If you haven’t seen it, you really must. It is unquestionably a work of genius on the part of the This Morning bosses.
I am, of course, referring to Katie Hopkins’ appearance on the show last week.
People were outraged, bemused, and entertained by the matter. I’ve never witnessed such a vast spectrum of people discussing a weekday morning television show. While I was perplexed by the situation, I was also a little enthralled. While I firmly believe that we shouldn’t stop children playing with other children solely on the strength of their names, I do think Hopkins might be on to something.
You see if we think names aren’t important, why do we spend so long choosing names for our children? I don’t have children, but I have witnessed many friends choosing names for their little ones. I can tell you, it’s one of the most protracted occupations that I’ve ever been privy to. A name means something. You just need to read the Bible to see that.
The point of a name is that it tells you something.
There are numerous biblical examples of name changes, as well as God instructing people what to name their children. Likewise, people name their children as testament to what God has done.
God tells Abraham he’s going to give him a son. God instructs Abraham to call the boy Isaac. I’m pretty sure that it’s not because Abraham is so old that he can’t choose a name, but rather, because that name means something. Isaac means ‘he laughs’, if you were wondering, because it’s pretty funny that people that old were to have a child.
Hannah named her boy Samuel, because God heard her.
Jesus told Simon that he was to be called Peter, which means ‘rock’, because he was going be the rock the Church was built on.
Saul is called Paul soon after his Damascus Road experience. Saul was a more Jewish name, and Paul was his Roman name. Being referred to as Paul made him more acceptable to non-Jewish people, precisely his target audience.
A name tells you about where a person has come from.
When I meet someone, the first thing I ask them is their name. Not only does it inform me how to address them, it also tells me some considerable things about them. Let me give you some examples.
I meet someone in church and they have a biblical name, I automatically think they’ve come from a Christian family.
If I meet someone with a name like Kylie, or Chanelle or Jaden, I think their mum and dad probably didn’t go to church when they named them.
If someone has a name like Dante, or Millicent, or Philomena, I’ll think you’re far too snobby for us to be friends or your parents were trying too hard.
If you’ve got an old-fashioned name like Helen, or Maude, or Brian, I’m going to assume that your parents were older when you were born.
What I’m not saying is treat someone differently because of their name. What I am saying is that we’re probably being disingenuous if we say we don’t make any assumptions about others from what they’re called. After all that is what a name is for.
I know. I’m judgemental. I know I’ll be measured with the same measure I use, but I’m all right with that. What do you think? Do you think a name says something or nothing?