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 Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: Puppies predict the Final Four

16-overlay

It's a totally unscientific, but completely adorable, way to predict the winner of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

in National

The latest developments on ‘religious-objection’ laws

Updated
arkansasreligiousobjections

Indiana's new religious-objections law has sparked fears that it could allow discrimination.

in Sports

Winston impressed on Seminoles Pro Day

jameiswinston

The Seminoles QB put on a show for NFL coaches and scouts assembled for Florida State Pro Day.

in Sports

Wednesday’s Sports Minute

NETS

A look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today, Wednesday, April 1. STREAKING NETS HANG ONTO FINAL…

in Sports

Baseball to set pay record

MLB

The average salary is expected to break the $4 million benchmark.