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

in Entertainment

You can be on ‘House of Cards’

Fresh
houseofcards

It's your chance to be part of a Washington scandal, and you don't even have to bribe a member of Congress.

in Sports

Pressure mounts as FIFA scandal widens

Fresh
fifaarrest

The corruption scandal engulfing world soccer's governing body is deepening, with warnings from big sponsors and growing criticism from politicians.

in National

FCC takes aim at annoying telemarketing calls

Fresh
robocalls

Those automated phone calls during the dinner hour, late at night or to your wireless phone can be so frustrating — and the government is taking note.

in Lifestyle

Amazon launching free, same-day delivery

Fresh
amazon

The online retailer wants to make your impulse buys even more impulsive.

in National

Thousands of homes destroyed in deadly Houston floods

Fresh
houston

Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate flood-threatened areas of Texas as torrential rains battered the state.