Tennessee Judge Orders That Baby Cannot Be Named "Messiah"

by
Owen Poindexter
A judge in Tennessee ordered that a couple change their baby’s name from “Messiah” to “Martin,” because "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ."

A judge in Tennessee, who apparently has no idea how this whole “rule of law” and “separation of church and state” thing works, ordered that a couple change their baby’s name from “Messiah” to “Martin,” because "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ."

Messiah’s parents were in court about their baby’s name, but his last name, not his first one. Apparently they couldn’t agree on what their child’s last name should be. The judge, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew incorporated both parents’ names by changing “Messiah DeShawn Martin” into “Martin Deshawn McCullough.” Messiah’s mother, Jaleesa Martin, is appealing the ruling:

"I was shocked. I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God and I didn't think a judge could make me change my baby's name because of her religious beliefs."

Ms. Martin should have a strong case. After all, it is unconstitutional to make Christian beliefs into law (purely on the strength of their standing in Christianity), and by that logic, other religions could argue against the idea that only Jesus has earned the title Messiah. As for this whole, you can’t name a baby a title that they haven’t earned…yeah, that one doesn’t hold up either. By that logic, no one can be named Major or Prince or even Comptroller (if you were looking for a baby name, there you go). In fact, “Martin” comes from the Roman God “Mars.” Has this little seven-month old earned the title of “God of War?” No? Then we’d better think of another name. How about “Human?” No one can argue with that one.

Judge Lu Ann Ballew has her work cut out for her: “Messiah” was the fourth fastest-rising baby names in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.

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