Plenty of parents “hang atrocious names on their offspring, cursing them for life,” said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, but New Jersey’s Heath and Deborah Campbell take the cake. At least they wanted to. But their local ShopRite wouldn’t make them a birthday cake inscribed with the name of their son, Adolf Hitler Campbell, 3. The Nazi admirer dad now demands tolerance. “It sounds like a Monty Python skit: No one expects the Nazi Tolerance Inquisition!”
The story does sound “too good to be true, like a below-average Onion article or an above-average Saturday Night Live sketch,” said Jacob Sullum in Reason. But the swastika-touting Campbells—including daughters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, almost 2, and infant Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell—are real. The question is, are they mentally ill or just idiots?
Well, you never know, said Boston Herald editor Jules Crittenden in Forward Movement. “The Boy-named-Sue effect could turn Little Adolf into a great cancer-curing, world-peace-making humanitarian some day.”
It would be foolish to imagine this little Adolf taking on “the character of a genocidal maniac,” said Cathy Lynn Grossman in USA Today. But his life will probably be “shaped by people who surmise that he’s being brought up by people who glorify one.” Parents more often name their kids after saints or heroes—are any of them, or us, really “expected to ‘live up’ to our names?”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Christian conservatives have a terrifying new bogeyman: The Christian leftist
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Eric Holder blew it as attorney general. His replacement will, too,
- What the Romney boomlet says about the establishment GOP's feeble 2016 field
- Confronting our twisted relationship with food
Subscribe to the Week