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View Diary: Debunking the unbearably stupid (304 comments)

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  •  "Christian name" not an issue (4+ / 0-)
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    terrypinder, mayim, calibrit, Jon Says

    Kenya had recently been a British colony, and so the use of "Christian name" is not necessarily suspect - though it would be interesting to check British usage of the time.

    But that is a minor point. This document has more flaws than that fake TANG writeup they used on Dan Rather.

    It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by DanK Is Back on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:07:12 PM PDT

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I think it would have been an issue in a country with more than 10% Muslims. You don't think there would have been a significant amount of sensitivity to that? I really don't think many Muslims would have gladly signed documents giving their children "Christian" names.

      Especially when "Name" would have sufficed just as well.

      •  Sorry, CatM (5+ / 0-)

        I'm British, and run a charity that operates in Kenya. DanK is right.

        "Christian name" was standard British English until perhaps the 1990s for what Americans call "first name". During the 1990s, "first name" became more commonly used for precisely the reasons you outline, but it's been very slow for Britain institutionally to accept the existence of non-Christian minorities and change institutional practices to suit. They would certainly not have done so in the 1960s or earlier.

        Muslims did then, and still do, sign documents giving their children "Christian names". Americans would find it odd because of the whole separation of church and state thing. But hey, British people don't have that, so they didn't expect it.

        •  Sorry Calibrit (0+ / 0-)

          but you are absolutely incorrect.

          While "Christian Name" may have been common British vernacular in this era, it was not the official statutory terminology and thus would not have been used on official documents, like birth certificates.

          If you refer to the United Kingdom's Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, you will observe that while baptism is referred to, the phrase "Christian name" is not.

          Registration of name of child or of alteration of name(1)Where, before the expiration of twelve months from the date of the registration of the birth of any child, the name by which it was registered is altered or, if it was registered without a name, a name is given to the child, the registrar or superintendent registrar having the custody of the register in which the birth was registered, upon delivery to him at any time of a certificate in the prescribed form signed—
          (a)if the name was altered or given in baptism, either by the person who performed the rite of baptism or by the person who has the custody of the register, if any, in which the baptism is recorded, or
          (b)if a name has not been given to the child in baptism, by the father, mother or guardian of the child or other person procuring the name of the child to be altered or given,

          Here is a copy from a 1961 British death certificate made pursuant to the 1953 act, in which you will clearly see it says "name" and "surname," but not "Christian name":

          Here is a 1961 copy of a UK birth certificate for a man born in 1886; note that it says "name" in every instance for the first name and not "Christian name."

          There is absolutely no reason to think that the United Kingdom would have used terminology in contravention of its own laws on registering births for Kenya.

          I have shown you some hard evidence, and if you have anything other than your anecdotal beliefs, it's time to present it.

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