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Judge Orders Parent of Baby Named "Messiah" to Change Name

The AP reports this very odd piece of news. I'm thinking the judge may have overstepped his bounds a bit.

A judge in Tennessee changed a 7-month-old boy's name to Martin from Messiah, saying the religious name was earned by one person and "that one person is Jesus Christ."

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the name change last week, according to WBIR-TV (http://on.wbir.com/1cDOeTY). The boy's parents were in court because they could not agree on the child's last name, but when the judge heard the boy's first name, she ordered it changed, too.

"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.
Why Martin? Messiah to Martin?

I'm not saying it's a good name for the kid but I'm thinking it's not the judge's place to change it.

Update: Now with video. Oh my.


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Mendol said...

Maybe not the judges place but...... good Lord someone needed to do it.

Mendol said...

Maybe not the judges place but...... good Lord someone needed to do it.

Kelli said...

I believe from another story, that Martin was one of the last names that they were arguing about, so the judge was reaching a compromise by listing one of the last names as the first name of the child. There are laws in place, I don't know if there is a law in place in this case, but some states and countries do have it so that children can not be named something by a parent that would cause a hardship on the child - like you couldn't name your child Adolf Hitler for example. So if there is a law in place, the judge may have been within their right legally speaking.

On a completely different note, my family would appreciate prayers for the repose of the soul of Msgr David Kennedy, aka "Uncle Father David", who passed early today.

Rick said...

Perhaps this judge has not met Latinos named Jesus. There are millions of them.

Robert said...

Millions of Hispanics named Jesus.....millions of Muslims named Mohammed......
This judge is way out of line. I'd never name a child Messiah, but it isn't her decision.

RobJ said...

Was the baby born at St. God's Hospital?

Nan said...

The judge is allowed to make decisions based on the mores of the area; there are many Christians in the town the child lives in who would be offended. Note also that the parents of the child named Adolf Hitler have lost custody of their four children; the father is getting married for the 4th time, to a woman pregnant with his 8th child and he's sending her to some nazi place so the child can't be taken away. Giving your kid a name deemed to be offensive will affet that child's whole life.

@Rick, I think there's a huge difference between naming your kid Jesus and Messiah. For one, as you point out, millions of hispanic kids are named Jesus.

@Kelli, prayers for UFD.

Sophia's Favorite said...

You are aware that the right to name their children "Jesus" was granted to the Spanish for their service at the battle of Lepanto? So if the parents of "Messiah" can demonstrate that they saved Christendom from the Turk by a huge decisive naval battle, fine, we'll let them do it.

I think we need an approved list of names—and spellings!—like they have in Japan. Another human being's identity is not a place for your self-expression.

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