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 Local

Demand For Smoke-Free Housing Increases

cigarette

State health officials say the demand for smoke-free housing is increasing in Iowa.

in Local

Nebraska’s Job Outlook Strong

employment

An upbeat job market is expected in Nebraska during the final three months of the year, according to a new survey.

in Local

Hillary Returns To Iowa

vote

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given the broadest hint yet that she is a likely 2016 candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

in Local

Foley On The November Ballot

vote

Nebraska State Auditor Mike Foley will be on the November ballot as republican Governor Candidate Pete Ricketts running mate.

in Local

Congress To Work On Continuing Resolution

Kristi Noem 20513

While federal lawmakers don’t plan to spend many days in Washington before the November elections, they do have to make sure the government can continue to operate beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.