Thursday Weisblog: He’s not a saint, but not a sinner, either

Jonathan Thomas is apparently not your typical, run-of-the-mill inmate in the Nebraska State Penitentiary. The 23-year-old Thomas is currently imprisoned for three violations: attempted burglary, possession of methamphetamine and theft by receiving stolen property. He also has had three child support cases brought against him.

But that’s not what makes him unique. After all, most prisons are full of burglars and drug users.

He recently went before Lancaster County Judge Steven Burns because he wanted to get his name changed. Apparently no longer happy being Jonathan Thomas, he wanted to become “Sinner Lawrence Bilskirnir.”

Why such an odd name, you ask? He says it’s because he’s a heathen and he worships Thor because of his Norse religion.

Judge Burns heard his request but turned him down flat. He did so for several reasons. (1) The judge said the child support issues supercede any name change; (2) Getting a name change would make it harder for government officials to keep track of him; (3) These words from Burns himself: “Simply because a person is a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, they do not change their name to Moses.”

While he’s in prison, I tend to agree with Judge Burns. I think when you are incarcerated, you should lose some of the rights those of us not in a cell are blessed with. However, once he’s free in 2014, he’ll probably change his name if he feels the same way.

One word of caution to him: It might make his job search a bit more difficult with a name like Sinner Lawrence Bilskirnir. After all, who would want to hire anyone named Lawrence? LOL

Note: My apologies to anyone who reads this who happens to be named Lawrence. It’s a fine name … I just couldn’t resist the chance to insert a little humor into the blog.


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