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 Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Sept. 18

In this undated photo, Jimi Hendrix performs with a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. The Stratocaster, used by countless professional and amateur musicians, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014.

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Entertainment, Weird

‘Frozen’ wedding gown for brides who can’t ‘Let it Go’

frozen

Brides everywhere can soon get married in true Disney fairytale style.

in Entertainment

Taylor Swift leads ‘best dressed’ list

taylorswift

The annual list of celebrity style icons includes Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o, Rihanna, and Blake Shelton.

in Entertainment, Sports

‘NBA 2K15′ adds 3D face mapping for latest game

nba

"NBA 2K15" is angling for a slam dunk with an innovative new feature that allows players to put their game faces on.

in Music

Bobby Womack left behind big debt

In this June 22, 2012 photo, musician Bobby Womack poses for a portrait in Los Angeles. With health and drug problems behind him, Womack makes his return with a new album, "The Bravest Man in the Universe."

The "If You Think You're Lonely Now" hitmaker left behind debts of more than $500,000.