli parents to give their babies names that are considered "hurtful and insulting... or names of curses or negative figures."

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is considering a bill that would create a panel to evaluate questionable names and give the interior minister the right to refuse to register a name. The panel would consist of an educator, a psychologist and a social worker.

Israeli law already allows for the rejection of names that "could mislead or offend the public."

I respect the intent behind the bill, but I also think it is a slippery slope. The bill's backers reason that the types of names in questions "could make him an object of mockery in the eyes of his peers and damage his self-image and self-confidence." Well, so could an unfashionable t-shirt or pair of sneakers. How much can the actions of parents be managed, even if it is in the supposed best interest of their child?

What do you think? Is the bill a good idea? Would you back it?