News

‘Messiah:’ Judge orders baby’s name changed

‘Messiah:’ Judge orders baby’s name changed

A Tennessee judge has ordered a baby's name changed from "Messiah" to Martin, saying that the only true messiah is Jesus Christ. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – A Tennessee judge has ordered a baby’s first name changed from “Messiah” to Martin, saying that the only true messiah is Jesus Christ, a ruling the boy’s mother promises to appeal, a Tennessee television station has reported.

The parents of Messiah DeShawn Martin went before Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew because they could not agree on the 7-month-old’s last name.

Ballew instead last week ordered the baby’s name changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough, the Tennessee television station WBIR reported.

“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,” Ballew told WBIR.

Ballew, who could not be reached for comment on Sunday, said the child would likely struggle with his given first name because he lives in Cocke County, a predominantly Christian area in eastern Tennessee.

“It could put him at odds with a lot of people and, at this point, he has had no choice in what his name is,” Ballew said.

Jaleesa Martin, the baby’s mother, told WBIR she would appeal the judge’s order.

“I didn’t think a judge could change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs,” Martin said.

Christianity refers to Jesus as the Messiah, while Judaism uses the term to mean an anticipated savior of the Jews. Dictionary definitions say the word can mean one who is seen as, expected or professes to be a savior or liberator.

Messiah was the 387th most popular name for boys born in the United States in 2012, based on applications for Social Security cards filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

In all, there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, up from 368 applications in 2011, the Social Security Administration said.

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Local

Ulta Beauty and Sephora coming to Bellingham

beauty products

Ulta Beauty is setting up shop next to Abercrombie and Fitch in the Bellis Fair Mall, and Sephora will be opening in JC Penny.

5 hours ago in Local

National pharmaceutical company forced to pay state $23 million

pharmacy

The State Attorney General says drug-maker Wyeth, which is owned by Pfizer, underpaid Medicaid.

9 hours ago in Local

A rapist from Bellingham is sentenced to nine months

prison

it could have been much longer.

19 hours ago in Local

A rental scam to watch out for in Whatcom County

rent graphic

The scammer was obviously hoping to get money before the renters learned it was a scam.

19 hours ago in Local

Tests show 6 more Tacoma schools with lead in water

tap water

Findings come from tests conducted months or years ago.