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

MLB: Who’s staying, who’s going

Fresh
worldseries

Major League Baseball teams are making roster moves.

in Sports

Friday’s Sports Minute

Fresh
lebron

A look at the big sports stories you'll be talking about today, Friday, Oct. 31.

in Sports

Clippers launch new era under Balmer with scrappy win

Fresh
clippers

Los Angeles found a way to launch their season under new owner Steve Ballmer.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Scaring’ with the ‘Stars’

Fresh
11-overlay3

Halloween is alive and well on the set of the hit ABC show "Dancing With the Stars."

in National, World

Congress to revisit ISIS war debate after election

Fresh
isis

Lawmakers will resume a debate on the U.S.-led fight against militants in Syria and Iraq.