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

Today in entertainment history: Dec. 19

dolly

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Local Sports

Prep basketball scores

2013-14 high school basketball dl

Ferndale boys meet Anacortes Friday on KPUG

in Sports

Jaguars hold off Titans late, win 21-13 in home finale

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley reacts to a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Tennessee lost its ninth consecutive game and moved a step closer to securing the No. 1 pick in the draft.

in Local Sports

WWU men beaten 72-65 by No. 5 Tarleton State at South Point Hoops Classic

South Point logo [Converted]

Vikings within two points of Texans with 2:50 remaining. Western slips to 6-and-4 on the year.

in Local Sports

Mariners sign Mark Lowe & two others to minor league deals

seattle mariners logo generic red

Lowe was originally selected by the Mariners in the 5th round of the 2004 June Draft and appeared in 162 games with Seattle from 2006-2010.