LINCOLN, Neb. – A judge has ruled a Nebraska prison inmate may not change his name to “Sinner,” despite how naughty he’s been.
Jonathan L. Thomas, 23, sought to change his name to “Sinner Lawrence Bilskirnir” (bil-skeer-NEER’) for religious reasons, he said. Thomas claims to adhere to ancient Norse religious practices; therefore he “is a heathen and Thor is his ‘High God,’” according to the petition he filed with the court.
Courts routinely allow people to change their names for religious reasons, but the judge in Thomas’ case cited the convict’s criminal record as his primary reason for rejecting the petition. According to the judge, government agencies must track Thomas upon his scheduled release in 2014. In addition, three child-support cases are pending against him. A name change would complicate both of those issues, the judge ruled.
“Simply because a person is a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, they do not change their name to Moses,” the judge wrote in his decision.
Thomas was incarcerated after being convicted of attempted burglary, receiving stolen property and methamphetamine possession.