Photo Credit: AP
You know how we all agreed we weren’t going to judge another parent until we’d driven a mile in her minivan? Well, I pretty much crapped out of the deal back in 2009 when I read about Heath and Deborah Campbell, the New Jersey couple who’d decided to legally change their son’s name to Adolf Hitler.
I looked down my nose at the Campbells again when I read they had christened Adolf’s new sisters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and later, Honszlyn Hinler Jeannie (which apparently is a reference to Heinrich Himmler.) Then my heart broke when all three of those poor children were taken into protective custody last year because the courts felt they weren’t safe with their dad, an apparent Nazi sympathizer and holocaust denier with a history of violent behavior. (At the time, officials insisted that the removal had nothing to do with semantics, although one could argue that saddling your kids with Nazi names would indeed constitute abuse.) What happened to the mom, you ask? Well, apparently Deb opted to stand by her man’s side.
The latest Campbell scandal cropped up last week when Deborah popped out baby number four, Hons Campbell, on November 17. Just hours after he was born, Hons was taken from his parents’ custody by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services. According to multiple news reports, child care officials believe the newborn could be in danger because of previous instances of violence and neglect in the Campbell home. England’s Daily Mail reports that Deborah allegedly had once given a note to her neighbor saying that her husband had threatened to kill her. (The Campbells are still fighting for custody of their other children, according to news reports.)
Heath Campbell is calling the police’s removal of baby Hons without a court order “kidnapping.” I hate to admit it, but in a way, he’s right. Because we live in a free country, couples like the Campbells -- who deny that they are Neo-Nazis -- can continue to breed like bunnies. Babble blogger Carolyn Castiglia makes an interesting point: “If the Campbells aren’t allowed a chance to have children now based on their history, isn’t the government effectively sterilizing them?”
If the Campbells’ biggest crime was sheer ignorance, I’d join the folks whimpering about civil liberties. But with the alleged history of violence and abuse here, I for one am glad that this baby is safely out of the Campbells' hands.