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
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