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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. ringly scott

    its like naming your kid "god", you just dont do it! dumb parents for even trying to put a kid thru a lifetime of dealing with something like that...

    August 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • BIGBOY

      EVEN IF they want to name their kids "dog" it is it is THEIR RIGHT.

      the judge is out of line and should get fired.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
      • leahcima1

        Absolutely spot on Big Boy.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Lizann

      Grace Slick named her daughter God before changing it to China.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  2. Laz

    Are you kidding me? We should be able to name our kid "Hotdog McNugget" if we want. What about "Prince" Fielder, the MLB player? How come a judge doesn't require him to change his name?

    August 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  3. She don't get it

    I certainly hope this isn't the same judge who allowed my parents to name me.

    signed
    Harry Balls

    August 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  4. What Hitler Said

    “Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”

    HE HATED CHRISTIANS, HE JUST PRETENDED TO BE ONE. LIKE THE P&&SY ATHEISTS PRETENDED TO BE FOR SO LONG.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Research Prevents You From Looking Stupid Amongst Your Peers

      Unfortunately, you are irritatingly incorrect and stupid. You are perhaps at the furthest depths of stupid that the bottom feeder can sink to. One requires but the most bare minimum intellectual capacity to perform thirty seconds of research into the matter in order to reach the undeniable conclusion that you, at best, are dead wrong on the matter.

      http://www.evilbible.com/hitler_was_christian.htm

      August 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  5. Yaritza

    So it's ok to be named "Jesus" but it is not okay to be named Messiah??? The world we live in and that judge needs to stop interfering. It isnt her child so butt out.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  6. BIGBOY

    WELL...........MUSLIMS WILL DO THE SAME THING.........GUESS FREEDOM NO LONGER EXIST IN THE USA

    August 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  7. MoMO

    SO NOW A BLACK PERSON DONT HAVE the freedom to choose his kids name?????????????

    August 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Lizann

      T.I . and Tiny of the VHI show, "T.I. & Tiny, The Family Hustle" feature their son Messiah on the show frequently.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  8. Rob

    This judge is just way off base. I agree with the ACLU that she cannot do this and hopefully she will not be a judge very soon!

    August 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  9. NorCalMojo

    It's a stupid name, but this is America. People have a right to be stupid.

    The judge is out of line.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  10. Lizann

    Apparently no one here watches the popular reality show on VH1 "T.I. & Tiny, The Family Hustle". Their son MESSIAH is featured often.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • BIGBOY

      they dont live in racist Tennessee

      August 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Escher7

      Mohammed is OK, Jesus is OK. This judge needs to get out andcsee the world.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • afroblue

      I work in a high school and you wouldn't believe some of the names of these students here are some examples; one student is name God-begins, another one is named Myking, I call him by his last name (lol) because i refuse to call him Myking and yes their is a Masiyah too, which is how he spells it. People have right to name their children what they like.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Dippy

        There, not their.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  11. Chritina

    Michael named two of his kids Prince.....but I guess the question is whether the name offends anyone. I don't know of anyone named Buddha or Jehovah, and no one has (as far as I know) named their children any four-letter-words.
    Seriously though, I feel sorry for anybody who has to go through life with these oddball names, but really it's up to the parents.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Lizann

      In the 1960's, Grace Slick, lead singer of the then called Jefferson Airplane band named her daughter "God", until she changed it to "China" under pressure from the public.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  12. Smarter than u

    The judge is a moron.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  13. Jim

    The judge is simply trying to assert her power over god showing she has more power in choosing a name whereas the parents are simply followers with no say so. I thought this story was a joke originally, She is taking judge "too literally"

    August 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  14. No one

    Not really supposed to make a judgement based on that, but I would guess perhaps they could have tried other reasons, if there are any rules to naming anyways.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

      THANKS FOR YOUR DEEP AND HARD INSIGHT. GOSH, IT REALLY MAKES A MAN THINK. REAL SLOW AND SMOOTH.

      August 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  15. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    THIS IS REALLY STUPID. DID SHE NOT THINK WE'D NOTICE? GLAD I DON'T LIVE UNDER A CHRISTIAN DICTATORSHIP.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Dippy

      Caps lock off, please.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  16. jhonny ausemkock

    Well, there goes her career! Nothing looks better on a judicial resume than multiple blatant civil rights violations in a single ruling, especially given the fact that the child's FIRST name was never brought into question by either litigant. So really, she violated their civil rights over an issue she wasn't even authorized to address!

    August 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Tulip

      I hope you're right. That judge should get fired.

      August 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  17. Just1DayDreamer

    The judge needs to butt out. I take it that this is a test case to see if judges can get away with it.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    I once met a black woman who named her child Latifah Lasagna.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  19. lamelionheart

    Why did this judge make a ruling in the first place..? Who tipped the judge off..? What difference should it make what name(s) a child is given..?

    August 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Dippy

      What does ..? mean?

      August 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  20. Aaron

    The judge actually ordered the child be named Martin Martin (mothers name is Jalessa Martin). Sounds like a much better and well thought out decision.

    August 12, 2013 at 7:48 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.