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.

Latest Stories

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Many Speakers Denounce Proposed 29 At Rio Interchange

Updated
29 North Sign

Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd will introduce a motion that VDOT conduct a small area study before putting the project in the fast lane.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Election, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA, Virginia Assembly

Appropriations Chairman: State Workers Might Get More Pay

Updated
House of Delegates  052411 (RG)

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee says public employees might get salary increases.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Illiness Prompts Hampden-Sydney To Call Off Classes

Updated
Hampden-Sydney College Logo

Hampden-Sydney College has called off classes until next week.

in Albemarle County, Local, Surrounding Counties

Afton Store Robbed

Updated
Nelson Sheriff's Badge  072308

There was an armed robbery Wednesday night at a Nelson County store.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, UVA

Huja Not Running Again

Updated
Huja Satyendra 931712

Mayor Satyendra Huja has announced that he will not seek re-election to City Council.