Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Sermon: Religious Naming Convention

In most societies people have a family name and a given name  (often called a Christian or firstname in Christian countries) chosen by their parents.

This is a short appeal from Marcus and Agata to the name choosers i.e. parents, to please think carefully.

The Overloaded Name
Marcus: as an ex teacher can you imagine the difficultly in addressing a class where [nearly] everybody's name is the same.  In modern times:

Mohammed - boys, after a prophet
Maria - girl, after the Virgin Mary
Jesus - boys, after Jesus Christ

In a country where religious indoctrination belief holds strong; what could be more powerful than calling you child after your deity or religious leader.

Well, but if most people then have the same name, well it is not just confusing.

To me, it is really, really irritating.

The /Differentiated/ Religious Name
In a country like Poland  (with which Agata and Marcus are familiar) many given names have a religious association

Saints of the Blessed Catholic Church

In fact nearly every Polish name seems to have a Religious association! Some obvious ones:

Jozef - Joesph, Mary's husband
Piotr - Peter, Apostle
Szymon - Simon, Apostle

but see the above link for what is a very long list!

Agata also has religious roots, although I am always ready to inform my wife that Saint Agata will to Marcus always be associated with the home of Lamborghini cars and not the Catholic church.

To Marcus a strong religious name  (Magdalena) ties your child to a Religion, which [unreasonable religions excepted] they might wish to have no association with in later life.  [UDHR] Take care!

An Older Religious Name
Marcus, the name stems from the Roman God of War  (Mars).  When questioned my mother who was [extremely] religious did comment that Mark  (another religious name!)  was too commonplace at the the time.   Thanks mother, you thought about it.

We Are Rich
Kayne West named his first child North, and it makes for quite a subtle, different and entertaining name /North West/.   Celebrities can choose any name for their offspring, always assuming said children won't have to justify or fight out their name in the school playground,  they'll have a smiling private tutor instead.

We are Chavs
David Beckham, the British footballer named his children Brooklyn, Harper, Romeo and Cruz.  These unusual names are copied and haven given the nod to the most offensively tasteless in society the right to give their children unfortunate names.  3 at Random: Chirp, America, Squirrel.

Parents should be free to choose a name for their Children but please let them bear in mind that this name is something that will identify them for the rest of their lives.

In the 21st Century our interactions both electronically and physically will be with people from every part of this world.  Think carefully before you name and perhaps shame your child.

Pope recommends Biblical names
Celebrity Children Names
Baby Name Finder