The state government of Victoria, Australia, has included God, Christ, Lord and Satan on a list of more than 40 baby names they have banned as being either too offensive or official as American parents are expected to trend toward adopting names of more mythological deities and supreme evil beings like Lucifer.
According to the state government of Victoria, "Parents can usually choose any given name for their child. However, the registrar can refuse to register a prohibited name." And the government has very broad powers when it comes to prohibiting a name.
A name under Victoria's Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 can be prohibited if it's considered, among other things, to be: obscene or offensive; cannot be established by repute or usage; because it is too long; because it contains symbols without phonetic significance, such as an exclamation or question mark, or for any other reason.
The full list of names prohibited most recently include: Admiral, Anzac, Australia, Baron, Bishop, Brigadier, Brother, Cadet, Captain, Chief, Christ, Commodore, Constable, Corporal, Dame, Duke, Emperor, Father, General, God, Honour, Judge, Justice, King, Lad, Lieutenant, Lord, Madam, Majesty, Major, Messiah, Minister, Mister, Officer, Premier, President, Prime Minister, Prince, Princess, Queen, Saint, Satan, Seaman, Sergeant, Sir and Sister.
While Victoria has limits on how far parents are allowed to go in naming their children, editors at popular baby naming website Nameberry said American parents will be looking to "defy convention" come 2017 as they pull names from mythological gods and wild animals.
"America's new conservative turn signals a complete reinvention of baby names. The newly-dominant red staters favor names that defy convention: invented names with unique spellings and nontraditional gender identities. And parents of all political beliefs are embracing names from a range of fresh sources — gods and wild animals, spiritual beliefs and childhood heroes — that all embody power," the editors, who are predicting a "full-blown baby naming revolution" for 2017, said.
"Next year parents will skip directly to the head of the power line. Yes, we're talking about God, whose names will be conferred on an increasing number of babies. Expect to meet lots of little deities with names drawn from multicultural mythology: Thor, Persephone, Odin, Freya, Jupiter, Luna, Atlas, Clio, Orion, Morrigan, Pandora, and Zeus," they said
Five boys in 2015, were literally named God, the editors said, along with five others named Yahweh. Some 20 were named Lord, 27 called Savior, and 40 baby girls were named Goddess. More than 1,500 baby boys were name Messiah in 2015.
Messiah became a name of much controversy in 2013 when Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered a young couple to change their baby boy's name from "Messiah" to something else because it's a title reserved for Jesus Christ.
After much public outcry, however, she was cited by a court panel for inappropriate religious bias.
According to Nameberry, some parents have also been choosing to name their children Lucifer, along with the names of other supreme evil beings such as Lilith, a demon of Jewish folklore, and Kali, the Hindu destroyer.