August 12th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Judge: Baby can't be named 'Messiah'

A Tennessee judge has ordered the parents of a 7-month-old boy to rename their son "Martin" instead of "Messiah," CNN affiliate WBIR reports.

"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," Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew said.

Jaleesa Martin, the child's mother, told WBIR that she intends to appeal the decision.

Do you agree with the judge's decision or do you think the parents should be able to name their son Messiah? Let us know in the comments below.

Read the full story at WBIR
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Courts • Tennessee

soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    Well thank goodness.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  2. shan22044

    If you can name your child Jesus then you should be able to name him Messiah. There are a whole lotta Jesus' walking around, so what's the deal? Maybe it's just me...

    August 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's Jesuses, not Jesus'

      August 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Phil E. Blunt

    No worries mon. Simple solution: name the child "Haissem" Unique and still powerful

    August 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  4. Henry Allen

    So, what happens if Martin, as he will now be called, actually turns out to be the second coming? Have a very merry Martinmas. Let's put up the Martinmas tree. Nah, doesn't work.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  5. justkeke

    OK, although I would NOT name my child Messiah, how is this different from naming a Latino boy "Jesus", or Gwyneth Paltrow naming her son "Moses"?????? Although parents should be psychologically evaluated when wanting to name their kids "Lucifer" or "Ass-F%$"...the law should concentrate on things that matter, like NOT letting child molesters out on early release, because prisons are over crowded. Our priorities are jacked here.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  6. Ian

    I'm not even Christian, and I agree with the Judge. Parents should realize that their children aren't always going to be cute little bundle's of joy and at some they are going to have to go out in the real world and live the stupidity of their parents.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "bundles," not "bundle's." You must be a christian.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • BEER30

        U reely r vary vary anoiyeeng

        August 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • CherryMama

      I watched my daughter make friends with a little girl at a park. My daughter could not pronounce the other girl's name, and heck, even the other little girl had a hard time saying her own name. They were both 4 at the time. Be fair to your kids!

      August 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  7. Anton Dubinski

    Maybe because baby is the wrong color, I guess.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  8. Boisepoet

    So if someone tries to name their child Zeus, Jupiter, Thor or some other mythological character will she have the same reaction? Or is her Santa Claus precious and needs protection.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  9. Andy Daniel

    If the judge's rational is that there is only one messiah and that is Jesus, then the reasoning is a clear violation of separation of church and state – it's not up to the judge to decide that the his or her God has any bearing on othe people's right to name their child.

    However if a judge ruled that the name would subject the child to ridicule and was therefore a deriliction of parental duty, an argument could be made for that position.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  10. CherryMama

    Well he's a cute little boy anyway, no matter what his name ends up being.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  11. lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

    The socialists have a grande plan for the unemployment rate problem. FULL TIME chaperones will be required for all married couples. Negotiations have been deadlocked for 6 years over the s*ex of these gubmint employees. Happy dayz are coming!!

    August 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Akira

      Who are the people promoting transvaginal rape and inserting themselves into the bedrooms of America? Hint: it's not the people promoting social programs.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  12. Anton Dubinski

    Somehow the judge probably wouldn't have a had a problem with 'Mohammed.'

    August 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Isamal

      Mohamed is the most common name in the world. You mean Allah (peace be upon him). There is only of those.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  13. John

    As far as the know a judge needs a law to tie her decision to. Does Tenn have a law regulating baby names??

    August 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      SS numbers have to be tattooed on the arms of the tykes before leaving the hospitals. No protests have ever materialized. Most just consider it a civilized form of circu*mcision, mommy approved.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  14. momtojandl

    A study from the University of Rochester claims to have proven that the religious have lower IQs.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Athy

      It's not a claim, it's a fact. And it's very evident on this blog.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Agnes Nostic

    There's a nut here in NJ with kids named Adolf Hitler Campbell, 7; JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 6; Honz­lynn Jeannie Campbell, 5; and 21-month-old Hons Heinrich. They have another on the way that will be either "Rommel" or "Eva Braun" depending on the gender. While the father has lost custody of his children, their names are still with them.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Akira

      I'm thinking we know where their sympathies lie.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  16. Ken Barr


    August 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  17. jacqueline

    as a mother myself i feel that the state, nor the us goverment should tell me what I can & can't name my baby. the name Massiah yes is for Jesus Crist as he is the Savor a Christians, but did this judge not think that maybe this child is the savor for his mother, that she is a better mother now that she has her little baby boy in her arms. If that judge wants to be so upset about names then he/she will have a long list to go down starting with the stars that name thier baby's Prince, North, Apple, ect. every baby needs a great name and Massiah is perfect !!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Dippy

      etc. not ect.
      Messiah, not Massiah

      August 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  18. John

    Better than the old 70's and 80's names that sounded like new synthetic fabrics. Dantron, etc.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  19. Mike

    The judge is an idiot. I hope no Hispanics named Jesús move into his jurisdiction. Just another reason why religion is poison.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  20. colin in Florida

    Saw this on TV. When asked about why is it OK for hispanics to name kids Jesus, she hemmed and hawwed, and said it was not relevant to this decision. A first-a female putz! And she is a judge?! Hope I never get arrested in Tennessee!

    August 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      You got a purty mouth!

      August 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.