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Tennessee Judge: No Babies Named Messiah Please

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It's a Boy by *Made of Stardust* on Flickr (CC license)

Image by *Made of Stardust* on Flickr (CC license)

A Tennessee judge recently stopped a new mom from naming her baby Messiah.

What was the judge’s reasoning? Well, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew concluded that the name “is a title . . . that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” according to what she told a local news station.

Jalessa Martin and the father of her newborn were in the court to begin with because they wanted a ruling on whose last name the boy should have; they had agreed, apparently, on the first name, but the judge didn’t.

So what’s a judge to do?

Why, take it upon herself to rename the child in question Martin Deshawn McCollough, using both parents’ names, of course.

Judge Ballew said the name Messiah “could put him at odds with a lot of people” in the area, which is predominantly Christian.

But Jalessa Martin wasn’t swayed; she said she will appeal the decision and keep calling her son Messiah in the meantime.

“I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs,” Martin said. “Everybody believes what they want, so I should be able to name my child what I want to name him.”

Indeed, as noted by the Los Angeles Times, Messiah has actually become quite a popular boy’s name over the past several years in the United States — though it would seem that those parents who successfully named their children “Messiah” didn’t have to go through Judge Ballew’s court.

What do you think of the judge’s ruling?


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September 6th, 2013 at 7:27 am

Posted in Legal News

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